Leadership Team

Founder and CEO, Amy Quichiz

Hi everyone, my name is Amy Quichiz I am Colombian and Peruvian living in Jackson Heights, Queens NY. I have been vegetarian and then transitioned into veganism for about five years.

I believe that my role as a plant-based vegan Latina is to show our communities ways to have accessible healthier food options, talk about our rights within the food industry, just as well as animal liberation and environmental justice. As a woman of color coming from Jackson Heights, I have witnessed the environmental racism that happens within our communities due to the lack of resources that folks have and what this government will hide from us. 

Instagram: @amyquichiz

Estefania Orozco, Operations Manager & Coordinator

Hola! My name is Estefania Orozco and my pronouns are she/her. I am originally from Colombia and have lived in Philadelphia since the age of 7. I’ve been vegetarian for about 7 years and decided to do so for health reasons but also because of the environmental impact and animal abuse crisis caused by the food industry, to name a few. Since discovering Veggie Mijas, I have been constantly learning and actively trying my best to take the next step in veganism. 

I believe in the power of community and how important it is, especially for a lifestyle that might seem intimidating or unattainable to some. With Veggie Mijas I hope to help my community by providing resources and by making information as accessible as possible so that everyone knows that they have the right to choose what’s best for them. My goal is to help empower our intersecting communities to make the best choices for their health, and to unlearn any beliefs that a plant-based and healthy lifestyle is only meant for wealthy white people. I really look forward to doing this necessary work!

IG: @down.for.earth

Estefania coordinates:

Philly Chapter

New York City Chapter

Chicago Chapter

Book Club

Destiny DeJesús, Coordinator

Destiny is a community organizer who currently resides in Portland, OR. She's a plant-based activist who has dedicated her brand, Eat Yo Destiny, to educating people on how to be vegan on a budget. She does this by focusing on food accessibility and uses her platform to show people how to find vegan options in their community, use local resources such as pantries/community fridges, and also make nutritious meals using limited ingredients in her pantry. As a queer, womxn of color, Destiny focuses on educating people on veganism and shares her experience as a Latina who grew up in The Bronx. She is a full-time Social Media Manager and hosts private and group cooking demos. Follow her on Instagram and learn more about how to budget cook at @eatyodestiny.

Instagram: @eatyodestiny

Email: destiny.veggiemijas@gmail.com

Destiny Coordinates:

Seattle Chapter

Denver Chapter

Christian Galindo, Organizer, Coordinator

Hola fam! I’m a first generation Mexican & Guatemalan, vegan queer femme (she/her/hers). I was born and raised in Los Angeles (213, what’s goodie?!), but currently reside in Oakland. Growing up, I was privileged enough to be a part of non-profit dance organization, which gave children in the community access to world-class dance training at affordable cost. Throughout my dance career, my relationship with food was tumultuous; my mother loved to cook decadent traditional foods, but dance brought on the pressure of keeping a certain body type. In all this, I was always intrigued by the artistry and love that can go behind developing a delicious, handmade meal. After training with master artists and teaching youth in the community, I decided to pursue my curiosity for food by working my way through the restaurant industry. There, I witnessed a huge lack in environmental consciousness, which lead me to question my own food and environmental decisions. I’ve been vegan for three years, and now enjoy taking the culinary skills I learned as a chef to veganise recipes for my partner and I, daily.

Through Veggie Mijas, I hope to help build community awareness and facilitate space for QTPOC in the area looking to learn about animal liberation and food justice, as well as help support folks on their plant-based journey by exploring ways to make veganism accessible for all. I’m so hyped to share my love and knowledge of plant-based food (both healthy and indulgent) with this collective.

Instagram: @chrissygalindoo

Christian coordinates:

Bay Area Chapter

Los Angeles Chapter 

DC Chapter


Lisa Marquez, Program Coordinator

Lisa Marquez-Garcia (she/her) has been a plant-based vegan since 2017. 

