Merelis is a Afro-indígena Dominican organizer, educator, nutrition bruja, vegan chef and farmer in training. Merelis Catalina Ortiz is co-owner of Woke Foods, LLC, a cooperative that focuses on the healing traditions of Dominican foods through catering, meal planning, and cooking classes. She works in Washington Heights and Inwood as a wellness organizer with school communities and with early childhood centers. In her role, she helps organize schools and early childhood centers bring wellness to their spaces in a culturally respectful way. Merelis uses food as a tool towards liberation for Black and Brown people in NYC and Dominican Republic. This lifework is in Merelis' blood, as she is living the legacy of her ancestors and family, who have and continue to nourish and/or heal community through food.