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About Us

Learn more about the Latinx VMA and its founders.
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About The Latinx VMA

The Latinx Veterinary Medical Association was founded in February 2020 by Yvette Huizar and Juan S. Orjuela. Growing up, they experienced a lack of Latinx representation in the veterinary profession. The absence of role models and support made their journey in veterinary medicine challenging, and at times, discouraging. They also observed how language and cultural barriers impacted client education and patient care. The Latinx VMA was created to form a community of Latinx excellence in veterinary medicine. Our community welcomes veterinarians, veterinary professionals, students, and clients. We are also proud to welcome allies that are invested in furthering our mission.

The Latinx VMA hopes to increase the visibility of current Latinx veterinary professionals and inspire more students to become veterinarians. We will also advocate on behalf of Latinx veterinary professionals and Latinx clients. The Latinx VMA wants you to embrace your heritage and help you promote the valuable contribution that you bring to your community. We hope to help you become a leader in our profession by amplifying your voice and providing you with a platform that supports you!

“We want the veterinary profession to reflect the diversity in our society."

OUR MISSION
YOUR GROWTH

To empower Latinx/Hispanic professionals in veterinary medicine and support the next generation of Latinx/Hispanic veterinarians.

OUR VISION
YOUR COMMUNITY

To help create a veterinary community that is representative of our society in order to make veterinary care more accessible to the Latinx community.

LVMA
Pillars of Empowerment

Our pillars of empowerment are the guiding principles for achieving our mission. They include professional development, mentorship, outreach, and scholarship.

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Professional Development

  • Offer unique continuing education opportunities
  • Connect our members with career opportunities, externships, and internships
  • Host Latinx VMA networking events, social nights, and conferences
  • Help create more Latinx leaders in our profession
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Outreach

  • Increase visibility of Latinx veterinary professionals and leaders
  • Educate middle school and high school students in our communities
  • Help Latinx individuals pursue a career in veterinary medicine
  • Provide educational resources for our Latinx clients
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Mentorship

  • Sustain a network of veterinarians through our DVM Directory and mentorship program
  • Build a strong mentorship program to support & connect veterinary students and veterinarians
  • Encourage LVMA Student Chapter led  mentorship programs to support pre-veterinary students
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Scholarship

  • Provide meaningful scholarships for veterinary students, pre-veterinary students, and veterinarians
  • Offer stipend/grant opportunities to veterinary students
  • Create financial support options for disadvantaged students applying to veterinary school or taking the NAVLE licensing exam

MEET OUR LEADERS

Yvette Huizar

Co-Founder / President

Yvette was born and raised in the Central Valley of California. She is a first-generation Mexican American and spent some of her childhood in Zacatecas, Mexico, where her love for animals flourished. She earned her degree in Molecular Environmental Biology at UC Berkeley and is a 4th-year veterinary student at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Yvette is passionate about representation in veterinary medicine and making resources accessible to Spanish-speaking clients. Her veterinary interests include emergency medicine, radiology, and exotic animal medicine.

“No importa cuantas veces te caigas, si no cuantas veces te levantas.”

Let’s connect! LinkedIn

Juan S. Orjuela

Co-Founder / President Elect

Juan, otherwise known as “Juancho” was born in Bogota, Colombia, and raised there until 2001 when he and his family immigrated to Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA. Juancho attended the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin from 2012-2017, where he graduated with a bachelor’s in biology and environmental sciences. Currently, Juancho is a fourth-year veterinary student at the Ontario Veterinary College in Canada. He is passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion in the veterinary profession. His veterinary interests include physical rehabilitation, ophthalmology, emergency medicine, practice ownership, and taking on other leadership roles.

“Creer es poder! – believe, and you will achieve!”

Let’s connect! LinkedIn

Carlos Campos, DVM

Treasurer

Dr. Campos was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala. He immigrated to the US with his family in the late ’80s as a teenager. He graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. He has served the Pasco/Hernando residents since graduation. Dr. Campos was a practice owner for 14 years. He was named America’s Favorite Veterinarian in 2013 by the AVMF.

“Follow your dreams and do not hang on to the past.”

Let’s connect! LinkedIn

Richalice Meléndez

Secretary

Richalice was born in Humacao, Puerto Rico and raised in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico until she was 11 years old. In 2006, her family moved to Miami, Florida. She attended Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, completing her Bachelor’s in Animal Science in 2016. Currently, Richalice is a fourth-year veterinary student at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. She is interested in small animal practice and anatomic pathology.

“Enfrenta los obstáculos a medida que se presenten, no pierdas energía temiendo lo que pueda haber en el futuro.” – Isabel Allende

Let’s connect! LinkedIn