Lisa coordinates the following chapters:

Austin Chapter

India Chapter

Simone, Recruitment Director 

Simone Hassan-Bey (she/her) is a first-generation Jamaican American who grew up all over the East Coast of the U.S. and has even spent time further East having lived in South Korea during her gap year. Simone is driven by first-hand exposure to societal inequities leading her work towards building authentic social change. In 2021, Simone launched the Yoonhee Yoshi Kim Memorial Scholarship to celebrate undergrad students who demonstrate resilience and service to BIPOC communities. She is a co-founder of Rooted Uprising, a social and environmental justice collective aiming to engage, elevate, and empower community, and serves as the Recruitment Director for Veggie Mijas. 

IG: @simonebey_

Education Team

Rebeca Cintrón-Loáisiga, Education Director

¡Hola! My name is Rebeca Cintrón-Loáisiga, a Boricua born and raised in the city of Camden, New Jersey. I’m an anti-colonial culture and history educator, with a passion for our Latine communities and the many ways we uplift ourselves through our collective decolonization. I have been plant-based since 2011, a journey that has led me to re-evaluate my wellbeing as a Latina. My health (physical, mental, and spiritual) has become an ever-evolving process, where I have embraced the challenges of understanding the institutionalized inequalities we face. As the Education Director & Community Organizer for Veggie Mijas, I hope to build a community where BIPoC floxs can come together, connect, and unify for a common cause...feeding our souls

Creative Team

Marcy, Creative Director / Media Team Lead

My name is Marcy, I am passionate about sustainability, eco-consciousness, and overall striving to live a mindfulness lifestyle. I am a first-generation Peruvian living in Brooklyn and I have been vegan for about 2 years. I love all things marketing - with 4+years in digital marketing and currently working full-time as a Performance Marketing Manager. Things that bring me joy include going to a yoga or pilates class, checking out new thrift stores, enjoying a cute cocktail/ matcha in an aesthetically pleasing environment, and exploring new vegan recipes/restaurants. I started my vegan journey as an experiment during the pandemic lockdown to see how far I can go with reducing my meat consumption and ended up sticking to this diet/lifestyle after quickly discovering how great I felt. Deep down I knew I was meant to be vegan from a young age - loving all animals and my body naturally rejecting certain meats and dairy. Moving to Brooklyn from my hometown in Jersey helped tremendously, with accessible vegan grocery options and amazing restaurants, it was not a challenge to be vegan. I strive to spread awareness of a lifestyle that is not only centered on a vegan diet but benefits your own mind-body-soul and does little to no harm to our earth.

Email: marcy.veggiemijas@gmail.com

Suzy González, Editorial Content Manager / Writing Team Lead

Hey y’all! My name is Suzy González and I’m a Xicanx artist based in San Antonio, TX. I publish Xicana Vegan zine, co-publish Yes, Ma’am zine, and co-organize the San Anto Zine Fest. I went vegan in 2013 for feminist and animal rights reasons, and now I’m invested in the ties between the treatment of humans, non-human animals, and the earth. I’m into the idea of decolonizing our diets, or reclaiming the plant-based nourishment of our ancestors for the health of our communities. I have an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA from Texas State University, and the experience of being brown within the institution has also influenced my journey to reindigenize my lifestyle. Writing provides another creative outlet in addition to my visual artwork, and I look forward to contributing more to the food justice movement. I’m so grateful to be a part of Veggie Mijas and I’m inspired by all the work that has already been done!

Instagram: @soozgonzalez & @xicanavegan

Solena Aguilar, Graphic Design Lead

Solena Aguilar (they/she) is a artist and deisgner from San Francisco, CA and is now in East Harlem, NY. They create designs and artwork meant to educate and inform the public about stories, events, and injustices that affect our communities. They hope to speak to diverse groups in ways that evoke passion and action. 

Instagram: @mr.sol_gurl

Mikey, Graphic Designer



Aronya Waller, Writer

Hi! My name is Aronya Waller, and I’m from Philadelphia, PA. I identify as a Black woman raised in a diverse mix of cultures, including French Creole and Jamaican. I love traveling, and my goal is to travel to at least one new country every year. I’m a book nerd, and I love learning about black and brown history
not taught in school. 

