Mechista of the Week: Juan Díaz

Juan Díaz, Class of 2015

Juan Díaz, Class of 2015

Juan Díaz, Class of 2015

Residential College: Morse College

Hometown: Atlantic City, NJ

High School: Atlantic City High School

Why did you join MEChA? I joined MEChA because I wanted to get involved with the Latino community, but also do it in a socially conscious way. I knew that MEChA did a lot of cool stuff around things like immigration, worker's rights, and other community issues, and I wanted to be involved. It has ultimately been a very fulfilling and enlightening experience, and I have learned so much about myself and my community through MEChA. We attempt to eliminate injustices in a far more involved and more conscientious way than typical community service groups.

What other activities are you involved in aside from MEChA? In addition to being in MEChA, I'm also a member of Community Health Educators, where I teach middle school students a comprehensive health curriculum. I also volunteer on Saturdays at the HAVEN Free clinic, where I interpret. I also work at the Art History Department.

What is your favorite experience with MEChA? My favorite memory of MEChA is definitely attending ECCSF [the East Coast Chicano/a Student Forum]. It's so great being able to go on a small roadtrip with some of your closest friends, and the conferences are pretty fun too! Our ECCSF conference in April will hopefully be a similarly wonderful experience. But most my most important experience is attending our weekly MEChA Monday night meetings, they are so refreshing and rejuvenating, especially on Monday nights!

Mechista of the Week: Cristal Suarez

Cristal Suarez, Class of 2016

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.