The Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO) was founded in San Antonio, Texas, in 1967. MAYO was created by Jose Angel Gutierrez, William C. Velasquez, Mario Compean, Ignacio Perez, and Juan Patlan. Gutierrez was given the credit of being the person who came with the idea of creating MAYO. Later he shared his idea with William, Mario, Ignacio, and Juan and all decided to begin this promising project. These five people chose the name of the organization based on their beliefs. They saw young Mexican-Americans as great tool to accomplish goals as well as that the contribution of young people to the organization could reduce the criticism from society. Therefore, the Mexican-American teenagers and college students committed to “La Raza” were the majority in MAYO’s population. The concept of “La Raza” was fundamental in MAYO’s developing during the 1960s;”La Raza” basically described the beliefs of MAYO.
The early civil rights regarding with Chicanos, like the Farm Workers Movement, influenced the creation of MAYO. As well as the rest of the civil rights movements, MAYO sought social justice but they focused on issues Mexican-Americans suffered during the 1960s.. MAYO identified and addressed the needs of Mexican-Americans. Economic independence, control of education, and political strength and unity were the main three struggles Mexican-American community faced with during the 1960s. MAYO was a strong supporter of the idea of developing a third political party, that way the Mexican-American community could have more political support as well as political representation in local and national government. MAYO fought intensively to end its main target, the discrimination against Mexican-Americans students by school staff and classmates in schools in the Southwest area of the United States. This organization formed an alliance with the Farm Workers and worked together to end poverty among Chicanos. Another issue MAYO was concerned about was the common happenings involving police brutality against Mexican-Americans.
The founders of MAYO decided that all of their methods of protest would be non violent. Gutierrez and the rest of the co-founders saw the use of non-violent methods of protest as an excellent path to accomplish their goals. The decision of using non-violent methods of protest was influenced by some of the civil rights movements that were going on during the 1960s. Their fight consisted of protests, strikes, and student walkouts, as well as direct political confrontation and mass demonstrations. MAYO was responsible for organizing up to thirty eight student walkouts that formed part of the massive wave of Chicano high students blow outs in the year 1968.
The Mexican American Youth Organization was very active fighting Chicano’s issues during the latest 1960s. This organization had a huge influence on the Chicano Movement as a whole and helped to set up the stage for what Mexican-Americans are now.