About Us

Chapters displaying banners at a rally in Tucson, AZ, 2016.

     MEChA is an acronym that stands for Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán. We are a student organization that promotes higher education, community engagement, political participation, culture, and history. MEChA chapters are often the only groups on campus that seek to open the doors of higher education for our communities and strive for a society free of imperialism, racism, sexism, and homophobia. MEChA is open to anyone, and does not exclude membership based on socio-economic status, gender, race, or orientation. 

Our Logo


     Original logo for MEChA (left, circa 1970) depicting the image of Cuauhtémoc (the last Aztec Emperor) and featuring the words "Por Mi Raza, Habla El Espiritu" (the spirit speaks through my race). The words are an adapted version of the motto of Mexico's National University, created by Mexican writer, philosopher, and politician José Vasconcelos. 

     The current MEChA logo (right) features a black eagle which is both a nod to the Mexican flag, the Black Panther organization, and the United Farm Workers movement. It is seen holding a lit stick of dynamite, representing the spark or ignition of social revolution by members of the organization. The eagle is also seen clasping a macuahuitl in its talons. It features the words "La Union Hace La Fuerza" (with unity, there is strength). Modern iterations have seen chapters change the style and color of the current logo to reflect their school colors or community, while keeping key elements such as the eagle in the design. As recent as 2013, many chapters have made use of the original logo or combined use of the two logos above for many activities and materials.

     *Need a copy of our logo to use in your chapter or region? CLICK HERE to go to our download portal to see the different variations and file types available to use.
(From Left to Right) Custom Logos for California State Polytechnic University, University of New Mexico, Trevor G. Brown High School, Everette Community College, and the University of Pennsylvania.

What are MEChA's guiding documents, and how is MEChA organized?

     Each chapter is governed by its respective, central, regional, state wide, and National MEChA constitutions as well as the Philosophy of MEChA Guiding documents are El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán and El Plan de Santa Barbara.

The structure of MEChA is:
  1. Mechista - An individual who adopts the philosophies of MEChA 
  2. Chapter - The group of Mechistas at a particular campus that work together. 
  3. Central - A collection of chapters in a particular area or community. 
  4. Region - A collection of Chapters/Centrales in a particular area or state/s. 
  5. National - The ten different regions compose our National MEChA

What is Aztlán?

     Aztlán was the homeland of the Mexica (pronounced me-SHI- ka). Geographically it is the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. Today we understand Aztlán not as a defined territory. Instead, it is an idea that unifies all Raza as a sacred place of origin, to which Raza espouse a physical connection. Aztlán is the common homeland and is the place of the collective experience and social praxis. Raza communities, barrios, and colonias, share similar problems such as poverty, a need for bilingual and culturally-relevant education, and constant vigilance against racism, amongst other issues.

What does Chicanx mean?

     The word Chicana/o is derived from the Mexica. The Mexica migrated from Aztlan, from the present-day Western United States, to Tenochtitlan, or present-day Mexico. The word means "people of the earth". The word Chicanx as an identification that can be assumed by all peoples of all colors; all people are born of the earth and innate dignity of history and culture. Chicanx is also an identity many Americans of Mexican or mestizo descent have assumed in order to recognize their indigeneity in the United States. Chicanixmo is the bond experienced by all members of MEChA Chicanixmo is the responsibility and commitment to all Chicanx brothers and sisters throughout the university and community regardless of their age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or nationality. Chicanixmo further implies having respect for Chicanx history, culture and values. Therefore, the term Chicanx is grounded in a philosophy not nationality. To be Chicanx is not a birthright; rather it is a state of mind.

What do the terms Hispanic and Latino mean?

     The term Hispanic is often used to refer collectively to all Spanish-speakers. However, it specifically connotes a lineage or cultural heritage related to Spain. As many millions of people who speak Spanish are not of true Spanish descent (e.g., Native Americans), and millions more live in Latin America (cf., "Latino" below) yet do not speak Spanish or claim Spanish heritage (e.g., Brazilians) this term is incorrect as a collective name for all Spanish-speakers, and may actually be cause for offense.

     The term Latino is used to refer to people originating from, or having a heritage related to, Latin America, in recognition of the fact that this set of people is actually a superset of many nationalities. Since the term "Latin" comes into use as the least common denominator for all peoples of Latin America in recognition of the fact that some romance language (Spanish, Portuguese, French) is the native tongue of the majority of Latin Americans, this term is widely accepted by most. However, the term is not appropriate for the millions of Native Americans who inhabit the region.

Why should I join MEChA?

  • Become a leader 
  • Connect and learn about your Chicanx identity 
  • Be involved in your community 
  • Become socially/politically conscious
  • Build relationships with others that last a lifetime

Aztlán del Noroeste members at their annual Regional Conference, 2017.

What are MEChA's goals?

  • To affirm and celebrate diversity amongst MEChA members. This affirmation and celebration is significant in the development of positive and strong cultural identity among Raza students. 
  • To involve students in discussing and acting on social-political issues relevant to our communities. Political activism is significant in producing civic-minded youth and leaders in our communities. 
  • To develop leadership among students. Opportunities for group dynamics, planning, staging of organizational activities, leadership development shape our collective success, while skills obtained are transferable to other environmental settings. 
  • To promote academic achievement and completion. MEChA strongly believes that the self-determination of our community is based on an educated community. 
  • To build a sense of carnalixmo among Chicanxs and all students on our campus and in the community. 
  • To provide opportunities for local, regional and national high school and college students to share and be connected 
  • To educate ourselves and others about Chicanx culture, history, traditions and accomplishments. 
  • To build relationships with youth and serve as a bridge between high school and college-aged students