Meet Amy Quichiz

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Being an activist does not stop at the end of the work day. For Amy Quichiz, self-preservation and activism is a part of her daily routine. As a health educator, she founded collective Veggie Mijas to spread the awareness of food justice and help people of color understand the benefits of veganism and vegetarianism.
 
  Top, Pleats Please ;   Pants, Vintage
  Top: Forever 21, Skirt:  Forever 21 , Shoes: American Apparel

Top: Forever 21, Skirt: Forever 21, Shoes: American Apparel

ON HER MORNING ROUTINE

I take five to ten minutes to stretch in bed or on my yoga mat. I thank God for giving me another day, and then hop in the shower! I use Glossier’s body wash and Milky Jelly Cleanser. After, I use Mario Badescu’s facial spray with aloe, herbs and rose water to wake me up. Whenever I wash my hair, I braid it so that the next day, I have volume.

on her background and interest in women's rights

I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Women’s and Gender Studies and Sociology from Syracuse University where I dedicated my time volunteering and raising my voice for reproductive rights, especially for folks that don’t have access to health care. In academia, it is more about unlearning than learning. My professor talked about white supremacy, and my eyes opened to the real reason why I hated being brown. Academia can be very violent and traumatic, especially at a white private institution, but it can be healing. I found all my brown sisters that helped me learn about myself along the way.

I interned at an immigration shelter near the border between Mexico and Guatemala to help folks navigate their way to the US, unpack their trauma, and create workshops for folks about trans and gender violence.  Since then, I have been writing at Bold Latina about becoming a powerful brown woman, self-love, and mental health in a Latinx household, which has led me to speak at SUNY Oneonta, NYU, and other colleges to talk about mental health and decolonizing beauty.

  Trench, Yang Li Men ; T-Shirt, Vintage ; Choker, Vintage YSL ; Pants, Sonia Rykiel
To get involved, find an issue that calls your name, whether it is equal pay for equal work, prison violence, or #BlackLivesMatter, and then start there. Begin to question your privileges or oppressions in the movement. Ask yourself if you need a community or what you need to begin a movement. By questioning everything, it will be the beginning of deconstruction.
— how to get involved in activism

on the daily activities that contribute to activism

I stay motivated by knowing that there are so many people behind me in the movement. When I get home from my job, I use my computer to fight for food justice. When I talk to my parents about why my day was so horrible, I talk about my depression and mental health. When I eat my plant-based food, I think about the water and animals I am saving. I stay motivated by knowing that I am trying to do something for others with every chance I get.

on being an outlet for her community and her goals

I aspire to be an outlet for my community by helping them navigate the healthcare system, decolonize their diets, or talk about gender roles and patriarchal violence within family structures. I hope to have my own organization that helps women of color, specifically Latinx and Afro-Latinx women who have been sexually assaulted and/or abused through border violence. I hope to work through the UN. As long as I’m helping women, I consider it a dream job.

on organizations with supportive resources

My mother came to this country fleeing a domestic violence situation. I want to help other women that have been through her steps. I support organizations that know that the fight is not temporary or about declaring “love is love,” but also work to dismantle cis hetero monogamous relationships, the capitalist system, and give resources that people need. I support Make the Road, Queens Anti Gentrification, and The Malala Fund

 

  Pants: Elephant Pants, Top: Forever 21

Pants: Elephant Pants, Top: Forever 21

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Drink your water, get a daily dosage of fruits, eat less dairy and meats, and have a good night’s sleep. This is the key to beautiful skin. My favorite is also Lush Coffee Mask. Pick a mask that does well for your skin and try not to mix too many products. If it burns, it’s not a good sign. Let it go.
— on her beauty tips
  Robe:  Forever 21 , Dress: House of CB, Earrings:  Bulletin

