Staff Spotlight – Laura Jimenez

In Meet Our Staff

Our guests come to Florblanca and Santa Teresa for all kinds of exploration and adventure. Who better to serve as your guide than a life-long local?  Laura Jimenez is our Concierge Manager and she is passionate about introducing our guests to her home of Santa Teresa and Playa Hermosa.

Contact Laura using our Reservation form.

Laura was raised in the mountains of Costa Rica with very few material possessions, 18 km from the nearest city and with only horses for transportation. She has wonderful memories of her childhood and her family and appreciates a lifestyle that’s fully connected to nature.  Here is her story.


Growing Up in Santa Teresa

In 1987, my parents moved to Playa Hermosa. My mom is originally from La Esperanza de Cobano and my dad is from Rio Negro. I was born two years after they moved here.

By that time, there were only 6 families in the little town with 6 houses along a 1 km stretch. We did not have close neighbors. My older sister, my younger brother and I grew up very simply. We had no electricity, so no television. All the water we used was brought down from the mountain ourselves.

My mom was a full time housewife and my dad farmed all the food we needed plus he worked as the maintenance person for a Canadian man’s property. After work, he used to go fishing on the rocks with his friends and he always brought home fish or lobster. When the fish was very big, they would prepare it to share with all the families in town. Without refrigeration, we could not keep it very long.

Our house was a small ranch with wood walls, a palm roof and no floor. In front of the house was grassland where we usually had two cows to provide milk for the family. My parents always had chickens for eggs and meat. The mountain behind our house was cleared by our neighbors so they could grow beans, rice, yucca, and corn. They also planted banana, orange, papaya, mango, coconut and plantain trees. Horses provided our only transportation because the roads where in terrible condition for any other type of vehicle. We had to ride horses 18km to go to the supermarket or the doctor in Cóbano. I did my first years of school in Santa Teresa public school. Then in 7th grade, I went to Cobano but it was a difficult time. The roads were so bad that the school bus did not come to town every day.

In 2002, I started attending the private school in Hermosa that my dad’s employer founded the year before. This is where I began to learn English. At 14 years old, I was working on the weekends at a surf Shop in Playa Carmen where I got a lot more practice with the language.

At Florblanca

My story at Florblanca started in 2008 when I first got a job working in reservations and then at the concierge. It was a completely new experience for me and I learned so much. For personal reasons, I left in 2010.

When I went back to work again in 2012, the first place I went looking for a job was Florblanca because I really like this place. And, lucky for me, I got the job!

Florblanca became my second home, my second family. It makes me want to do things better, to help our guests have a memorable stay and something that they will remember for life. It has been an incredible experience working here. I’ve gotten to know many incredible people. The way I grew up is the way I would love for my kids to grow up. This is what keeps me in this town, my hometown! Always close to the ocean, not many facilities, but still with some peace and nature around.

Pura Vida

Laura Jimenez, Concierge Manager

My definition of Pura Vida: Live your life simply, with respect for others.

I really love living in the countryside. When I was a child, we always visited my grandparents in La Esperanza. They had a little farm and a trapiche which is a mill used to extract the juice of certain fruits. We loved to go there to get sugar cane juice. Even though they don’t own that farm anymore, some of my mom’s cousins keep the tradition and still have their own trapiche and farm. They have lots of cows and they use their milk to create artisanal cheese for different supermarkets and hotels in the area.

In 2012, they started to give tours of their farm for groups of scholars or tourists who want to experience how a real Costa Rican family lives. These groups get to see the process of making sugar cane juice. The sugar cane cooks for many hours until they get the ¨Tapa de dulce.¨ They also see the cheese making process, from hand milking the cow until processing the milk and making the cheese.

The way they live there is very different, very healthy, using a lot of resources from nature. My best memories from childhood are playing with freedom, with no access to technology and a lot of contact with nature. We were very active kids, running around, helping, sharing time with family and treasuring the little we had. I really loved to go horseback riding, and enjoyed going every Sunday to the beach with my family and cousins.


Thank you to Laura for sharing her story with us. We are the lucky ones to have her!  She takes such good care of our guests and is a true inspiration for living simply and beautifully.

See our other Staff Spotlights.

Contact Laura using our Reservation form.


En Espanol

Hace 29 años mis padres vinieron a vivir a Playa Hermosa, mi mama originaria de La Esperanza de Cóbano y mi papá de Rio Negro, yo nací dos años después de que ellos llegaron.

