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: 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.