MEChA cultivates culture

Written by Amanda Cercado, digital editor, and Junior Duran & Jason Yee, staff reporters

A Spanish version of this story appeared in Issue 2.

 MEChA, or “Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán,” is a club that focuses on discovering one’s culture and ancestry, as well as a service organization. “Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán” translates to “Chicano Student Movement of Aztlán.”

The advisor is Mr. Hector Torres, foreign language department, and the president is senior Ruby Saldivar. MEChA meets once or twice a month in room 503, and is open for anyone to join.

Mr. Torres became the advisor for MEChA to offer opportunities for students to serve their community by participating in service events, as well as to provide the tools to access their identities. For example, Mr. Torres said that in MEChA’s “ancestor find” activity, students look up where their ancestors lived and figure out what indigenous nations they belonged to.

MEChA provides ways to find students indigenous families by using websites like and

MEChA also learns about their ancestors’ indigenous languages. Members of the club speak to their grandparents to learn more about their ancestors and to indicate which region they are from. This helps with  learning about the indigenous tribes they are descended from as well as their cultures and languages.

Senior Jennifer Jimenez joined MEChA when she was a sophomore. She said that the club creates a safe and comfortable environment to learn about your background. She noted that MEChA highlights the importance of being knowledgeable of your culture.

Another member is senior Mariana Villanueva; she joined as a freshman because she thought it would be interesting to learn about her Chicano heritage and culture. Villanueva  explained how she learned about her roots: “My parents are from Jalisco (Mexico) so I learned about the Aztec groups that lived there. MEChA really connects you to your roots.”

For anyone interested in joining MEChA, Villanueva said, “If you’re interested in learning more about your heritage, we do lots of activities that help you learn more about it.”

Comfort From Music

By Irene Sanchez, Editor-in-chief

A version of this article appeared in issue 2 of the Viking Scroll.

The music we listen to can strongly influence our life. It can help improve memory, motivate us, improve mood, and reduce anxiety and depression.

Teachers may not like when kids have their earphones on during class because music can be distracting and have a negative effect on task performance and concentration.

Although this is sometimes true, I believe that music is beneficial to students and people in general.

A study by Baylor University professors had 50 students ages 18-33 listen to classical music such as Beethoven’s Moonlight sonata, Vivaldi’s ‘Spring’ (the Four Seasons) and Chopin’s ‘Nocturne in E-flat major.’

Half of the participants played the same pieces throughout the night as they slept, while the other half slept with white noise.

White noise contains all frequencies at equal intensity, which can mask loud sounds that stimulate our brains. Researchers found that the group listening to music performed 18 percent higher on an exam the following day.

Music has helped me focus and I’m able to concentrate on the teacher even with an earbud in, and I know many other people who feel the same way.

When I can’t sleep because I’m thinking about random things or I’m just not sleepy, music can help me feel calmer and make me sleep.

Actively listening to music can help regulate our moods. Due to its rhythmic and repetitive aspects, music engages our neocortex, calming us down and reducing our impulsiveness.

We often utilize music to match or alter our moods. While there are benefits to this, it can also keep us stuck in a depressive or anxious state.

Listening to sad music can sometimes start cycles of negative thinking, often evoking sad memories and negative thoughts. On the other hand, sad music allows for emotional expression and powerful hormonal release, which is healthy.

The key is to be mindful of how the music is affecting you. Change the song if it’s reenforcing sad emotions. 

To alter mood states, we can play music that matches our mood and then slowly shift to a more positive or calm state. 

Upbeat music can make you feel more optimistic and positive about life. Research shows that music can also be comforting.

Also, if you aspire to be a musician, listening to music is a great way to get inspired and motivated to practice or write your own songs.


Some recommendations for classical piano music from Spotify not in the playlist are “Blue Bird” by BANANA FISH, “Clair de Lune, L. 32” by Claude Debussy, “Nocturne No.2” by Frédéric Chopin, “Mia & Sebastian’s Theme” by Kim Bo, and “Swarm of Fish” by Pianopassion.

Songs are interpreted in many different ways. You may relate to a song differently than someone else or you may think it has another meaning than another. Music is a great way to understand yourself or other people. Here are 12 songs that I like and their meanings.

