Dr. Portela was born in Colombia, South America and has always felt connected with animals. She attended veterinary school at the University of Tolima in Colombia and graduated in 1999. She came to the U.S. soon after graduating from vet school to do a 2 year fellowship program with the University of Florida and met her husband, a Gainesville native. After getting married, she worked with Banfield for 6 years as a Veterinary Technician, then left Banfield to work at the University of Florida for 3 years, first at the College of Veterinary Medicine in the Clinical Pathology department and then in Animal Care Services in research. Dr. Portela then finished the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates program and became licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the U.S. She came back to Banfield and has been with the company since 2015. In her free time, she loves spending time with family, exercising, dancing, and traveling.