Meet Our Team
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.
COO and Education Workshops Coordinator Mariah Bermeo
Hola, my name is Mariah Bermeo I am Ecuadorian born and raised in Brooklyn/Queens NY. Recent graduate from Syracuse University, majoring in Global History and Food studies. Food has always been an important role in my life. Whether it is cooking for my family and friends or teaching others on healthier practices, food has always played an important role on keeping the community close.
My role with Veggie Mijxs is simple: educate and agitate. I believe that everyone, including those living in poverty, have the right to access healthy fresh veggies. The food movement is a social movement, in which people are organizing to change our society, while maintaining our Latinx culture.
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New York City Chapter
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Los Angeles Chapter
Melina, LA Organizer
Hola a todxs! My name is Melina Cruz Bautista and I have been raised in the community of Pico Union here in Los Angeles. I am one of many Oaxaqueñas in L.A and I continue practicing the lifestlye and traditions my family has taught me to love.Healthier habits came into my life about three years ago when they decided to go Vegetarian. Years later after swearing I’d never leave the “right” lifestyle I have caught on to these eating habits and have decided to take on the role of learning and modifying new recipes, helping out our communities of color share resources and spaces, and slowly but surely breaking the stigma that a healthy lifestyle only belongs to white people.
My role in Veggie Mijas is fully centered in giving PoC the physical space and support we need here in L.A. Going from vegetarian to vegan has been a fun process because thanks to Veggie Mijas I now know their are more womxn of color taking up space and having our voices heard.
Alejandra Trolley, LA Organizer
Hi everyone! My name is Alejandra Tolley and I'm a second generation daughter of Mexican parents. I grew up in a small city in East LA and I've been involved in animal activism since 2011! I had been vegetarian for five years and it wasn't until the summer of 2017 that I transitioned into veganism. Something that was very evident to me as a vegan of color was how human and animal oppression directly intersect. I make sure that worker's rights, environmental racism, and food justice is just as part of the conversation as factory farming. Mainstream vegan activism not only looks over marginalized and poor communities but they often profit off our food and culture to spread their ideas and it's something that I don't want to be apart of. I am so grateful I get to be apart of this collective that makes food justice and workers rights at the forefront and I can't wait to see the growth of this exceptional group.
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Gabriela Cimadevilla, MIA Organizer
Hola chicxs! Me llamo Gabriela Cimadevilla, but y'all can call me Gabs. I'm a latinx Borinquen aka Puerto Rican/Cuban mix, happily plant-based for 4(ish) years now and from the Broward/Miami-Dade area of South Florida. She/her/hers are my pronouns.
After graduating from Florida International University with a Bachelors in Sustainability & the Environment, I learned that as a white passing POC, I had to use my privilege to better represent the marginalized communities most affected by environmental injustice, ultimately serving as the impetus to my activism, role in Veggie Mijxs and venture with my intersectional eco-living business, Don't Be Trash.
Just like it is our responsibility to stand alongside and empower people that have equally suffered, it is our responsibility to exemplify better efforts in caring for animals and the environment, for they have also suffered and just like us, are still awaiting full liberation.
Jessica Piñeros, MIA Organizer
Hi! My name is Jess and I am a first-generation daughter of Colombian parents. I grew up in South Florida (Broward/Miami Dade counties) and still currently live in the area. I am a freelance photographer here to be a resource for individuals and businesses in my community. Additionally, Dulces De Coco is the name of my small business, where I aim to provide homemade, vegan treats that are traditional to my Latinx culture and experience living in South Florida. I attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in Event Management. Working in the corporate world was not for me, but I am excited to be using my experience to organize events for my community through Veggie Mijxs.
I became vegan towards the end of 2016 and it has changed my whole world since then. It has opened my eyes to so many injustices like factory farming, animal cruelty, environmental racism, food deserts, and so on. I strive to be a part of the vegan movement in an intersectional way, never shaming others, staying true to my culture and hopefully leading by example. Veggie Mijxs has been a blessing, giving me a family to grow and learn with. My goal as an organizer is to use this platform to inspire and teach my community ways to raise our voices, and take action.