I originally became plant-based due to health reasons. As I learned more through research and Veggie Mijas, I transitioned to living a vegan lifestyle focused on holistic wellness. I’m passionate about food justice in Philadelphia, as well as for all BIPOC communities. 

I may have a disability that prevents me from going to marches and protests, but the pen is my sword. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be a writer for Veggie Mijas. I enjoy writing about injustices and advocacy. I also want to paint over the mainstream veganism canvas. Each time I share the stories of our communities and cultures, I hope to add a new stroke to show the diversity of veganism.

Instagram: @herownbeat

Ivanna Frances, Writing Team Editor

Ivanna (she/they) is a first-generation Peruvian born and raised in Orange County, CA. They have been vegan for about eight years and currently study Nutrition Science at California State University, Long Beach. She has a knack for wanting to try all the things from research internships with NASA and the National Institute of Health to plant-based culinary endeavors and even candle-making. Ivanna is a life-long animal lover and is passionate about the intersections of food justice and environmental justice. 

IG: quinoabae

Lorena, Creative Advisor

Hello! My name is Lorena, my pronouns are she/her/hers, and I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. I come from generations of migration, being the daughter of Haitian immigrants with roots mainly in Haiti, Lebanon, and Syria. I met our incredible founder Amy while studying at Syracuse University, where I double majored in Television, Radio, and Film + Women’s and Gender Studies. I joined the Veggie Mijas collective in 2019 while beginning my journey toward a more plant-based lifestyle and while also beginning my journey as a first-gen student pursuing a master’s degree in Media at NYU. My academic + professional focus has been at the intersection of education, social justice, and digital media, and I’m thrilled to be able to collaborate with this collective + the creative team in my role.  

Email: lorena.veggiemijas@gmail.com

Johanna Toruño, Merchandise Consultant

Johanna Toruño is a Salvadoran artist and the creator of The Unapologetic Street Series. Johanna is mostly plant-based and is passionate about food justice and folks of color liberation. 

Instagram: @Johannareign

Data Team

Alejandra Juarez Rojas, Data Team Manager

Hi! My name is Alejandra (she/her). I am a first-generation Mexican American, and I come from
parents with roots in El DF and Oaxaca, Mexico. I love the culture I was raised in and continue
to educate myself about it through food.

I lived most of my life in Compton, experienced food insecurity, and continue to see it as an adult. My career has given me the mobility to relocate to new cities. A common factor I have
noticed is the food insecurity surrounding low-income cities, specifically people of color. I value
Veggie Mijas mission to take action on our current structural problems surrounding food/nutrition. Like many others members of this collective, I am passionate about empowering
communities of color and advocating/providing resources and safe spaces for our communities
to grow.

I graduated with a degree in Human Development with an emphasis on research from CSULB. I
have had the opportunity to get my research funded by the NIH and later work with the CDC to
help bring the voices of agricultural workers to the public ear. I have a passion for creating data
collection tools - because data produces actions.

I am excited to be part of Veggie Mijas leadership team. I hope to give back to my community by
connecting with others while discovering where help is most needed to begin taking action.

Instagram: alej_zzz

New York City Chapter

Ashlee Dume, Organizer

Hey! My name is Ashlee Dume and I’m from Harlem, NY. My pronouns are she/her and I identify as an African American woman. I’m a true Sagittarius and I love to travel and learn about different cultures. Cooking is my favorite hobby and I love making delicious vegan food.
I graduated from Syracuse University in 2016. It was then that I decided to fully go vegan and teach myself how to cook my own meals. I started my brand “Foxy Vegan” to showcase my vegan journey on social media. I’m passionate about making plant based eating accessible and attainable in Black and Brown communities. As people of color, we suffer from more health disparities then our white counterparts and my goal as an organizer of VeggieMijas is to help change that. 

