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Vallarta Gat+ Community Center

Our PLUS stands for all the various elements of our diverse community, including Lesbian, Bi, Trans, Queer, Intersex and Asexual

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Services we provide

PrEP / PEP / DOXY-PEP /HIV RAPID TESTING

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Who We Are

Who We Are

The Vallarta Gay+ Community Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering empowerment, wellness, and inclusivity within the LGBTQ+ community.

Our services include HIV and STI prevention, ensuring a safe environment, and driving positive change locally and beyond.

Together, we build a supportive community that uplifts and supports our diverse members.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to foster empowerment, health and wellness within the LGBTQ+ community. We provide equitable access to healthcare, education and support services, with focused care, for prevention and treatment of HIV and STIs. We fiercely advocate for our community’s equity and inclusion as a vital component of our region’s diverse society, providing a safe and inclusive environment to drive positive change locally and beyond.

Vision

Vision Statement

Our vision is to build a vibrant, inclusive LGBTQ+ community center that serves as a dynamic regional hub, harnessing the diverse strengths of our community to uplift and support our diverse members.

Values

Values

Nonprofit status

Nonprofit Status

We provide tax receipts for donations made in Mexico, the United States and Canada through our partnerships with Casa JoJo Foundation and Vallarta Cares Foundation. Additionally, we are in the process of obtaining our own nonprofit status in both Mexico and the United States, which we expect to finalize later this year.

Our Team

Pedro Lopez

Pedro López - Executive Director

Pedro López's life story unfolds from his early childhood migration from Jalisco to the United States, where he grew up in downtown Los Angeles amidst undocumented immigrant communities. Learning English as a second language and overcoming numerous challenges, Pedro's resilience propelled him through nursing school, sparking a lifelong commitment to aiding underserved populations. With over three decades in various nonprofits focusing on mental health and safety nets, and a recent role as Vice President at a Mental Health Agency. Pedro, fulfilled his dream of moving back to Puerto Vallarta to continue his impactful work.

Ashley Hernández Castellon - Doctor

Ashley Hernández is a dedicated medical professional from Puerto Vallarta, educated at the University of Guadalajara with a specialization in sexual health and sexually transmitted infections. With more than a year and a half of specialized experience, Ashley is actively involved in a civil association aiming to reshape societal views on sexual health, advocating for an approach free of stereotypes and taboos. Committed to fostering an inclusive society, she contributes significantly towards educating and enhancing understanding of sexual health issues.

Enfermera Fatima

Fatima Farias Martinez - Nurse

Fatima, originating from Tuxpan, Jalisco, boasts over 15 years of robust nursing experience across various Guadalajara hospitals. Her expertise covers emergency room and intensive care, major surgical procedures including organ transplants, and the management of sexually transmitted infections. Fatima is passionately committed to eradicating discrimination and stigma associated with HIV and sexual health, aligning her efforts with her organization’s mission to promote public health and increase disease awareness, thereby enhancing the overall community's health literacy.

Board of Directors

Don Pickens, Board Chair

Don Pickens has significantly shaped the LGBT community in Puerto Vallarta since his arrival in 2002. He founded Casa Cupula, the first LGBT luxury boutique hotel in the city, and spearheaded initiatives like TaxiSafe to address police corruption. His diverse career includes critical roles at Microsoft and active involvement in local business and neighborhood associations. Through his entrepreneurial spirit and dedication, Don promotes inclusivity and body positivity, using his extensive experience to foster a sustainable community center that empowers local talents.

Jet de la Isla
Jet De La Isla, Communications

Jet De La Isla is a pivotal leader and communicator within Puerto Vallarta's LGBTQ+ community. As the Board of Director & Communications Chair at the Vallarta Gay + Community Center, Jet actively enhances health service accessibility and champions inclusivity. His entrepreneurial spirit is evident in his management of a private boat tour company and a gay youth hostel, reflecting his dedication to adventure and community welfare. Jet's passions extend to nature exploration and caring for his beloved cats, illustrating his multifaceted commitment to community and personal well-being.