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Priscilla Sandoval, Organizer
Hey everyone! My name is Priscilla and I'm a first generation Xicana from the Bay Area. I come from a single parent household where financial struggle is the norm. Because of this, I have a difficult relationship with food, and becoming vegetarian/vegan was part of the healing process I am continually on.
I was drawn to Veggie Mijas because not only do we provide a space for veggie POC to gather, but the founders have a very clear mission centered on food justice and access for the poor and marginalized. The poor are not a part of the glamorous vegan world presented on social media, the lifestyle seems unattainable and I'm not here for it. Veggie Mijas is the first collective I became aware of that is doing this work with all of these important issues in mind and I wanted to help in any way. I have helped organize two events in Oakland, and am looking forward to doing whatever possible to see Veggie Mijas and this vision spread and continue to grow!
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Washington D.C. Chapter
Claudia Sol, D.C. Organizer
My name is Claudia and I use she/they pronouns. I'm a queer vegan cipota organizing in DC, the area I grew up in and still call my home. My activism started at a somewhat young age, when I was in middle school, and mainly focused on environmental justice. As I got older and much more radical, my activism turned towards prison abolition and people's liberation. Currently, I have my hands full organizing with the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), Unheard Voices of the Concrete Jungle (Unheard Voices OTCJ), the Future is Feminist and the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES).
Rida, D.C. Organizer
My name is Rida! I am a first generation genderqueer (they/them pronouns) Pakistani-American. I have been vegan for about five years now, and have spent a lot of time doing work around DC with a few different animal rights organizations. I love to read queer fantasy fiction, draw cute animals, go hiking, and spend time with my two amazing rabbit children, Opal and Midnight. I am very excited to build community in the DC area with other people of color.
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Alicia Frausto, PA Organizer
Saludos a todxs! Mi nombre es Alicia (and it’s also my mama’s and my grandmama’s name). I’m queer, and I use the pronouns she/they. I am from Anaheim, California, and my parents are from Zacatecas, Mexico. I spent my whole life living in Southern California until I was 20 and decided to move around the world. I have lived in France, Ecuador, Colombia, and India in various amounts of time. Today I call Philly home!
I study sex education and documentary filmmaking at UPenn where I am pursuing my Masters degree in Education. I became vegetarian while living in Ecuador, but my knowledge of vegetarianism really picked up when I moved to India. It was only 5 months ago that I decided to go vegan for health reasons. Through my journey, I have learned a lot about veganism, and I have slowly built a community here in Philly.
As an organizer with Veggie Mijas, I hope to continue developing my relationships with folks here in Philly as well as providing spaces for vegans of color to come together and share great food. While I acknowledge that there are some restraints for folks, related to health, income, and access, I truly believe that the more knowledge and awareness we share within our communities, the more approachable a vegan lifestyle will be. The more we challenge white veganism and other dominant narratives about veganism, the more our communities will know that they, too, can be part of decolonizing our diets.
Nam, PA Organizer
Hi Folx! My name is Nam, and my pronouns are she/them. I am a queer Indian-American activist and organizer, and recent transplant to the DMV area. I am passionate about the connection between all forms of oppression, and about liberation for both human and nonhuman animals, and Earth.
As a life long animal advocate, I have always felt connected to nonhuman animals. My journey in animals advocacy began when I fell in love with some local animal sanctuary residents, and became heavily involved in grassroots animal advocacy and community outreach. From working in these areas, it became clear to me that the mainstream animal rights movement was not doing enough to make veganism accessible to non-privileged, non-white communities. Through this realization, I began to get more involved with the groundbreaking work of vegans of color, as well as learning more about the history of human oppression in the US.
Although my activism began with nonhuman animals, it now also involves food justice, environmental justice, and justice for all humans, including indigenous rights, dalit rights, rights for black folx, prison abolition, and queer and trans rights. The intricate connections between all of these varied forms of oppression has and continues to propel my passion for going above and beyond single issue activism.
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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!
