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    What, How, When And Why “People Of Jacó”?

    Jasmin Artavia, the creator of the famous Instagram and Facebook account, tells us about what she considers -first and foremost- her hobby, which already has almost 40 thousand followers, and her inspiring story as a Costa Rican woman...

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    The people of Jacó go beyond the amazing people who reside in Jacó, the Pacific coast town of Costa Rica.

    When we talk about “People of Jacó” we refer to a blog or windows through social networks like Facebook and Instagram, created by JasminArtavia, a tica woman who has an inspiring story, which you will learn more about later.

    People of Jacó”, was born out of Jasmin’s curiosity for the people who decide to move to Jacó, leaving behind their homes, cities, lands, and countries to settle in what they affectionately call locally, ‘this hole’.

    After having traveled so much, she understood the challenge of leaving everything behind and arriving in a new place. Inspiration came from the Humans of New York page, which captures photographs and stories of people in New York. “So I decided to create something similar, but in video format. Seven years ago, this idea evolved into promoting the positive parts of our canton, highlighting local entrepreneurs and artisans. I wanted to create a platform where people could express their emotions, frustrations, ideas, and ventures, bringing the Jacó community together,” said Jasmin Artavia.

    In that way, she wanted to allow visitors to stay in touch with Jacó and learn about its progress, “trying to improve the canton – highlighting the positive – without falling into negativism. My real goal is to show all the good things that Jacó has and connect people through this platform,” she said.

    In Artavia’s opinion, People of Jacó is a form of expression that has allowed her to overcome shyness and express her opinions publicly.

    In the beginning, she did not know the filming and interview format, but she dedicated herself to learning through YouTube videos, searching the Internet, and consulting with people who had experience. “This self-taught evolution in editing and filming has allowed me to get better at presenting content. Although I always face criticism, it is a platform to freely share my vision of our canton and allow others to express themselves as well. The page has become part of my identity and life, more than a hobby and less of a venture; although I am the sole manager of the page, I have occasional help with filming (from a cameraman) and editing, as I have a full-time job and am a single mother. Although I have occasional support, I am the only one responsible for everything related to the site,” emphasized Artavia.

    People of Jacó is a significant personal project that goes beyond being just a recreational or commercial activity, it is what Jasmin dedicates a lot of time and money to.

    In detail… The Facebook account is seven years old and the Instagram account is approximately five years old. Currently, People already has 35,000 followers and a significant national and international audience.

    For the future, Jasmin’s goal is to continue growing professionally, improving the editing, creating higher quality content, and, perhaps, transforming the platform into a profitable business. In addition, she would like to explore the possibility of establishing a recording studio to expand PeopleofJacó’s creative capabilities.

    Who is really behind the People of Jacó?

    Jasmin Artavia is a native of San Jose, but her parents come from the cantons of Acosta and Naranjo.

    Due to her parents’ missionary work, Jasmin grew up traveling to different countries from a very young age. “I remember crossing borders, meeting people from different cultures, and having unforgettable experiences during those trips. I returned to Costa Rica when I was 17 years old.”

    Regarding her parents’ teachings…One of the most valuable teachings that Jasmin’s parents passed on to her and that she continues to apply in her daily life, is the love and respect for nature, as well as the importance of maintaining a healthy and chemical-free diet. “Since my childhood, before it was a popular trend, our family always prioritized healthy and natural eating, which often made us stand out and be seen as different. The connection to nature and conscious eating has been a pillar in my life, guiding me to make choices that respect my body and the environment” she expressed.

    Another crucial lesson she learned from her parents is the trust that the universe has a purpose for every experience and that everything happens for a reason.

    Belief in the perfection of the universe and the wisdom behind every challenge has brought her comfort and strength in difficult times, reminding her that there are lessons to be learned and a greater plan at work. Trusting that everything is in its place and that the universe conspires – in our favor – has been a beacon of hope and reassurance in her life, helping her navigate the ups and downs with grace and acceptance.

    Although she did not grow up in Costa Rica…

    As we mentioned before, Jasmin did not grow up completely in Costa Rica, but that does not limit her to considering that her experience in Jacó has been fundamental in her life, she has the Central American country running in her veins.

    “I arrived in Jacó as a teenager and here I have found my home, putting down roots, growing personally, forming my family, and creating unforgettable memories. For me, Jacó is more than a place, it’s where I feel I truly belong. It is where I have settled and where I feel like I was born again, due to the deep connection and meaningful experiences I have lived here” said Jasmin, taking into account her feeling that different cultures from various countries coexist in her, which enriches her identity much more. “Through my diverse experiences, I have incorporated cultural elements from different parts of the world, thus creating a unique blend of traditions, values, and perspectives. This cultural diversity complements my special connection to Jacó.”

