Zócalo Health Founders Erik Cardenas & Mariza Hardin. Image: Zócalo Health

Zócalo Health, a Latino-founded healthcare service designed for Latino patients has raised $5M in seed funding co-led by Animo, Virtue, and Vamos Ventures. The round includes other notable investors including Necessary Ventures, Able Partners, and angel investors Toyin Ajayi, Freada Kapor Klein, Nikhil Krishnan, and Erik Ibarra. The funds will support the company’s launch of virtual primary care services in California, Texas, and Washington in 2022, introducing an improved and long overdue healthcare experience for Latinos built on trust, community, and culture.

Over 60 million Latinos live in the United States today – the nation’s largest minority group. By 2050, they’ll make up more than 30% of the population with 132.8 million people. Despite this growth, the U.S. healthcare system lacks products and resources to meet this population’s unique cultural needs. Latinos experience disproportionately limited access to primary care with a ratio of one primary care physician for every five to six thousand residents in predominantly Latino zip codes.

Zócalo Health is addressing that gap by delivering affordable and accessible primary care that blends tradition with innovation and prioritizes trusting relationships between providers and patients. Services will be offered through monthly and annual memberships that give patients access to a full care team – led by a promotor de salud (community health worker) and composed of physicians, nurses, mental health therapists and more – as well as same day appointments and care coordination services focused on addressing social determinants of health.

Erik Cardenas, Co-founder and CEO of Zócalo Health, explains: “We founded Zócalo Health to embrace the values and traditions from our culture and Latino identity and make them the heart of the primary care experience. We are transforming healthcare in this country, as we can no longer rely on a one-size-fits-all system filled with inequalities. We are relentlessly committed to meeting the Latino community’s needs with urgency and care. We are grateful for our team and our investors, who understand the importance of leveraging innovation while maintaining culture and tradition along the way.”

Mariza Hardin, Co-founder and Head of Strategy and Operations at Zócalo Health, adds: “Our current healthcare system fails to work with and respect the Latino person’s identities, care needs, and preference. Working in healthcare my entire career, I didn’t see people who looked like me driving healthcare solutions for my community. With our experience and network, we have the opportunity to build something better for our own families and Latino communities across the country, exemplifying that if the system isn’t changing, then we have to be that change.”

VamosVentures’ Xavier del Rosario, who co-led Zócalo Health’s seed round shares: “Our team sees enormous promise in what Zócalo Health is building. We believe in a future where diverse leaders can access resources to support their communities, and we are confident that the team behind Zócalo Health is blazing the trail to that future.”

Zócalo Health is launching services in California and Texas this National Hispanic Heritage Month and plans to expand to other states in 2022 and beyond.

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