Mike Owens
Mike Owens, Secretary

Mike Owens, from Wilmington, NC, has transitioned his leadership skills from Allstate Insurance to meaningful community service in Puerto Vallarta. Since moving four years ago, Mike has immersed himself in local initiatives, teaching English, supporting feeding programs, and fostering entrepreneurial skills among residents. A fervent advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, he focuses on HIV/AIDS education and treatment. Mike's deep commitment to social betterment is reflected in his foundational role at the Vallarta Gay+ Community Center, embodying his belief in contributing positively to society.

Matt Karimi
Matt Karimi, Fundraising

Matt Karimi and his husband settled in Puerto Vallarta in 2019, seeking new experiences after vibrant careers in Los Angeles, Rhode Island, and Las Vegas. Matt brings a rich background in event production and fundraising, having collaborated with high-profile organizations like The Walt Disney Company, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and Brown University. His work spans entertainment, fashion, and sports. A fitness and pilates enthusiast who is exploring tennis, Matt is eager to foster meaningful community connections and positively influence every aspect of his new surroundings.

Mikel Alvarez
Mikel Álvarez, Treasurer

Mikel Álvarez, born in Seattle, began his management career at 16 in an Indian casino. After losing his father early, he was raised by a single mother with a younger half-brother. He managed network operations for us.net during the .com era. Mikel earned dual degrees in casino management and economics from the University of Nevada, Reno. His entrepreneurial journey led him from founding Forever Green to co-founding a ketamine center, and finally to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he launched ThrIVe MedSpa. Mikel actively supports the Vallarta Gay+ Community Center, contributing to local well-being and health.new surroundings.

Services

PrEP

PrEP

(Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is an HIV prevention strategy, which consists of the daily and scheduled intake of a pill (Emtricitabine/Tenofovir) that generates protection in the person's body to reduce the chances of acquiring HIV in case of being exposed to the virus.

PEP

Post Exposure Prophylaxis is a strategy to prevent infection in those people who have had some risky practice, whether it is an unprotected sexual relationship, sexual violence or occupational risk (for health personnel) and consists of taking antiretroviral treatment (Emtricitabine/Tenofovir/Efavirenz) for thirty days and must be started within 72 hours of the risky practice.

Doxy Prep

Doxycycline prophylaxis (preventive treatment) known as DoxyPEP refers to taking the antibiotic doxycycline after sex to prevent the spread of a sexually transmitted infection (STI).​

STI Testing

STI testing and treatment

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) are infections that pass from one person to another during sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal or oral) and can cause diseases. At Vallarta Gay+ CC we do the tests to detect the infection and if necessary we administer the necessary treatment to treat the infection.

Events

Celebration 2024

June 1st, 2024

Celebration 2024

Vallarta Pride 2024

May 22, 2024

Vallarta Pride 2024

VIH Event

May 26, 2024

Together in memory

Press

May 9, 2024

Vallarta Gay+ Community Center Holds Donor Appreciation Event

The Vallarta Gay+ Community Center (VGCC), a recently established organization dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ+ community in Puerto Vallarta, celebrated a series of milestones and held a special appreciation event at Casita and Garden to thank its donors.

May 15, 2024

Vallarta Gay+ Community Center Gets New Home, Adds Board Member

Puerto Vallarta’s new Gay+ Community Center has a new home at 101 Morelos Street Local 3B, Colonia Centro, (above the Santander Bank by Rio Cuale and the bridge entering Zona Romantica).

February 24, 2024

More Than 1.3 Million Pesos Raised for New Vallarta Gay+ Community Center at First Fundraiser

The first-ever fundraiser for the new Puerto Vallarta Gay+ Community Center, held on Feb. 21, 2024, has raised an estimated more than 1.3 million pesos ($80,000 USD).

FAQ's

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