IG: @_foxyvegan

Isabella Vargas, Organizer

Hola! My name is Isabella Vargas, I use she/they pronouns, and I’m a first generation Colombiana/Venezolana. I grew up mostly in Miami but have been making a home here in NYC for quite a while. I’m passionate about food justice, environmental justice, decolonizing all the things, and connecting with my community and helping empower it in any way I can. I’ve been a vegetarian for seven years and care deeply about plant-based diets and health for BIPOC communities. Food justice and my community helped save me from my own experiences with food insecurity and struggling to deal with a life-changing disability. Outside of this work, I’m also an artist and filmmaker who is involved in fighting for immigrant and labor justice. 

As a Veggie Mijas organizer, I hope to give back to my community and connect with others so we can all empower and heal each other through food justice.

IG: @isa_varg

Daisy, Organizer

My name is Daisy and I am 23 years old. Born in Jamaica, Queens and raised by my Colombian mom and grandma. I have been vegan since August 2018 when I transitioned from vegetarian after about a month. My vegan journey has been fueled by my passion to highlight the issues surrounding food deserts and lack of resources available to low income and poor Black and Brown people in regard to food accessibility. As a sociology major, I am also passionate about PIC abolition and immigration especially when discussing Black Trans and Queer folx. I hope to one day open up my own practice and provide affordable psychological services for Black and Brown youth. I found veggie Mijas on Instagram one day as I was searching for a vegan sancocho recipe. A couple years later I was given the opportunity to co organize with the NYC chapter and I couldn’t be happier!

Marcy, Organizer

My name is Marcy, I am passionate about sustainability, eco-consciousness, and overall striving to live a mindfulness lifestyle. I am a first-generation Peruvian living in Brooklyn and I have been vegan for about 2 years. I love all things marketing - with 4+years in digital marketing and currently working full-time as a Performance Marketing Manager. Things that bring me joy include going to a yoga or pilates class, checking out new thrift stores, enjoying a cute cocktail/ matcha in an aesthetically pleasing environment, and exploring new vegan recipes/restaurants. I started my vegan journey as an experiment during the pandemic lockdown to see how far I can go with reducing my meat consumption and ended up sticking to this diet/lifestyle after quickly discovering how great I felt. Deep down I knew I was meant to be vegan from a young age - loving all animals and my body naturally rejecting certain meats and dairy. Moving to Brooklyn from my hometown in Jersey helped tremendously, with accessible vegan grocery options and amazing restaurants, it was not a challenge to be vegan. I strive to spread awareness of a lifestyle that is not only centered on a vegan diet but benefits your own mind-body-soul and does little to no harm to our earth.

Ra Ruiz León, Organizer

Ra Ruiz León (JibaRa Jikotea Ni-aku'no) is a Vegan Taino-Borikua dancer, educator, poet, and community organizer from Boriken. Her work focuses on honoring and celebrating her lineage. Ra began activism and performance as a struggling homeless youth, competing in poetry slams across the nation and was even featured in the New York Times multimedia project “1 in 8 Million”. Ra has led dance and poetry workshops for The Nuyorican Poets Café, Wesleyan University, The New School University, and The Bowery Poetry Club.

Ra is the host of “AREITO: Taino Voices”- a monthly virtual gathering that features Taino guest speakers. She is also an enrolled tribal member of the Higuayagua Taino tribe. Currently, she teaches for various NYC arts organizations. Through her work she aims to show that Veganism goes hand in hand with fighting other forms of oppression, exploitation, and injustices.

Los Angeles Chapter

Melina, Organizer 

Hello everyone, my name is Melina Cruz Bautista and I have been raised in the community of Pico-Union here in L.A. 

Today I believe it’s our responsibility as a new generation to continue contributing and providing resources for our communities as we grow. I am one of the many Oaxaqueñas in L.A who continues practicing the lifestyle and traditions our families have taught us to love and show up for. After swearing, I’d never stop consuming meat I have now considered myself plant-based these last three years. I joined Veggie Mijas in LA in the summer of 2018 when I decided to take on the role of learning and modifying recipes many of us grew up with while sharing resources with those in the city. My role with Veggie Mijas is fully aimed to center our communities, provide physical safe space for all and encourage one another to be as vocal and unapologetic as possible. We continue sharing our love through fresh meals and access for all while building lifelong friendships. I encourage you to join and build with us all. 