    Professional training

    From the moment she arrived in Jacó, Jasmin got into the world of tourism, which led her to intensively study hotel management and all aspects related to guest service, property management, and employee training. She has always been an entrepreneur, managing her own business with dedication.

    As a curious fact, she also had the opportunity to be a teacher in a private school, teaching from seventh to eleventh grade for almost four years in Santa Ana, this experience was enriching and meaningful for her.

    It is worth mentioning that she is also a certified personal trainer, and has led countless important projects.

    After discovering her passion for challenges and the tourism industry, she considers both to be -the true strength- and -the main focus- of her career.

    Family and Nature

    Jasmin has an immediate family daughter: Ginger, 26 years old, and Sage, 12 years old. Ginger lives in the United States, she is married, while Sage still lives with her in Jaco.

    The greatest desire that the creator of People of Jacó has for her daughters, is that they discover, know, and commit to their purpose and passion in life, to contribute to the solution of the challenges facing our society today.

    As a mother, she has always believed that “our children do not belong to us, we are simply a channel through which they came into this world to fulfill their purpose. I have always fostered in them freedom of thought, encouraging them to analyze, not to be carried away by the masses, what celebrities or popular opinions say on television, but to look inward, to know themselves as -powerful goddesses- capable of creating and achieving anything they set their minds to”.

    From his perspective, nature is our true essence, we are part of it and we often forget this fundamental connection. “We perceive ourselves as separate entities from nature, when in fact we all come from the same source: the earth, the trees, the rivers, the rocks, the stars, and the oceans. 

    I have experienced a very intimate connection with nature through Ayahuasca ceremonies, where I was able to connect with what I perceive as the Mother, equating her to the Holy Spirit. The Mother is the protector of nature, who promotes the growth of flowers, and trees, cares for the animals, and watches over the earthly world. She is a feminine entity who safeguards the Earth, hence the name Mother Earth, of which we are all a part”.

    In her opinion, we can all reach that same connection with nature and remember that we are united by the same essence, coming from the same stars and the same stardust. “When we overcome the perception of separation between humans and nature, we will be able to experience compassion, and we will understand the importance of preserving it, avoiding deforestation, river pollution, overexploitation, and overurbanization. However, this awakening is a personal process that each individual must experience on his or her own,” She said.

    The faithful lover of Jacó, she enjoys all natural environments, be it the jungle, the mountains, the beach, the river or just being at home. She appreciates the diversity and beauty of nature in all its forms and, even more, enjoys being in places away from the crowds, where she can connect with the tranquility and serenity that solitude offers “The peace and harmony I find in nature are incomparable!

    A woman, an inspiring story

    Jasmin Artavia is a Costa Rican woman who has dedicated a lot of time and effort to getting to know herself in depth; for her, self-exploration and self-love are fundamental pillars of personal growth.

    Of the virtues she considers to have: empathy, the ability to understand, listen, and help others.

    As for the defects, she recognizes that she is impatient, as she often wants things to happen immediately. “Also, I am direct and frank in my communications, which can sometimes be perceived as a strong character. I am working on finding a balance to express my opinions assertively without turning them into unnecessary conflict. Constant self-reflection and personal growth, are areas in which I am committed to improving as an individual.”

    Experiences…

    Jasmin has been part of the “Me Too” movement, started virally as a hashtag on social media. It emerged in October 2017 to denounce sexual assault and sexual harassment, following allegations of sexual abuse against American film producer and executive Harvey Weinstein.

    “I have been open in my networks about traumatic experiences, such as being kidnapped, raped, and sexually abused as a child, those unaddressed experiences, triggered a deep depression in my adolescence, marked by anger and confusion. As a result of the anger and chronic depression, I developed fibromyalgia, a debilitating disease that has challenged my active and energetic lifestyle,” she said.

    Fibromyalgia has allowed her to immerse herself in an inner journey of forgiveness, healing, and release of past pain. Through this process, she has been able to transform her traumas into valuable lessons, finding strength in vulnerability and openly sharing her healing journey with others, added Jasmin during the enjoyable conversation with our TCRN team.

    Does she carry out other activities?

    The People of Jacó mastermind is also passionate about sports: she practices yoga and enjoys running, Body Boarding, hiking, and swimming. Meditation, reading, and writing are part of her daily routine. “Living with passion and purpose turns every activity into a hobby for me. I consider all facets of my life, including paid work, to be hobbies, as I choose activities that bring me happiness. This perspective allows me to contribute to society in a meaningful and fulfilling way.”