rises the moon – Liana Flores (English)The song describes changes in life, reassuring all that despite the difficulties in adjusting to change, a beautiful consistency (in this case, the moon) will always remain.
Soap- Melanie Martinez (English)“Soap” is about being vulnerable and being afraid to express deeper feelings such as love, so it feels like “washing your mouth out with soap,” a practice in older days when adults used to use soap to wash the mouth of a child who would say bad words.
Butterfly- BTS (Korean)CW: This song can be interpreted as a symbolism of being scared to have life fly by or the fear of losing someone you love. When I hear this song I think it’s about loving someone who has suicidal thoughts, like, whether that’s you or someone you know. And it’s about reminding them how much they’re loved by the people around them.
The Truth Untold- BTS (Korean)The moral of the story, as interpreted by BTS, is that people are entrapped in the depths of misery and darkness due to the lack of self-love and confidence. The protagonist would have probably felt much better if he had talked to his crush and confronted his fears and insecurities.
What is Love?- TWICE (Korean)This song is about the girls wondering about the feeling of love. It seems as though their wonder for love comes from movies, books, and dramas, after all these sources are quite descriptive of this mysterious emotion. They use cliche examples of how love is described to get the point across that love is something that brings a euphoric feeling even though the girls haven’t felt it before. They wait for love to come to them but soon become impatient stating that “I can’t take it much longer.”
Where’d All the Time Go?- Dr. Dog (English)The meaning of this song is that time is flying way too fast and the artist wishes time could be turned back. Another interpretation I see is the thought of getting old and dying with a head full of nostalgia and memories that are growing farther and farther away every day.
I lost a Friend- FINNEAS (English)This song is about losing connection and drifting apart from a close friend. I relate to this sing because I drifted away from a lot of my childhood friends during COVID. “I know I’ll be alright but I’m not tonight” is a line I love in the song because I felt that way when I first realized that we weren’t as close as we were.

“How the hell did I lose a friend I never had?” is another line I love because I believe that both people should put effort into a friendship for it to work. One person shouldn’t have to be the one to communicate with the other all the time and they shouldn’t feel that the friendship would fall apart if they don’t put in the work. I felt that way in a lot of my old friendships and that’s why I like that line. I think it’s as they never consider me a close friend like I did because I did all the work in the friendship.

Spring Break Ideas

By Aaron Ceballos, page editor

With spring break around the corner, you might ask yourself the question, “What should I do this break?” Well, in not wanting to waste the last week-long break we have of the 2022-2023 school year, this can be a hard decision to make.

When thinking of things to do or places to go, there can be a lot of things to consider such as, is what I’m doing affordable? Can I do an activity or go to a place with friends? Is it an area nearby? 

Something to do that caters to all of these concerns is to go to a nearby park. Going to the park is free; you can hang out with friends or even on your own, and there are nearby parks such as Mountain View Park, Zamora Park, and Arceo Park that are accessible.

Right across the street from Arceo Park stands El Monte’s public library. Going to the library is completely free as you can register for a library card with your basic information, such as proof of current address. If you’re a minor, you will need a parent’s signature to get your library card.

With a library card, you’d be able to check out up to thirty items– including books, DVDs, and even VHS tapes. There are also computers there with a printer available for use.

Something else to be considered when thinking of what to do for spring break is eating good food, and going to a Chinese restaurant is fun and affordable. There are many different Chinese food places nearby, but one that is worth noting is RiceWok, located right next to Food4Less and CVS. Its vast food options, low prices, and relaxing dining environment make it a great place to go to. 

Another great place to visit and enjoy something to eat is Bionicos Y Jugos Zapopan. They offer fruit mixtures with different items such as yogurt, cream cheese, and even ice cream. They also offer different flavors of freshly-made aguas frescas. 

The most important thing to do while on spring break is to have fun and relax. Spend time with friends and family but also give yourself time to relax from school. If you have homework to do over the break, you can make it seem less stressful by doing it over a spread of time so that you’re not forced to do it all at once. 

Moving On, Moving Up, or Moving Forward

By Junior Duran, Evelyn Reyes, and Jason Yee, Staff Reporters

Photos by Evelyn Reyes and Irene Sanchez

A version of this article appeared in issue 2.

As the end of the school year approaches, Viking athletes are considering their next steps. Some are graduating while others are preparing for their next season.


Diego Hernandez (‘24) has played soccer since he was little and it was his first sport growing up. Hernandez said, “I wanted to do it in college because it’s been a dream of mine to go into pro soccer but now I want to go into refereeing. You could say I lost interest in it. I loved playing but after some events that occurred I preferred to be a referee than be a player. Even though refereeing is a stressful job it’s actually fun. And I’ve already met more successful people in refereeing than as a player. I have instructors that have gone to the furthest levels in the referee world and I’m able to learn and fix my mistakes and hopefully within less than 10 years you’ll see me doing college or even MLS games as a pro referee.”

Marleen Mendoza (‘24) plans on doing soccer and volleyball but is mainly focused on soccer for the rest of the year and see where that gets her. In college, she would like to play soccer but it would be a different experience for her since it would be different in place and even with teammates. Marleen always had an interest in playing soccer and liked it because of her favorite player who is Megan Rapinoe in the women’s USA national soccer team.

Alexander Guerra (‘23) said he does not expect to play soccer in college. His family pushed him to play soccer when he was younger and he came to love the sport. However, he said he is not sure he would do well at the college level. Guerra would reconsider if he were offered a college scholarship to play soccer.

Darlene Murillo (‘24) said she would like to play both basketball and volleyball for her senior year. She said, “I like volleyball because I grew my love from it from a past coach, Coach Belen [Brionez].” But Murillo prefers basketball because it has always allowed her to escape from her problems. If she gets the chance to play in college, she’d take it.

German Montreal (‘24) said he will continue football and possibly track his senior year. Montreal will most likely be playing football during his college years because he prefers football over track. He said, “Football is more intense and though track is fun and helps me boost up my speed, I prefer the adrenaline rush I get from football.”

