Nine Mechistas attended the East Coast Chicano/a Student Forum hosted by Georgetown University on April 5 – 7. The theme was The State of Chicano/Latino Affairs: Claiming Our Future. Students attended a wide array of workshops, including Latino/as in the Catholic Church, the history of Mexican migration to the United States and the Student/Farmworker Alliance.
Salvador Delgado Fernandez, Class of 2013
Residential College: Trumbull
Hometown: Blue Island, IL (near Chicago)
High School: Eisenhower High School
Why did you join MEChA? I originally joined MEChA because my sister, who is in charge of Georgetown’s MEChA chapter, kept telling me to do it. I had previously helped out at the occasional MEChA event, but wasn’t an official member. Then I joined this year, my senior year, and realized that I missed out on a lot of awesomeness over the past 3 years!
What other activities are you involved in aside from MEChA? I’m currently one of the Group Managers of Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Yale (yay dancing!), which has turned out to be nothing but fun. I volunteer as an interpreter at the HAVEN Free Clinic in Fair Haven, helping the community get healthcare. Aside from that, I also host two radio shows at WYBC, one being a Latin music show and the other a science talk show.
What is your favorite experience with MEChA? My favorite experience with MEChA was definitely the Café con Karaoke [March 1]. I had been wishing for the chance to do some bilingual karaoke, and then it happened! And because it was to start a scholarship for undocumented students, I felt a lot better about going to the event instead of getting work done. And chocolate caliente!
Cristal Suarez, Class of 2016
Residential College: Trumbull
Hometown: Visalia, California
High School: San Joaquin Memorial High School
Why did you join MEChA? I wanted to educate myself about issues important to the Latino community, and to discover the role I could play to encourage society to be more equal and fair. I also found that the MEChA community itself was very welcoming and I was encouraged to join by students I met at Bulldog Days!
What other activities are you involved in aside from MEChA? Being a freshman liaison at La Casa has been one of the most rewarding activities. I am also a part of Community Health Educators and I teach middle school classes on nutrition. I also volunteer at Yale-New Haven Hospital, through a program called the Living History Project. I prepare a narrative after interviewing patients in order to help their doctors better understand them. I have also loved being a part of BookMarks, where I read with kids at an after-school program.
What is your favorite experience with MEChA? I’ve loved the many moments when I have connected with someone and discovered how much I can share with others. MEChA has been great at giving me chances to get to know what people are passionate about and what inspires them. If I had to choose a single moment, it would be attending ECCSF at Harvard because it was amazing to see so many Latino students working to have their voices heard.
Chris Teran, Class of 2016
Residential College: Morse
Hometown: Patterson, California
High School: Patterson High School
Why did you join MEChA? One of the main reasons that I joined MEChA was to try to get more involved and educated about political issues facing Latinos and just the U.S. in general. So through the discussions at MEChA, I’m definitely able to get a better perspective about the issues and learn more about them. Also, I joined because I come from a very Latino community, so I wanted to be able to still stay close to the [Latino] culture even though I’m so far away from home.
What is your favorite experience with MEChA? My favorite experience with MEChA so far has probably been the weekend I went to the Harvard ECCSF [East Coast Chicano Student Forum]. It was just great getting to meet and talk with MEChistas from other colleges. I also liked listening to all the speakers, especially María Elena Salinas, was pretty awesome.
This is a new segment in which MEChA de Yale will recognize one outstanding Mechista every week!
Emma Fallone, Class of 2016
Residential College: Ezra Stiles
Hometown: Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin (a suburb of Milwaukee)
High School: Whitefish Bay High School
Why did you join MEChA? I am Latina, and grew up in a very ethnically homogeneous area (95% Caucasian, maybe 2% Latino). So, throughout high school, I never really had much of a chance to connect with my cultural community. I could see that there were important political issues coming into play, like immigration rights and wage theft, and I wanted to discuss and fight for them – but I didn’t have an outlet to do so. When I came to Yale, and learned about MEChA, I was so excited to get involved, because so much of its purpose is to bring Latino/a students together and be a force to fight for positive political change on these important issues.
What other activities are you involved in aside from MEChA? I am the Co-President of SERVE New Haven, a Dwight Hall service group that works to connect Yale students to the New Haven community through a wide variety of service opportunities. So, I help to organize weekly trips for our members to volunteer at soup kitchens, refugee service centers, mental health facilities, and food distribution centers, to name just a few. It’s a great way to get out of the “Yale bubble” and become involved in New Haven, and to really make a difference in the community! I am also on the Copy Editorial staff for the Yale Daily News, and am involved with the Yale Democrats. And, when I have time, I like to de-stress by doing yoga.
What is your favorite experience with MEChA? Definitely the discussions that we have at our weekly meetings. I love getting the chance to talk with a group of awesome students about issues that I am passionate about, such as Latino/a identity and the portrayal of Latinos in the media. It’s so great to have a forum to share my thoughts, and to engage in a really intelligent discourse on the topics. I’ve learned so much from my fellow Mechistas!
Twelve MEChistas attended the East Coast Chicano/a Student Forum at Harvard from Feb. 15 – 17.
The theme of the conference was Latinos in the Media. Highlights include hearing “Noticiero” co-anchor María Elena Salinas give a speech on issues currently affecting Latinos, watching Mariachi Véritas de Harvard perform and eating burritos at Felipe’s Taqueria.
Read a MEChista’s blog on volunteering at the Haven Free Clinic on the MEChA Blog!