    Who do you admire today?

    At TCRN, we often ask our interviewees who they admire, and Jasmin mentioned that she admires three figures who have inspired her in her inner and outer healing work. “Despite not following television and not being familiar with many current figures, I have come across Dr. Gabor Maté, renowned for his work with mental health and addiction, a source of inspiration in the connection between mind and body. Similarly, with Dr. Deepak Chopra, thanks to his focus on mind-body medicine and spirituality, he has impacted me with his holistic view of health. Also, I have a deep admiration for Alan Watts, a philosopher whose teachings on spirituality and the meaning of life have left a lasting impression on me. These outstanding thinkers have influenced my perspective toward holistic wellness and have enriched my approach to physical and emotional healing.”

    How does she see herself in the future?

    Artavia says that her philosophy of life is based on valuing the here and now, finding happiness and fulfillment in every experience she lives in the present. This way of thinking allows her to fully enjoy every moment and adapt to the opportunities that come her way.

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    Today, she expresses feeling fully satisfied with all that she has achieved so far and is happy about what continues to come into her life. “There is a genuine desire in me to be able to help women and girls with all that I have learned on my path to spiritual and physical healing, which is one of the things I would love to experience in the future, as well as the joy of being able to see my grandchildren enjoying life. These dreams and aspirations inspire me to keep growing, learning, and sharing the best of myself with others.”

    5 of her favorite places in Jacó

    Among Jasmin’s top 5 favorite places in Jacó is the Miro Mountain, a little-known but charming trail in Cerro Fresco. The south of Jacó fascinates her for the view where the jungle seems to merge with the sea. Roca Loca and a little-known river in Playa Hermosa, also on her list, are places she loves and are little explored, which adds a special charm to them.

    According to Jasmin, any curious jewel with history to highlight in Jacó?

    Jasmin made special mention of the Sonesta Jaco Resort and Beach Club when we asked her to tell us about a jewel with history in Jacó. She went on to say “It was a large, luxurious project that caught everyone’s attention. Construction began in 2007 with the help of investors, including the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI). By 2008, the hotel was almost ready, and many people had already bought apartments in it. Everything seemed to be going well, with the Sonesta hotel chain ready to manage the place, however, in 2009, everything changed: the banks that had lent money for the project demanded quick and urgent repayment of the debt, which brought construction to a sudden halt. Despite efforts to find a solution, disputes between the banks and the developers complicated matters. Over time, the nearly completed building was set aside and abandoned.”

    In that way, she reflects, that the Sonesta story teaches us about the challenges that can arise in large construction projects and the importance of having clear financial agreements from the beginning. “The case of the Sonesta Jaco Resort and Beach Club is an example of how unexpected decisions can have serious consequences on the development of a community and the appearance of a place. It is also known as the abandoned building in Jaco”.

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    What needs to change in Jacó?

    For Jasmin, there are several things she would like to see changed in Jacó: “mainly the mentality of some people who arrive with arrogant attitudes and displace the locals. Also, I am concerned about the construction of monstrous buildings that are affecting the natural environment by cutting down trees and covering the area with concrete, instead of opting for sustainable development. The excessive amount of cement is generating high temperatures and we are suffering the consequences of disproportionate construction and indiscriminate deforestation. A change is needed in the Municipality to provide more support to entrepreneurs and improve the image of the area, away from stigmas related to prostitution, drugs, and sex. We must strive to attract more diverse and positive tourism,”She added.

    As an informative media, we do not doubt the great person that Jasmin is, the creator of the famous People of Jacó accounts, who wanted to end our conversation with the message: “Dear friends and followers, in every dawn, hides a new opportunity to embrace life with gratitude, courage, and determination. Let us remember that, each of us has come into this world with a unique purpose and we must discover it to fit perfectly into the pieces of the puzzle that is this life; by following our passion and living fully, we contribute to the beauty and harmony of the universe. Sometimes, the key is simply to live, as Alan Watts said: -The only meaning of life is simply to be alive-.Let us connect with our essence, embrace our purpose, and allow our light to shine brightly. Let us face each day with optimism, love, and compassion, being the guide that lights the way for others. Together, let us create a world where everyone can live an authentic and meaningful life, always evolving, always in search of the fullness of being.”

    If you want to learn about the eventualities and wonders of Jaco, we invite you to follow us on Instagram: @people_of_jaco and Facebook: People of Jaco. Jasmin’s personal Instagram is @junglebeachliving and their Facebook: JasminArtavia.

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