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50 years of Mejicas!

Raised toward our $50,000 Goal
16 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on January 01, at 12:00 AM PST
Project Owners

50 years of Mejicas!

Hola Mejica Familia!

Grupo Folklórico Los Mejicas is celebrating 50 years of folklórico, friendship, performances, faldeo, zapateados, huachapeados and tocados!

Through five decades of Mejicas, hundreds and hundreds of UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs and community members have shared experiences together at practice and on stage. We have all piled into vans and hotel rooms to share in Danzantes Unidos and ANGF. We have struggled to buy both black and white botines for performances. And we have sweated side by side, trying to figure out a new maestro’s choreography and pasos.

Los Mejicas has impacted all of us in ways that go far beyond steps and choreography. The relationships, cultural histories, sense of belonging, and contribution to our respective fields of study have been directly impacted by Mejicas. To continue the memories, self-confidence, and enrichment, please consider donating to Grupo Folklórico Los Mejicas. Your support will allow Mejicas to reach even more students.

As we venture into the next 50 years of Los Mejicas, we invite you to reflect on some of your firsts as a Mejica :

  •  The first time you put on the tocado?
  • The first time you had to do faldeo?
  • The first time you fell in a performance?
  • Remember the first time you felt like a Mejica?

To maintain and grow these experiential-learning opportunities, on Mejicas’ 50th anniversary, we are aiming to raise $50,000+ this year to directly support the grupo in the following key needs:

Practice faldas. All of you know the importance of embodying the movement as soon as possible. Remember trying to find someone to make you a practice falda? After many false starts, the excitement you felt when you received it and the sore arms when using it after your first ensayo? Currently, practice faldas cost about $100 each, with Mejicas enrollment at about 40 members, that is a lot of listón.

Danzantes Unidos. For a full weekend at Danzantes Unidos the cost hovers around $9000 for approximately 30 Mejica members. Remember how you got to commiserate with other folklórico groups and learn cuadros from maestros from all over California and México? The recent addition of the University Folklórico Summit offers a vital space to share knowledge and support for university folklórico groups.

Cuadro traje suite. Remember that orange Jalisco dress that everyone wanted to wear? The charro hat that was always a little wonky? The trajes that had an odor that never seemed quite to disappear? What part of your costume do you still have? (We know a lot of us still have our bloomers!) Hundreds of Mejicas have worn the same trajes over many decades. They are expensive to replace (which is why we don’t eat in costume!) Prices vary, but it can cost anywhere up to $10,000 to purchase trajes for the entire cuadro, hats included.

Shoe library. The bailes never came quite alive until that first time you hit the floor with a real pair of folklórico shoes. For many, this is the first time they experienced the rhythm their bodies could make that would connect all of us as Mejicas. For some it can take until Winter quarter or later before they can get their first pair of zapatos. Folklórico shoes cost up to $125 and a shoe library would give beginning Mejicas a jumpstart in feeling the connection to the floor and each other.

Maestros in residence. All of us can attest that there is no substitution for learning folklórico from a maestro. The maestro enhances the complexity of the region and enhances a student’s education and discipline. $2000 can pay for one maestro to teach one cuadro.

We're asking you, our fellow Mejica, to donate $50, $75, $100, or $200 in honor of 50 years. Your support will help us continue on for another 50!

Thank you for your support; we are so excited to celebrate with you in November! Until then, remember, Once a Mejica, Always a Mejica!




Leticia Quezada

Founder of Grupo Folklórico Los Mejicas

(Mejica member 1972–76) 

John Avalos

Founder of Grupo Folklórico Los Mejicas

(Mejica member 1972–76)

Olga Nájera-Ramirez

Professor Emeritus, Anthropology, UCSC

(Mejica member 1974–78 & Faculty Advisor 1996–2018)

Erica Acevedo-Ontiveros (née Ocegueda)

Co-Chair of Los Mejicas 50th Anniversary Committee

(Mejica member 1995–2000)
Jemzi Ortiz
Co-chair of Los Mejicas 50th anniversary Committee
(Mejica member 2016–21)

Take a look at this list of Los Mejicas alumni, and if you notice yourself or someone you know is missing, please let us know (and forward this email to them). We would love if everyone who has participated over the last 50 years, could complete this form so that we can make sure you get the latest Los Mejicas news and event updates!