Quote: "Cúrate mijita, con los besos que te da el viento y los abrazos de la lluvia. Hazte fuerte con los pies descalzos en la tierra y con todo lo que de ella nace."  -Maria Sabina Magdalena Garcia, Curandera y Poeta Indigena de Oaxaca, Mex. 

-Melina 

Instagram: @mellyyt_

Email: vidaconmel@gmail.com 

Madelline Abrego, Organizer

Hey y'all/todes, My name is Madelline Abrego and my pronouns are she/her. I was born and raised in El Salvador, I migrated to California roughly about 10 years ago and I currently reside in Inglewood. I started my vegan journey back in 2015 after trying to live a more conscious lifestyle that advocates for social justice through food. I am tech savvy/artist/environmentalist and I am deeply passionate about creating an intersectional and radical future with a focus on uplifting BIPOC voices. It is very important for me to do actions that reflect the world I want to live in and being part of Veggie Mijas is allowing me to do that while being deeply rooted within social justice. I truly believe that everything is connected, within these relationships I’ve learned to envision and practice a future that protects people, planet and animals. As part of the Veggie Mijas Team, my focus is to nurture safe spaces for the community where anyone can practice joy while simultaneously creating access for the tools needed to grow their own food, explore their artistic side, and  being in green spaces as a way to reconnect, heal and find ways in which we can take care of the earth, the animals, ourselves, and beyond.

- Madelline

Instagram: @madellinehwt

Philadelphia Chapter

Rebeca Cintrón-Loáisiga, Organizer

Hola! My name is Rebeca Cintrón-Loáisiga, a Boricua born and raised in the city of Camden, New Jersey. I’m a culture and history educator, with a passion for our Latinx communities and the many ways we uplift ourselves through decolonization. I have been plant-based for 8 years, a journey that has led me to re-evaluate my wellbeing as a Latina. My health (physical, mental, and spiritual) has become an ever-evolving process, where I have embraced the challenge of understanding the institutionalized inequalities we face. As an organizer for Veggie Mijas, I hope to build a community where POC can come together, connect, and unify for a common cause…feeding our souls. 

IG: @r.cin.loa

Bay Area Chapter

Christian Galindo, Organizer, Coordinator

Hola fam! I’m a first generation Mexican & Guatemalan, vegan queer femme (she/her/hers). I was born and raised in Los Angeles (213, what’s goodie?!), but currently reside in Oakland. Growing up, I was privileged enough to be a part of non-profit dance organization, which gave children in the community access to world-class dance training at affordable cost. Throughout my dance career, my relationship with food was tumultuous; my mother loved to cook decadent traditional foods, but dance brought on the pressure of keeping a certain body type. In all this, I was always intrigued by the artistry and love that can go behind developing a delicious, handmade meal. After training with master artists and teaching youth in the community, I decided to pursue my curiosity for food by working my way through the restaurant industry. There, I witnessed a huge lack in environmental consciousness, which lead me to question my own food and environmental decisions. I’ve been vegan for three years, and now enjoy taking the culinary skills I learned as a chef to veganise recipes for my partner and I, daily.

Through Veggie Mijas, I hope to help build community awareness and facilitate space for QTPOC in the area looking to learn about animal liberation and food justice, as well as help support folks on their plant-based journey by exploring ways to make veganism accessible for all. I’m so hyped to share my love and knowledge of plant-based food (both healthy and indulgent) with this collective.

Instagram: @chrissygalindoo

Chicago Chapter

Luisa Ibarra, Organizer

Hello, my name is Luisa Ibarra and I’m from Chicago, IL. I was born and raised in the neighborhood of Little Village, a predominately working class Mexican immigrant community. I identify as Mexican American and my pronouns are she/hers.

My vegan/plant based journey began about a year ago when I was inspired by one of my best friends. At the time I was facing serious health problems and was struggling to find a balance with my diet and did not have a positive relationship with food. When my friend told me about his vegan journey I did a lot of online research about the benefits of a plant based diet and decided that for one year I was going to be vegan. I started by being vegetarian for about a month and once January 2018 hit I changed my diet completely. It was a struggle the first few months but I have decided to stick with this lifestyle for as long as I can. I have been able to heal myself from various illnesses and feel better mentally and spiritually.

