MEChA was born from the result of two conferences in the late 1960s: the First National Chicano Liberation Youth Conference, held in March 1969 in Denver, Colorado, and which produced the document entitled El Plan de Aztlán; and a symposium held at the University of California, Santa Barbara the following month, which produced the document entitled El Plan de Santa Barbara. Both of these documents outline the goals of the Chicano movement and are foundational to the MEChA organization.
MEChA's constitution was officially ratified in 1995.
According to MEChA, "Chicano" is not simply an ethnicity, but a political mentality: no one is born "Chicano". MEChistas (or members of MEChA) consider themselves neither Americans nor Mexicans, but descendants (either genetically or spiritually) of the indigenous pre-Columbian nations - hence, the Chicano Student's Movement of Aztlán.
The motto of MEChA is La Union Hace La Fuerza, or "Unity Creates Strength".
In August 2003, the Democratic candidate for the 2003 California recall election Lt. Governor of California Cruz Bustamante was condemned by various commentators (including commentator Bill O'Reilly and conservative Michelle Malkin among others) for his involvement with MEChA during the 1970's. According to O'Reilly and Malkin, MEChA is a racist organization whose primary purpose is to return the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas back to Mexico. The organization drew criticism for alleged ties with the racist group Voz de Aztlán, and for its slogan "Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada" (alternately translated as "for the Race, everything; for those outside the Race, nothing", or "by the Race, everything; without the Race, nothing"). MEChA leaders countered that MEChA is a benign organization, dedicated to promoting Chicano education and Chicano identity, and is entirely opposed to oppression in all forms, including racism.