Juliana Corrales

Setting Sail into New Waters: Running a Fundraiser is More Than What it Seems!

by Juliana Corrales

For four years I was able to develop as a creative in the field of marine conservation alongside a great team as part of The Reef-World Foundation. Started as an intern, developed into the Communications Manager, shifted to currently working as their Creative Consultant and, at the same time, about to enrol in a life-changing experience as part of the eXXpedition team. How have all of these things happened? I’m very sure there is not one answer, but something that has always been clear is my purpose of using my skills to positively influence human behaviour for the conservation and sustainable use of our oceans. The how wasn’t always clear, but by having a set goal I was able to see which steps would help me reach that purpose.

The Reef-World Foundation

My role in Reef-World evolved with me and the needs of the organisation, through that process I was able to develop many new skills and combine them with the ones I brought with me. Together we created a different approach on how to communicate conservation messages in the diving industry, targeting a deeper change in behaviour. However, it came to a time where I was able to realise that we needed to move forward together, but following different paths. We needed someone who could build upon the work that we did but with a different perspective. It is never easy to part ways, changing your lifestyle all together, but when it feels right you just know it. I count myself very lucky to be able to keep on contributing to Reef-World’s work from the outside whilst being able to face new challenges that will help me grow as a professional.

My new challenge is eXXpedition. I had the honour of being selected out of 10,000 candidates to be the first Costa Rican joining the seventh leg of eXXpedition’s first-ever Round the World Voyage 2019-2020, from Galapagos to Easter Island. I’ve always loved having different interactions with the ocean and sailing was at the top of my bucket list! eXXpedition is an NGO that runs pioneering all-female sailing research expeditions to investigate the causes of and solutions to ocean plastic pollution. I knew, from the moment I accepted the offer, that this experience was going to change my life, push me out of my comfort zone and challenge me in many ways.

I haven’t even stepped a foot on the vessel and the process has already been an emotional rollercoaster! In order to be part of eXXpedition, each crew member has to contribute to the costs of making the voyage possible, travel, accommodation and insurance. Which meant that I had to run a fundraiser, something that I’d never done before. Running a fundraiser doesn’t only mean setting up a webpage; it means opening up to the world and making yourself vulnerable.

This fundraiser has pushed me to do things I wasn’t used to and given me the opportunity to incorporate many skills I had developed with Reef-World. As part of the team, being in the background and behind the camera was more my style, however, this time I had to show my face and show the world my mission. I’ve found my way through it accepting the fact that I do this for the sole purpose of bringing people closer to the ocean and in order to find potential solutions, building a network and raising awareness. It has shown me the amazing network of people I have around me; it has been an extremely heart-warming experience to feel the support and love from those people that believe in me and my cause.

I accepted that it was normal to feel defeated sometimes, especially when you’re working on something that maybe you’re not the best at. You just need to stop, take a breath, and continue with a head held high. Believe in what you’re doing, why you are doing it and that by having those strong foundations you will be able to humbly continue your way and fulfil your purpose in life.

Setting sail into new waters with Julia Corrales

I’m still running the fundraiser and still need your help to achieve this dream. If you can donate please do, it will be greatly appreciated! If you love the idea but don’t have the means to donate then please share this campaign widely so that others can help, it will be equally valuable ?