Juan is one of the founders of One Ocean Research and Diving, Water Inspired Conservation Group, and Save the Sea Turtles International Non-Profit. He grew up surfing the north shore and got into diving to heal his back after an accident left him paralysed. After learning to walk again and slowly regaining his strength after multiple surgeries, his doctor advised him to take a break from surfing, but Juan grew up in the ocean and couldn’t stay away. He took up diving and quickly became a divemaster, travelling the world with Sea Shepherd to help combat illegal fishing and whaling. It was during the SharkWater campaign in the Galapagos and Cocos that he truly encountered sharks (hundreds of schooling hammerheads) for the first time in a way that would change his view of the animals forever. From then on, he began purposely diving with sharks on a regular basis and has worked with them all year-round ever since.
Juan completed his degree in fine art and photography at BYUH in Laie, Hawaii, 20 minutes from where he grew up.