About Us


Our student union originated with an organization started by Chicanx and Latinos in 1964, known as the Chicanx Student Union. The union took on the MEChA identity, five years later, at the Santa Barbara Conference, as an attempt to unify with other Chicanx student unions along the West coast. Now there are about 300 MEChA Chapters in existence nationwide. The state of Oregon composes our region or Aztlan del Noroeste, formally known as Mictlampa Cihuatlampa.

The signing of El Plan de Santa Barbara marked the beginning of a consolidated student movement.  In 1969, Chicanx students from throughout California, Texas, Arizona, and other states, including a delegation from the University of Oregon, met in Santa Barbara to unify the Chicanx Student Movement.  It was at this conference that MEChA was founded.  Soon there after, hundreds of Chicanx organizations throughout the nation adopted the MEChA name in a show of unity.

Movimiento was chosen in recognition that we are much more than an organization, coalition, or partnership.  We are a movement that strives for self-determination of our Raza by raising political, social, and cultural awareness.  We aim to strengthen and liberate out people by working in solidarity to reinforce our cultural values and traditions, and redefine politics to meet our people’s needs.  Together, as part of larger movement of people – farm workers, laborers, activists, scholars, politicians, professionals, and community members – we must move forward and fight for the rights and respect that nuestra Raza deserves.

Estudiantil was chosen because our main struggles are for educational rights.  We realize that access to education at all levels, especially an education that addresses our needs as Chicanxs, is a crucial step in the advancement and self-empowerment of our people.  Therefore, as students, we must initiate the appropriate action to receive the education necessary to determine our own destiny. Education is a means to end all forms of oppression.

Chicanx refers to a person who embraces the political ideology of chicanismo which is resistant to a colonial state and embraces indigenous roots and cultural, historical heritage and struggle. While it can refer to a racial or ethnic identity it is also a state of mind. It is a symbol of resistance as well as a symbol of unity for those who strive to end all types of oppression. It is a demand for self-identity and respect. In addition, it’s an assertion of the pride we have for our unique history and culture that has sprung from both our European and indigenous ancestors.  It is the clearest expression of national and mental consciousness, as well as the loudest demand for self-determination.

Aztlan was the legendary homeland of the Aztecas – the Mexica and other Chichimec tribes – before they migrated southward and settled in Anahuac (the valley of Mexico).  During the height of the Chicanx Movement, Chicanx activists adopted Aztlan as a unifying, nationalistic symbol that embodied the experiences of the Chicano people.  At the time, it became synonymous with the vast territories of the Southwest, brutally stolen from a Mexican people marginalized and betrayed by the hostile custodians of the Manifest Destiny.  Because we are a constantly shifting movement, Aztlan also symbolizes a state of consciousness for which we strive. Aztlan as a state of consciousness initiated the rebirth of our identity as indigenous people.


  1. Did You Know That Juan Cheno Cortina was the founder of La Raza Unida in 1848. It wouldn’t come up again till 1968 in Texas and it would be called La Raza Unida Party and in 1972 La Raza Unida Conference it would be present in over 27 States and not one CHICANO ORGANIZATION to included United Farmworkers were all under Banner of La Raza Unida Party and California would lead the way and Call It El Partido Nacional de La Raza Unida and there are still Active Chapters TODAY! QUE VIVA LA RAZA Daniel Osuna for The Positive Revolution

  2. Its just a detail of history which must be corrected to plae all other activities in its correct path. The Chicano Student Union CSU was actually started in 1967 when Chicano students from throughout Oregon, Washington, California and other extended recruiting efforts by the HEP program brought them together. As it was a time of social political change we as Chicanos needed a support group to unite our efforts and speak with a self defining voice about our issues as Chicanos at that time on this campus. Needless to say there was alot of disagreement as to our purpose from social, educational survival and coordinating a common voice as to the issues of the day; Farmworkers movement, War in Viet Nam, Civil Rights Movement and over all representation in campus activities that required our opinions. The short story was that this movement was happening all over the country and in some places many had already taken actions that were considered radical without true understanding. As we (CSU) progressed and became self educated about issues both personal identity as well as throughout Aztlan it became necessary to Unite as a National student organization which after many conference discussion and alot of debate became MEcHA and I a Mechista “69”.

    • Jesus, do you also go by Jesse Estrada? If so, I think you know my mother, Manuela Nuñez Wickham (formerly Manuela de la Rosa Nuñez). Mom is also a Mechista of ’69. She has a few interesting stories about you and MEChA. 😀 I am very proud to be her daughter. She has taught me to take pride in my heritage, have deep respect for migrant laborers, and recognize the importance of equity in education for all people of color. I am also proud to identify as una Xicana, a proponent of Xicanisma, despite its controversial political implications and public perceptions. I thank you and the founders of MEChA de UO for laying the foundations of an organization that has and continues to a foster a supportive, positive, and culturally relevant community for Mexicano/a students. You helped us not only survive but succeed at a university that otherwise would not have any chance whatsoever of providing inclusive an educational experience. I’m sure all the kids who were members of MEChA and took Ethnic Studies courses will be forever grateful for having the opportunity be a part of the MEChA community.

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