Amy Quichiz is the founder of Veggie Mijas, an inclusive collective of vegans that aim to share plant-based recipes and create a safe community for people with marginalized identities. Based on their website, Veggie Mijas is “a women of color/trans folks of color/gender non-confirming collective for folks that are plant-based or are interested in a plant-based lifestyle that have marginalized identities and/or experiences with food insecurity/food apartheids.”
Veggie Mijas’ mission is to create a safe place for people to share their recipes, experiences, and plant-based diets through an intersectional lens. Based on their website, their main focus is “sharing space, relearning ancestral practices through foods, sharing our plant-based recipes, and providing access to information our community needs. This is done through organizing events such as potlucks, vegan panels, farm sanctuary trips, learning how to plant herbs, and much more.”
The collective first started as a helpful Instagram page with easy recipes for college students to turn to, and later became a nation-wide collective after the founder realized the problem of food accessibility. Now, the collective puts on events like plant-based potlucks, community events, and educational farm sanctuary trips.
Their recent project was a cookbook called Casa Verde Cookbook that consisted of recipes from ten different countries. The collective has also grown to have 11 chapters throughout the country, in places like Orlando, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Houston. Veggie Mijas has also put on other events like a beach cleanup in Los Angeles, a Queer Healing Circle in Philadelphia, and a Seed Starting Workshop in Miami.
Amy Quichiz is from Queens, NY, and is of Peruvian and Colombian heritage. She is a first generation college student and got her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Women and Gender Studies from Syracuse University. Quichiz herself has been on her plant-based journey for seven years and was introduced to this new lifestyle by people of color during her first year attending college.
At first, her parents weren’t accepting of her lifestyle and thought that it was disrespectful. Her parents thought that she wasn’t getting enough nutrients from her new diet and just didn’t understand it at all. Later, her parents became more understanding after doing their own research and found that it was more helpful to them and their health and soon, their household became mostly plant-based.
Quichiz spoke during “Actions You Can Take For Food Justice” as a part of Sonoma State’s Social Justice Week. The event took place on April 6, as one of the many events during Social Justice Week and discussed food justice with the help of Veggie Mijas. Amy Quichiz originally turned vegan after watching the film, Earthlings, and now sees veganism through an intersectional lens. To her, it is much less about the animals and much more about people of color.
At the end of the presentation, there was a Q&A where students were invited to ask Quichiz any questions about her journey and her collective. She was asked about what Sonoma State students can do in our own community to help, and what actions we can take for food justice. She responded by saying that “the first step is seeing if anyone is already doing the work” and getting involved with them. Other things that students can do is go to farmers markets and see if there are any workshops to get involved in and also see “if people are doing anything to let people know how to cook with the produce that they are buying.”
If you want to start a chapter in your own city, email email@example.com to get involved with a chapter, and there is also ”a short process to be an organizer at Veggie Mijas.”