Robe: Forever 21, Dress: House of CB, Earrings: Bulletin

on food justice and founding Veggie Mijas

We live in a system that keeps black and brown folks restrained from having a healthy lifestyle. Food Justice is talking about how animals are hurt, workers are mistreated in a cycle of violence, and the lack of resources to amazing food in the hood. My sorority sister, Mariah, and I founded Veggie Mijas, a collective that highlights the importance of having a plant-based lifestyle by being vegan or vegetarian, while also intersecting race, gender identity, class, and sexuality. It creates a space where we feel connected, and folks can share recipes, potlucks, or events. I see us creating art, making workshops for kids, and teaching them about fruit. Folks can be a part of Veggie Mijas by sending recipes, daily routines, poems, stories about food justice, and create potlucks in any city. Send an email to veggiemijas@gmail.com to connect with POC and vegan/vegetarians in any city.

on self-care and rituals

I write in my journal about events or waves of depression and anxiety. Journaling is there to listen and feel the moment. I love meditating as well. I try to do yoga twice a week while listening to calm yoga music on Spotify. I love to sing and play my ukulele to connect with my inner child. I also love going to the playground where I used to go as a kid and go on the swings where I’m the most vulnerable. It’s the first place I've always run to whenever I’ve had heartbreak. It's a place where I remind myself that I’ve been here before and it’ll be okay. I also recommend Yogi Bedtime Tea.

On the importance of therapy

It's important to make somewhere your happy space, and talk to someone that makes you feel like the world isn’t ending. Talking to a therapist has always been helpful for me, especially when I’ve been at my worst. It doesn’t hurt to try it.

I believe that one of the biggest misconceptions of being queer is that “people aren’t ready for all of that.” I want folks to know that trans folks and queer trans folks have existed and will keep existing whether others are “ready” or not. I know that people already feel the judgement from the outside world. I was there too, and most of us were there in that same position. No matter what happens, you are loved by the queer community. Do not ever think you are alone. If you think you have no resources, please reach out. The bigger part of this movement is to keep discovering yourself and loving wholeheartedly. Self-love will come, and healing will follow.
— advice for queer people of color

on her beauty routine

I love using the natural look by Glossier, and using the priming moisturizer, skin tint, boy brow, concealer, cloud paint blush, and moon lidstar. I also use MILK makeup's highlight. If I’m going to the club or on a date, I will wear Fenty’s foundation, Too Faced Chocolate Concealer, Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow paletteStila gold highlight, Stila black eyeliner, Too Faced “Better than Sex”, Anastasia Chocolate Dipbrow, and my favorite lipstick: Ruby Woo Mac lipstick. A good lipstick that replaces the Ruby Woo Mac Lipstick is “Cupid’s Bow” by Suavecito, an all vegan WOC Latinx brand. The product I am in love with is the Fenty Trophy Wife highlight. I think it is so beautiful because it meant for brown and black skin. 

I usually put coconut oil in my hair. I neither straight nor dye my hair frequently. I got blonde highlights, so my mom recommended me to put avocado in my hair. Other than that, I’m blessed by my Incan ancestors!

  Outfit: Forever 21

Outfit: Forever 21

  Top: Forever 21, Skirt: Forever 21, Shoes: American Apparel

Top: Forever 21, Skirt: Forever 21, Shoes: American Apparel

amy's favorite books

Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza by  Gloria Anzaldúa, The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory by Carol J. Adams, Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me by Janet Mock, Babe by Petra Collins

amy's favorite places IN new york city

Bites: Cafe Henri, Kith Treats Milkshakes, Punjabi Deli's Vegetable Pakora, Van Leeuwen Ice cream 
Vegan Foods: VSpot, Champs Diner, The Montrose, Red BambooSweetgreen
Favorite Shops: Brandy Melville, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21
Gallery/Museums: Museum of Moving Images, El Museo del Barrio
Parks: Gantry Plaza Park in Long Island City
Latinx Dance Clubs: Kabu Lounge by Northern Blvd in Jackson Heights, La Boom by Northern Blvd, Melody Club in Astoria
Food Supply: Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, a local bodega

  Leather Jacket: Seek and Destroy Thrift Shop,  Top: Belladonna,  Skirt: Topshop, Boots: Camden Town, Shades: Bulletin Store, Earrings: In the Hood, Choker: Forever 21

Leather Jacket: Seek and Destroy Thrift Shop, Top: Belladonna, Skirt: Topshop, Boots: Camden Town, Shades: Bulletin Store, Earrings: In the Hood, Choker: Forever 21