Emma Michel (‘23) said that she will not continue to wrestle in college due to multiple injuries from wrestling. She has wrestled for MVHS since she was a freshman. Although Michel said she enjoyed wrestling because “it’s a very fun sport” and she enjoyed community support, she wants to focus on academics.

More Starbucks Recommendations

By Noemi Linares Editor-in-chief

Photo by Noemi Linares

Last year, the Scroll offered Starbucks drink recommendations. In this article, we share more of our recommendations.

  1.  Iced White Mocha, sweet cream cold foam, caramel drizzle
  • It tastes like regular coffee but the foam gives it a taste of sweetness and so does the caramel.
  1. Hot Latte, 3 shots of espresso (extra hot) 
  • This one tastes more like straight coffee because it’s not sweetened like a mocha. (A latte is just espresso and milk.)
  1. Passion Tea (no lemonade), 5 pumps of raspberry, classic syrup
  • It tastes sweet because it includes not only classic syrup but also raspberry. It’s not as sour as the version with lemonade and the taste is more balanced.
  1. Iced White Mocha, 3 blonde shots, oatmilk, no whip 
  • It tastes a bit sweet, but not too overwhelming. It’s really good. Even if you don’t like oatmilk, the oatmilk taste isn’t really noticeable. Still, you can always substitute the milk of your choice. 
  1. Triple espresso, blonde shots, 3 pumps of white mocha, 3 pumps of vanilla, oatmilk, cinnamon powder
  • It has a very dark but sweet aftertaste. You can really taste the cinnamon and the vanilla all at once, but neither flavor overwhelms the other.
  1. Vanilla bean, strawberry purée
  • Tastes like a strawberry smoothie. It’s sweeter than the “strawberries and crème frap” because it includes vanilla bean powder.
  1. Pink drink, 3 scoops of vanilla bean powder, heavy cream
  • It’s sweeter than a regular pink drink because of the vanilla bean powder and the heavy cream. The heavy cream is a bit sweeter than coconut milk, giving it a sweeter and more flavorful taste. 

From left to right: pink drink with 3 scoops of vanilla bean powder and heavy cream; passion tea (no lemonade) with 5 pumps of raspberry syrup and classic syrup; iced white mocha with 3 blonde shots with oatmilk and no whipped cream.

Spring Sports Recaps

Spring sports are underway. Recaps include scores and records as of March 31.


Overall: 4-10

League: 3 -1, 3rd place

Feb. 14 at Baldwin Park, L, 10-0

Feb. 16 at San Gabriel, L, 14-10

Feb. 21 vs Pioneer, L, 6-5

Mar. 4 at Ramona Convent, L, 1-0

Mar. 7  vs Sierra Vista, L, 11-0

Mar. 13 at Covina, L, 11-0

Mar. 17 at El Monte, L, 6-5

Mar. 18 vs Rowland, L, 20-4

Mar. 20 at Rosemead, W, 18-8

Mar. 27 at Marshall, W, 16-0

Mar. 31 vs Gabrielino, W, 20-4

Interesting Fact: Mia Perez leads the team in all offensive categories.


Overall: 4-8-1

League: 2-5, 5th place

Feb. 16 at Wilson, L, 1-0

Feb. 21 vs Bassett, W, 15-0

Feb. 23 vs Calvery Chapel, T, 0-0

Mar. 2 at Duarte, L, 3-2 

Mar. 3 at Covina, L, 15-1 

Mar. 7 at Southgate, W, 2-0 

Mar. 17 at El Monte,W, 8-0

Mar. 18 vs Marshall, L, 7-3

Mar. 20 at Rosemead, L, 10-3

Mar. 27 at South El Monte, L, 4-0

Mar. 31 vs. Gabrielino, W, 4-3

Interesting Fact: The Vikings have pitched 3 shutouts.

Boys Volleyball

Overall: 3-10

League: 2-5, 3rd place

Feb. 23 vs Sierra Vista, L, 3-0 

Mar. 3 vs Bassett, L, 3-2 

Mar. 8 at Pioneer, L, 3-2

Mar. 15 vs El Monte, L, 3-2

Mar. 17 at South El Monte, L, 3-1

Mar. 22 at Gabrielino, L, 3-0

Mar. 24 vs Marshall, L, 3-1

Mar. 29 at Rosemead, L 3-1

Mar. 31 at El Monte, W, 3-1

Interesting Fact: This is the first boys volleyball team in MVHS history.

Boys Tennis

Overall: 1-7

League: 0-6, 7th place

Mar. 9 at Pioneer, W, 10-8

Mar. 16 vs Rosemead, L, 17-1

Mar. 20 at Arroyo, L, 18-0

Mar. 23 vs Marshall, L, 15-3

Mar. 27 at El Monte, L, 11-7

Mar. 28 at South El Monte, L, 17-1

Mar. 30 vs Arroyo, L, 18-0

Interesting Fact: The current coach, Victor Romero, is returning this year after last coaching the team in 2009.

Track and Field

On February 18th, the MVHS track team participated in Ontario Relays where sophomore Aiden Portillo got 11th place in the Mens Division 3 shot put event.

Student of the Month: January 2023