With Veggie Mijas I hope to inspire and work with the youth of my community to teach them about plant based lifestyles, social and environmental justice. I also want to teach my community that they have autonomy over their own bodies and they have the resources and support to do so. I am very grateful for of all the work that Veggie Mijas does and I’m excited to put in more work!

Instagram: @_demira_

Dani Medrano, Organizer

Dani Medrano is a proud Chicago native with a background in social work and education. She went vegetarian for the animals at the age of 12 and transitioned to veganism after studying philosophy in college. While she remains obsessed with animals, she continues to be vegan for her health and her community. Dani has been an organizer for the Chicago chapter for over 2 years and is passionate about making fresh whole foods accessible to all.

Seattle Chapter

Vanessa Moyonero, Organizer

Hi, I’m Vanessa! I’m a product of the American Dream, born to Peruvian immigrants in Maryland. I lived in the DC area until I moved to Seattle last year, where I became vegan. My aspiration to gain creativity in the kitchen really helped ease the transition to be plant-based, which led me to develop recipes for Peruvian dishes without any animal products. I feel closer to my culture and family through cooking. My passion for veganism derives from learning about how our individual food choices intersect with greater issues such as environmental racism, public health, colonialism, accessibility to fresh food, and workers’ rights. My personal mission in life is to empower communities of color and advocate to diversify spaces. I’m excited to meet other vegans of color and build out the Seattle chapter!

Instagram: @ vanessa__vvm

Gloria Gonzalez-Zapata, Organizer

My name is Gloria Gonzalez-Zapata, I am Mexican and Panamanian. I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. 

Growing up I wanted to be vegetarian after witnessing a pig get slaughtered at the age of 10, but I never knew what to eat, being so young I had no other choice but to follow my family's diet. Fast forward to college, I became more independent, I was slowly transitioning to a plant based diet but came across the same issue as I did before, I knew that my diet of rice and beans, PB&J, and tangerines was not sustainable nor healthy.  I followed Veggie Mijas to learn about plant based meals and appreciated their focus on the community work. 

I am a true believer that what you eat affects your health, with the ever growing gentrification and food deserts in vulnerable communities in Seattle, I believe now more than ever it's important to share resources and recipes that will strengthen our communities. 

Instagram: @g3tz_divine

Austin Chapter

Ucha Abbah, Organizer

Hey y'all, my name is Ucha, my pronouns are she/her/hers, and I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. I decided about 12 years ago to become a vegetarian because I was concerned about animal welfare. Over time I learned more about the relationship between food, capitalism, white supremacy, environmental justice, climate justice, immigration, spirituality, and morality which deepened my understanding of being plant-based. When I was an undergraduate getting bachelor's degrees in Environmental Studies and Human Rights, with a minor in Ethics, I spent time volunteering at community gardens and organizing my greek council to volunteer at community gardens in Dallas. I have always gravitated towards growing food and all of the conversations surrounding it, so I am thrilled to be part of Veggie Mijas. After graduating from undergrad in 2017, I completed a master's degree from UVA in urban and environmental planning in 2019. The degree helped me to begin understanding the structural issues that lead to so many inequities. I am excited to learn how to support the communities here in Austin as they build power, exchange resources, and heal.

Orlando Chapter

Mónica Divane, Organizer

I am Mayan & Latinx and have been vegan for 19 years. It’s been a struggle to find a community where I fit in, being a queer Pagan vegan Latina. Finding out about Veggie Mijas has been like someone letting in the light. I’m honored to be able to lead a chapter in Central Florida and create a safe space for those of us who are trying to decolonize our food and way of living. I’m excited to create a community where we can connect with each other through food & culture. 

