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Conversations with the Inspiring Christa Jimenez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christa Jimenez.

So, before we jump into specific questions about what you do, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m a blogger at my own website- Pura Vida Moms. Before starting my blog, I was a public high school teacher for 15 years. I created a program in Denver Public Schools for Native Spanish Speaking students who were illiterate in their native language. I took the literacy standards in English, translated the, and created a three-year curriculum that allowed students access to university Spanish credits in high school. The program was a huge success for my students and was a great way for me to work to create equity for Latino students in public school.

When my children were born, my focus shifted to bilingual parenting and creating a bicultural home. I raise both my daughters bilingually- they attend school in English and we speak Spanish at home. Since my daughters are half Costa Rican, we also spend a lot of time connecting them to their Costa Rican roots. That means reading authentic Spanish literature, learning to dance Latin dance, and of course eating lots of Costa Rican food.

What I didn’t expect when I started my bilingual living journey was how much criticism I would receive from other parents. At the playground when I spoke Spanish to my kids, I’d get strange looks or ridiculous questions like “do they understand you when you speak to them?” “Do they eat Mexican food?” “How do you expect your daughters to learn English?”

This type of close-minded thinking and adversity came totally out of the blue for me- living in 2013 and on in a huge metropolitan city in one of the most developed countries in the world. My experiences led me to realize that many people in the US don’t understand bilingual parenting and that lots of people don’t speak a second language to their kids because they are afraid their children will be left behind.

Pura Vida Moms is a safe space for all types of parents- but especially bilingual parents who want to raise bicultural kids. It’s a celebration of bilingual parenting, family travel, and a catalog of culturally authentic recipes adapted to Latin immigrants living in the United States.

Today, I can’t believe how many amazing bilingual families I have met online through my website, social media accounts and Facebook group. I’ve helped bilingual parents to feel less isolated and better informed about how to best raise bilingual children. And those kids will make our world a better place. I’m so grateful to do what I do each and every day.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been a smooth road- and I don’t expect it to be in the future either. The biggest struggles along the way are some that I still have- making decisions about where to spend my time and money and making sure that I stay true to myself and my brand. There are so many people competing for my time and resources, and more so as my business grows. I have to keep a laser-like focus on the mission of bilingual living and empowering parents to raise their children in two cultures. That means sometimes turning down a big paycheck or opportunity because it won’t resonate with my audience.

My advice to other women is to, first of all, stay true to yourself. Do you first- and the rest will follow. Then- have a network of other women who will have your back no matter what. That can be even one single person to start- but keep the right people in your inner circle. Finally- believe in yourself! You can do it- but it won’t always be easy. Just because things are hard or complicated doesn’t mean you should give up. In fact, it’s every reason that you should lean in and work harder.

What should we know about Pura Vida Moms? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
There are three main components to Pura Vida Moms: bilingual parenting tips, Costa Rican recipes, and family travel advice.

Our bilingual parenting tips range from helping parents to identify the type of bilingual home they want to create, to finding the best resources for their children.

Our Costa Rican recipes are the best on the internet! I have readers who have recently visited Costa Rica for the first time and want to replicate the food they ate on vacation. I also have a large following of Costa Rican immigrants living in the United States who want to create recipes at home for their friends and families and don’t know where to start.

I have a Costa Rican trip planning service for those who want to plan a trip to Costa Rica and want all of the insider tips. We’ve lived in Costa Rica off and on for the past 20 years (including moving back to Denver just 8 weeks ago) and I was a tour guide in Costa Rica for many years as well. People who use our service love it, and I thoroughly enjoy planning the perfect trip for people- whatever their budget, timeline or priorities may be.

Finally- I love Instagram! I have an Instagram course that helps small business owners learn to grow their Instagram on their own- no bots, fake followers or drama.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
I think the first biggest barrier is ourselves! For so long, women and girls have been told that we can’t, or that we shouldn’t. And that’s just not true. But adjusting that inner narrative is so hard.

The second barrier, at least in my opinion, is balancing the desire to achieve and to nurture. So many women want to achieve high professional and personal goals- but we also want to take care of others. This happens in our friendships, our romantic partnerships, and when we become mothers. A mother’s work is so important, but shouldn’t come at the expense of the mother or the child. Once workplaces, and the general culture, can mainstream and normalize motherhood and professionalism from women- without the mother or the child sacrificing something important- we will be unstoppable.

Pricing:

  • Costa Rica Trip Planning- starting at $15
  • Bilingual Parenting Coaching- starting at $15
  • Instagram Course- Grow Instagram Ethically and on Your Terms- starting at $250

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Christa Jimenez Pura Vida Moms

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