jenna-duffy-in-costa-rica-photography-banana-palm
Head of Marketing

Jenna Duffy

Six years ago I jumped ship from the United States to call both Costa Rica and Portugal home, letting my camera and love of photography guide the way. A pioneer of working remote, my marketing career met the desires of a creative, adventurous spirit. Dreams come true when you follow your gifts, commit to the present moment and explore the unknown.

Hey, Jenna. Which was the first country you visited in Latin America? What were your impressions?

Panama. The trip began with a few luxurious nights at the American Trade Hotel in vibrant Casco Viejo and onwards into the jungle to document Kalu Yala, a riverside eco-village and sustainability institute founded by a childhood friend. It checked a lot of firsts off my list: showering under cold water hand piped into town from a nearby river, enjoying food entirely grown on site and living in harmony with a local ecosystem. Next up: wave hunting six hours by bus to a remote surf spot with an epic sandy break where I learned how to shoot open water surf photography with a tiny film camera!

My first impressions were, “love this country: city, jungles and beaches — all in a half day’s travel.”

Tell us about a recent adventure of yours. What did a typical day look like?

Everyday life in Costa Rica is an adventure. The days begin at five a.m. with a wake-up call from the Howler Monkeys, followed by fresh jungle fruit, the planet’s most delicious coffee, a drive on a dusty, unpaved road to an open ocean swim, chasing my toddler on a deserted beach or longboard surf. Afternoons are met with copious amounts of shade, air-con and tech-time, yet the days tend to wrap with a sunset photoshoot. I’m constantly in awe of the beauty of Nature. Weekends are for hot springs, volcanos, other microclimates and rainforests and enjoying the lush biodiversity at my fingertips.

What has been the most rewarding experience you’ve had in Latin America??

Arriving in Costa Rica to tour cacao regions and photograph a ‘making-of’ story for a chocolate company. I created images for a local non-profit, capturing educational material for farming manuals to spread knowledge of how to create a sustainable farm. This trip led me to my home, had I not seen those farms, I would not be where I am today.

Where will your next Latin American adventure be?

Hopefully to the Osa, the tropical green forest region of Costa Rica, there is nothing that compares to the feelings of deep connection to Nature; I find the lush landscapes and serenity utterly soul soothing. I’ve got exploring the Mexican coastline and Belize on my list – forever on a hunt for pristine beach with a dose of art.

From delicious wines to handicrafts, Latin America offers incredible creations—what is the best souvenir you’ve ever taken home?

Oaxacan cotton. I’m a major supporter of local makers and have a gift for finding functional objects made by an artisans and local art that fit in my carry on.

Favourite Latin American musician or band?

Nicola Cruz for his eclectic, chill vibes and Bossanova for a trip back in time.

Place you’d love to go back to?

Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Oaxaca. Delicious for all of the senses … and I’d build upon it to go coastal from there.

Jenna’s Photos