Instagram: @the_mer_witch

Denver Chapter

Em Alves, Organizer

Em Alves (they/them/theirs) has been vegan for over 11 years, grounding that veganism in human rights, food justice and sovereignty. Originally born and raised in Miami, Em is of Mixed Boricua and white Guyanese descent. After earning their BA in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Masters of Social Work in St. Louis, Em moved to Colorado in 2017. Their focus as a social worker is violence and Injury prevention among women and femmes of color, currently working on a non-traditional campus to address violence prevention and unpacking oppression. As one of the coordinators for the Denver chapter of VeggieMijas, Em hopes to build connections that prioritize the experiences of QTIPOC vegans. Em spends the majority of their time thinking about DIY cat furniture hacks, skincare, bulk cooking vegan staples, and watching terrible television. 


Instagram: @veganboricua

Yesika Ordaz, Organizer

Yesika Ordaz (she/her/hers) has been vegan for 2.5 years. She is originally from California and has lived in Colorado for two years. She is an Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research interests include the histories of migrant detention centers, social movements, the carceral state, and intersectional veganism. She is currently trying to keep her plants thriving and wants to adopt a black cat. 

Instagram: @chicanx_veganx

Anabelle Peña, Organizer

Hi! My name is Anabelle, and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a Mexican American from San Antonio, but I am currently living in Broomfield, Colorado. I moved here to complete my Masters in Social Work along with a certificate in Animal-Assisted Social Work from the University of Denver. I ended up loving the state, and decided to stay! Even so, I couldn’t help but notice that there are few people who look like me in this city. After discovering Veggie Mijas, I knew I had to join! 

I started my vegan journey back in 2017, and my passion for it has been growing ever since. I love to experiment with recipes, and try new plant-based foods all the time (especially my favorite Mexican dishes)! I am very passionate about animals, and love showing that in creative ways like knitting and painting. I’m proud to be a part of Veggie Mijas, where acceptance and justice are the center of attention. As a part of the creative team, I can’t wait to share ideas with other Mijxs!

IG: bellelouisa
Food IG: babybelle.bakery

DC Chapter

Brenda Guadalupe Arriaza (she/her), Organizer

I am currently in the process of becoming fully plant-based and that’s why I decided to become a chapter organizer in DC. I want to surround myself with beautiful like-minded souls that have a safe space for everyone. I am an environmentalist and recently started a project to educate about living a sustainable life. It has a lot of work but I am so excited about it. I plan to go back to school to get my masters or PhD. I live in an Alexandria, VA but I’m really close to DC and love exploring the city. I love to hike, workout, and dance! I used to play competitive soccer but I got injured :( if you ever need any motivation call ya girl, I’m here for positivity and bringing smiles to people’s faces! Happy to be here and grow with these amazing people. 

Ki'Ana Speights, Organizer

Hi! My name is Ki'Ana Speights (They/She/Theirs, but prefers They), I socially go by many names but I mainly go by Kiki Destini. I am a compassionate Non-Binary Black Queer Liberian/African-American from a small town called Gaston, South Carolina. Moving from South Carolina to the DMV area, I have grown to learn what it means to live and be from a food insecure place. However, I was privileged enough to come from a culture that celebrates food in many ways, and uses food as a medium or an act to come together, share stories and celebrate one another. I have been blessed to have join the food justice activism community here in the DC area, meeting a lot of new people, connecting with folks all around food, and food sovereignty. I strive to be a celebration cultivator through food; striving to strengthen the food sovereignty in the areas that I reside. I am an agroecology enthusiast, and I can rant about queer ecology all day. I love crafting and making things with my hands, always trying to find an opportunity to create and be in creative spaces with other beautiful minds; one of my favorite things to do creatively is to collaborate with others. Excited to be working with you all and the opportunities to come.

Suhey Ortega, Organizer

Hello, my name is Suhey (pronounced sue-hey, she/her pronouns). I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona where I studied Transborder Chican@/Latin@ Studies and Sustainability (very long degree title!) at Arizona State University. I became vegetarian in 2016 and now live a plant-based lifestyle. My passions consist of community-focused work advocating for environmental justice and diversity and inclusion in outdoor spaces. As an organizer for the DC Chapter, I'm excited to build community with our members! In my free time, I enjoy cooking plant-based recipes, doing 1,000 piece puzzles, and reading. 

Instagram: @suheyortega

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