Mechista of the Week: Cathy Calderón

Cathy Calderón, Class of 2017

Cathy Calderón, Class of 2017

Cathy Calderón, Class of 2017

Residential College: Davenport

Hometown: San Fernando, California

High School: Granada Hills Charter High School

Why did you join MEChA? My curiosity and admiration for MEChA has grown over the last decade due to my involvement with an Aztec dance group called Danza Mexica Cuauhtemoc, which has worked on various community events with MEChA. I had never joined MEChA because there was never an established organization at any of my schools and I always wondered what it would be like to be a Mechista. I knew from the moment that I got accepted to Yale that I would join MEChA for these reasons and to further my knowledge of political and cultural issues affecting the Latino community in order to work towards social justice and equality for all.

What other activities are you involved in aside from MEChA?  I am a volunteer interpreter at the free HAVEN clinic, which provides health care for people without health insurance. I am planning on becoming a volunteer at the New Haven Free Public Library to help younger students improve their literacy. I will always be a member of Cuauhtemoc because it is the root of my passion for social justice and I never stop learning from my fellow dancers.

What is your favorite experience with MEChA?  So far, I really enjoyed the Café con Karaoke event that the scholarship committee put on because we had great food and company, oh, and we made a soul train happen. Although I wish this issue did not exist, I enjoy protesting for workers’ fair wages in front of Gourmet Heaven because protesting makes me feel alive (come out and support, Fridays at 5:30 pm!). I am grateful to be part of such a passionate and active group and have made some of my closest friends through MEChA de Yale.

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.

Mechista of the Week: Chris Teran

Chris Teran, Class of 2016

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.