Daniela Medrano, Organizer
I grew up visiting el rancho in Durango, México during my summer vacations. My father was living there and owned a carnicería so I never questioned where my food came from. However, one summer, I saw a cow get slaughtered and was significantly impacted by the suffering I witnessed. I was only twelve years old at the time, but that day I decided I was going to be vegetarian. I was vegetarian for 9 years and, in college, became vegan while studying philosophy and ethics under my late professor and animal rights advocate. I’ve been vegan for almost 9 years and my ethics and beliefs have since grown to include environmental & food justice, migrant worker rights, and ethical consumerism. I’m passionate about helping folks learn to cook plant based meals on a budget. I’m known to travel with fruit in my bag at all times and my love language is feeding people.
My culture and our cuisine is a large part of my identity so finding a collective like Veggie Mijxs has helped me connect with people who I see myself reflected in. It’s been a blessing to have a space to discuss the cultural nuances and issues that specifically affect vegans of color and working class folks. I hope that as an organizer I can make veganism feel more accessible to our communities by challenging mainstream white veganism through a body-positive and asset-based lens.
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Crystal Carrillo, Organizer
Hello! My name is Crystal Carrillo and I'm a Latina--Mexicana from Los Angeles but currently reside in Phoenix, Arizona. Since coming to Phoenix over 7 years ago, I have progressed in my involvement in community issues and their intersection with local policy.
My journey started over 10 years ago when I became a vegetarian in my junior year of high school. Since then, I've challenged myself to look through a wide lens on many different issues and am an active member in both political and grassroots organizations. I believe that through policy change and education, we can increase food access and affordability while holding the food industry accountable for providing unhealthy, processed, and lower quality products to folx of color in low income areas. I have been vegan for about 5 months now and continue to learn more about decolonizing my diet by eating more beans, rice, legumes, nuts and other plant based foods.
I decided to organize with Veggie Mijas because I have seen what a euro-centric view of veganism looks like and represents. My goal is to make sure all vegans reflect on ways to provide for our community and raise awareness, especially looking at the exploitation of farm workers, rural communities affected by factory farms, and reasons why low income communities do not have access to healthier foods. I would like to focus on bringing POC vegans into a safe space where we can connect, heal, and support one another. I hope to bridge this gap and ensure our chapter does work in and around the community.
Personal IG: @crystaluhhv
Vegan IG: @la_vegana_crystal
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Stephanie Ginese, Organizer
Hello all! My name is Stephanie Ginese. My pronouns are she/her. I am a queer identifying, Boricua- Italian, mother, poet, writer, & educator in Cleveland, Ohio. I am the Special Programs Coordinator & a lead teaching artist for Twelve Literary Arts, an intergenerational teaching, learning, & professional development incubator for writers, poets, & performance artists of color & their allies in the Cleveland area.
I have been mostly pescatarian for the past 4 years, but have been moving more towards veganism in this last year. I love making plant-based meals for my fiancé & two sons, which they enjoy eating. I believe everything we put into our bodies affects their every function, especially our physical well-being, mental, & spiritual health.
As an organizer with Veggie Mijxs, my mission is to educate & inspire people of color to reclaim the rights & access to the ingredients that originated in our respective countries & cultures. Which now white folks have co-opted & made inaccessible to our communities with economic racism & gentrification. I am hoping to bring real food justice to the many food deserts & neglected communities in Cleveland & its surrounding areas.
“The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.”
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Kat Lopez, Organizer
Hi Folks! My name is Kat, my pronouns are she/they. I’m a first generation Xicana currently living in Austin, TX. I am a birth worker and an advocate for survivors of sexual abuse. I’m very passionate about food and environmental justice. Accessibility and community knowledge are the two components that drive my activism and work.
I was a vegetarian for 6 years prior to embarking on my plant based journey starting in January 2019. Learning how to navigate a lifestyle that is often viewed through a euro-centric lens can be quite difficult to navigate as a person of color. I believe that it’s time for us to begin defining what wellness looks like for us. Veggie Mijas showed me that vegans of color exist and that I have the power to create spaces for us!
My goal as the Austin Chapter organizer is to build a safe community, exchange resources, and facilitate opportunities to heal.
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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.