My mission
Raise $70,000 for Innoceana during my journey across The United States, to save whales entangled in fishing nets in Costa Rica
Yes, I want to help the whales
My pelgrimage: The Pacific Crest Trail
A journey solely on foot through the wilderness
From April 3rd 2022 until 25th of August, I travelled solely on foot from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada... for fun. Voluntary homelessness, whilst crossing through a few of the wildest areas of the United States for five months. Not many will think of this as one of their greatest dreams, but I am one of the few who does. The reason I did this is because I feel attracted towards exploring a simpler life, to immerse myself in nature and to embark on the adventure of a lifetime!
Michelle kloosterman

Get to know me

Hi there! I am Michelle and I welcome you to the page of the JoinTheMigration campaign. I was born and raised in the Netherlands and even though I do appreciate my country a lot, I have always longed to live in an environment where I could explore and be in awe of my surroundings. After graduating in Nutrition & Health at Wageningen University, I decided to take a leap of faith and move to a country where I could do just that: explore. I am an avid nature lover, surfer, hiker and cook. It is safe to say I have spent more time on the ocean than on land, so naturally my interest towards marine life has always been integrated in me. During my time here in Costa Rica, I got in contact with Innoceana. My wish for attaching a cause greater than myself to my journey on the Pacific Crest Trail and my love for the ocean, lead to a beautiful collaboration called “Join the Migration”. This campaign is dedicated to whale protection along the Pacific Coast and spreading awareness of the increasing endangerment of these important beings. 

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The migration

Walking alongside the whales

Currently I am living in Uvita, Costa Rica. This small piece of Pacific Coast here is one of the most important spots along the whale migration route. At this specific place, the whales traveling from the North and South merge to breed and raise their young twice a year. Strangely and magically enough, the coast line features an actual whaletail! Honestly, if this isn’t magical, what is? As fate would have it no other way, the month I embarked on my journey (April 2022) the humpback whales started migrating back North to Alaska, along the same Pacific Coast I was walking. I figuratively and literally walked alongside the whales.

My reason why

We have only got one ocean

Whales are becoming increasingly endangered due to commercial fishing and pollution of the ocean by plastic and chemicals. Whales play a key role to maintain healthy oceans, which is crucial for a healthy planet and thus crucial for us to be able to continue living on this earth. But it is not only whales I am concerned about. Our oceans need us. Marine creatures getting stuck in fishing nets is unfortunately no uncommon event. Innoceana is working really hard to create a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in this very important biological corner and to train rescue squads which will be able to help these animals.

I am so deeply moved by these beautiful creatures and the invasion of their natural surroundings, I could not leave this unsaid. The whales and the rest of marine life need our help, desperately. They need your help. I want to evoke a movement and to ignite the spark of awareness in you. This is happening and it is crucially important to prevent this from happening any longer. Some of us might often think our individual impact is too small in such a large world to make truly a lasting change, but this is only a limiting thought of the mind. Our connectedness to other people can cause a ripple effect which can spread far beyond our own networks. 

What you can do

Join the migration movement

I believe in the power of this connectedness and the power of our willingness to change once a spark is ignited in us. You can make conscious choices every day that have a positive impact on the planet and the people around us and you can start today. These conscious choices can be life-altering or they can be small, but they are equally important. You are one of the drops that causes a ripple and together we will form a wave large enough to make this movement truly mean something. 

- You can support the whales by spreading the word, spreading my journey, spreading the documentary produced by Innoceana and the Vegan Pirates and Innoceana’s cause. 
- You can support the whales by donating to this movement so we can put the right people in the right places, to physically cut these whales loose from the nets they get entangled in. The full proceeds of this campaign go to Innoceana.
- You can support the whales by making more conscious dietary choices and consumption choices. Whatever small support you can show, it will mean a lot for them when our forces are joined. 

If this ignited a spark in you, you can donate to the “Join the Migration” movement and see my journey along the PCT and the journey of the whales along their migration route on Innoceana’s instagram and my own instagram. I send you my gratitude and hope to see you joining me on this mission!

#JoinTheMigration

Did you know an adult whale weighs about 35 000 kg and a baby 900 kg? Innoceana saved two adult whales and a baby in their documentary Entangled, weighing 70 000 kg in total. We want to raise at least that amount, to help protect the whales.

About Innoceana

Entangled in Costa Rica

Innoceana is a young international non-profit organization situated in Ojochal, Costa Rica whose mission is to preserve the Ocean through innovation and education. Their interdisciplinary team of engineers and biologists are dedicated to fighting for marine conservation, coral restoration, monitoring invertebrates, seagrass, water quality elements, and of course whale protection amongst other things. Earlier this year, Innoceana performed a heroic rescue mission for a family of whales with a baby which were stuck in fishing nets left by commercial fishermen. It took them some gruelling hours until they could actually break them free. They documented this in a captivating movie: Entangled in Costa Rica, with the help of The Vegan Pirates. 

Ojochal, Costa Rica
@innoceana
innoceana.org
Our Supporters

Companies, organisations and individuals supporting my journey

YOU
Our new partner
Earth
Your instagram
Your website

"Want to support this cause even more and become our partner? Contact me through my instagram @WhaleTrailsPCT."

VivoBarefoot
Natural footwear
United Kingdom
@vivobarefoot
vivobarefoot.com

"At Vivobarefoot, we believe the closer people are to nature, the more they will protect it. Our goal is to reconnect people and planet while inspiring a world with less padding and more feeling."

Ben Cain
Urban Remedy
The United States
@urbanremedy
urbanremedy.com

“In every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations…Where are you taking them? What will they have?” - from the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

Sara Bigatti
Holistic Trainer & Animal Flow
Netherlands
@sara.flowing.wolf
sb-trainer.com

"Every morning my grandmother waits for the little birds to visit her. You understand? We are all connected. The earth is our medicine."

Ignacio Guerrero
Holistic Therapist
Costa Rica
@ignaci_guerrero
linktr.ee/ignaci_guerrero

“As our short period expires on this beautiful planet, we must take care of our oceans. From them we come, to them we’ll eventually go."

Bassourama Kone
My personal trainer
Netherlands
@bassourama_gt
bassouramakone.nl

"I once asked someone wiser than me why the world is still here, even though humans bring so much negativity. He told me the wide forests and deep oceans balance the energy. We need to do better."