Raul Colón is a Photographer, Army Veteran, Blogger, WordPress Developer and Activist who lives in Puerto Rico. To quote him, he practices activism through entrepreneurship. Raul is the co-founder of Limonade – helping businesses design websites, and Veglatino – making it easy for you to find vegan restaurants. We caught up with him earlier this week to ask him a few questions about his life.
LV: So, how long have you been vegan?
Raul: I stopped eating meat and became vegetarian in 2006. Since 2011 I decided to let go of eating dairy and eggs which made me vegan.
What prompted you to go vegan?
Initially, I stopped eating meat as a way to change my unhealthy habits of eating. Habits I acquired after I joined working for a Big 4 consulting firm. I gained around 70 pounds in 18 months. I did a detox and started feeling a bit better. The only thing at that point that made me feel better was letting go of meat products.
How does where you are living effect the ease of finding vegan meals?
I live in Puerto Rico where the many fusion of cultures has given a big priority on consuming meat. At first, it was very hard but as I started to meet other vegans on the Island and started requesting restaurants to have a vegan option it has become easier. For that reason I began Veglatino to sort of help others find meals on the island and share the experience of being vegan in the Caribbean.
How has the state of veganism and the acceptance toward it changed over your time as a vegan?
I think it has changed a bit on the positive side. But I think I am also more aware of the many options available even when I travel.
How do you think technology will impact the ease and rate at which people go vegan?
I think Technology is already creating awareness on the reason many like me go vegan. Also, it makes it easier for anyone wanting to learn more about the lifestyle. If you want to find a vegan restaurant or a recipe all you have to do is search online and you will find plenty of options.
Technology also helps with putting out misinformation from the meat industry and their very questionable and inhumane practices to make a profit.
You are the Co-Founder of several companies and are also aiding many charities/non-profits, what drives you to success?
I think that what drives me to success is making sure I make the right decision even when it’s probably not the best one economically. Success to me is making sure I can sleep well at night and feel I am making a difference in my community.
Have there been any very successful campaigns?
We help out with tons of efforts. Most of them we don’t promote publicly because we are behind the scenes helping the folks that are doing the heavy lifting. However, we have been involved in many crowdfunding campaigns in both advisory and more active roles where we have contributed to raising over 500,000 in the last few years for small struggling organizations.
What advice (or a couple of tips) would you give to people who are looking to start their charity campaigns/go fund me, etc.?
I think the biggest issue I see with not for profits is they lose the focus on the objective. Some are even scared of figuring out ways to make money. Look at how you can share your story. Never deviate from the mission and always look at how to offer value to those supporting the effort.
Identify the economic goal that is needed and then move toward that number as a target. People can get lost and also fatigued when raising money. I mainly see it as a matter of showing that you are doing the work to those who care.
Read more about Raul on his blog here! Veglatino has a fantastic guide to eating vegan at Disney, too. If you’d like to contact Raul or follow his fantastic endeavours, check out his twitter and Instagram.