En ese entonces, habían solo 6 familias en el pueblo, 6 casas distribuidas a lo largo de 1 km,asi que no teníamos vecinos cercanos. Mi hermana mayor, yo y mi hermano menor crecimos de una forma muy simple, no teníamos electricidad, asi que no había television y el agua la obteníamos de una naciente en la montaña se traía a casa por gravedad.

Mi mama era ama de casa y mi padre se dedicaban a cultivar alimentos para el sustento de la familia, y durante la semana mi trabajaba de mantenimiento en la propiedad de un Canadiense, por las tardes solía ir de pesca con los vecinos y siempre traían pescado o langosta, el cual debíamos consumir rápido ya que por la falta de refrigerador no duraba tanto, asi que solo se pescaba lo necesario para no malgastar, si sobraba algo, mi madre lo ahumaba y lo guardaba.

Viviamos en una casa de madera pequeña, con techo de palma y piso de tierra, frente a la caza el prado donde pastaban las vacas, siempre tuvimos dos vacas para el consumo de lacteos, y detrás de la casa, la montaña, no tan grande ya que mucho se talaba para la agricultura.

Siempre sembrábamos frijoles, maíz, yuca y en ocasiones arroz. Cosechábamos plátanos, bananos, naranjas, papayas, pipas. El medio de transporte principal era en caballos ya que las carreteras no permitían otro. Para visitar un supermercado o el doctor, había que ir a caballo hasta Cobano, a 18km de distancia.

Cuando fue tiempo de ir a la escuela, teníamos que ir hasta Santa Teresa, ahí curse los primeros 6 años de escuela. Setimo grado lo hice en el colegio de Cobano, pero fue dificil ya que por las condiciones de los caminos, el bus escolar no venia siempre. Asi que cuando abrieron la escuela de Hermosa, que el dueño era el patrón de mi papa, nos enviaron ahí, creo que ahí empezó mi interés por aprender ingles,

Luego a los 14 años empece a trabajar fines de semana en un surf shop en Playa Carmen, donde empece a relacionarme mas con turistas y a aprender mas ingles y ahí mi interés por conocer mas personas cada vez.

Florblanca

Mi historia con Florblanca empezó en el 2008 cuando me contrataron para trabajar en Florblanca Reserva, y aunque el proyecto no siguió, un año después me acerque a buscar otra oportunidad, empece en ese tiempo en recepción, y aunque fue algo nuevo para mi, aprendi y disfrute desde el primer momento, luego por motivos personales después de un año tuve que renunciar, pero cuando decidi buscar empleo de nuevamente en el 2012, y hasta la fecha todo ha sido excelente, Florblanca para mi es una segunda casa, mi segunda familia, las ganas de hacer las cosas mejor, de ayudar a los clientes a tener una estadia memorable, algo que recuerden toda su vida, conocer personas increíbles, tanto compañeros de trabajo como huéspedes.

La manera en que creci y como me gustaría que crezcan mis hijos, me mantienen atada a este lugar, siempre cerca del océano, carencia de servicios, pero con tranquilidad y naturaleza alrederor es lo que no me deja irme de este bello pueblo.

Pura Vida

Mi definición de Pura Vida? Vive la vida simple, respetando a los demás..

Me gusta la vida del campo, cuando era pequeña, siempre visitábamos a mis abuelos en La Esperanza, ellos tenían trapiche y era como ir a una granja siempre, aunque ya no conservan esa casa, primos de mi mama aun tienen un trapiche y vacas, de las cuales usan su leche para hacer quesos artesanales para diferentes comercios, de hecho hace 4 años empezaron a abrirlo para visitas de escolares e incluso turismo, es una experiencia increíble, desde el proceso de hacer el jugo de caña y luego cocinarlo hasta poder hacer la tapa de dulce, el proceso del ordeño de manera artesanal, para la confección de quesos artesanales, la manera en que se vive es diferente ahí, más saludable, aprovechando los recursos de la tierra.

Mis mejores recuerdos de la infancia, fue el andar libres, sin acceso a tegnolocia y por eso en más contacto con la naturaleza, eramos niños muy activos, corriendo, ayudando encasa, compartiendo en familia y valorando lo poco que teníamos, me encantaba montar a caballo e ir a la playa con mis primos cada fin de semana.