In virtually all facets of life — from your career to your relationships and self-care — connection is key. This is what Honduran-American storyteller, entrepreneur, and Latina podcast host Odalys Jasmine believes deep in her soul.

Her podcast, Hella Latin@, is all about creating spaces for the Latina community. It’s a way of amplifying their stories in the most authentic way possible. 

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As a first-generation Latina, Honduran-born, San Diego-raised entrepreneur and Latina in tech, Jasmine has dedicated her life and career to building a platform where Latinas can tell their stories and connect over their shared experiences.

Hella Latin@ is a safe space for Latinas to “tell their first generation and immigrant stories and share their unique experiences of navigating identity, life, and career in a gringo culture,” she told mitú. Her ultimate goal is to ensure that her community feels seen and validated with every episode.

For Odalys Jasmine, being a part of a community is essential

The life of an immigrant — being the first to navigate a new culture, language, or corporate job — can certainly feel lonely at times. That’s why creating a community is essential.

The idea for the Hella Latin@ podcast came in 2020 during the pandemic. Back then, Odalys found herself exploring who she was and connecting with her roots. She read books of self-love and identity. But equally impactful, she sat down with her parents to learn more about their experiences in Honduras and coming to America.

“I asked questions about their life in Honduras, what brought them to the U.S., and how they navigated life here,” she explained. “How often do we get to sit down with our parents and ask them about who they are and where they come from? Through their journeys, I started to understand mine a bit more.”

Then she went deeper.

Odalys Jasmine wanted to learn more. So, she became obsessed with learning about the power of her ancestors and the complexity of their identities. She was searching for an outlet to educate her community and celebrate and share their stories. What she found was a need for more resources offering historical context about the history and lives of the Latino community.

“The idea hit me the week I simultaneously binged podcasts like Netflix’s Brown Love and Brené Brown’s Unlocking Us,” Odalys shared. “In Brown Love, I admired how Dascha Polanco celebrated Latinidad and highlighted our sazón, diversity, and even challenges. In Unlocking Us, I loved Brené Brown’s beautiful ability to be vulnerable and go deep into her guest’s story. (Two host qualities I practice every day. I thought, what if there was a marriage of it all — a celebration of Latinidad, representation of la cultura, and vulnerable storytelling — with the goal of learning about our community’s diversity, our first-gen/immigrant experiences, and our collective power?”

And so Hella Latin@ was born

With each episode of her Hella Latin@ podcast, a different guest shares their story to “serve as a piece of the puzzle to help guide us as we trail blaze unchartered territories,” she explained. The idea is to not only allow but also encourage Latinos to be vulnerable and share their experiences.

“Oftentimes, Latinos are encouraged to ‘lavar la ropa sucia en casa.’ And while there are valid points to this, it can also discourage our community from opening up and being vulnerable about what they grow through. My goal with my workshops and keynotes is to highlight the power of storytelling and the art of vulnerability so we can put our stories out there… told by us and made for us.”

And Jasmine’s work and influence don’t stop when the podcast episode ends. She also works with corporations, employee resource groups, nonprofits, and universities to discuss the power of storytelling and how to leverage it for their business, career, or personal branding overall. “Overall, my mission is to make space for more of our people, one story at a time.”

It took a lot of work, dedication, and patience to get to where she is today

Along the way, Odalys realized that while she didn’t have any background in the podcast world, she did know storytelling. And so, she “leaned on [her] resources and network to help with the rest.” She learned on the go and had to be willing to accept all that she didn’t know as she navigated the process.

Luckily, so much of what was passed down from her Latina roots helped her work through these obstacles.

“Resourcefulness, curiosity, and creativity” were all qualities that have helped guide her. Everything about being Latina has helped her — “the ability to jump in and try things. The innate sense of fearlessness to navigate the new.”

She always watched family members hustle and work hard, juggling multiple jobs, she recalls. Her mother, who had several jobs, “was my first example of an entrepreneur before the term became a sexy, sought-after way of living. Of course, it was out of necessity for them, but it taught me what that hustle and drive looked like.”

Odalys Jasmine always learned to be resourceful and get back up after failures. “Our WHY is strong as Latinos. Most of us crave better lives, more opportunities, and generational wealth, so we keep going even when life knocks us,” Odalys told mitú.

Getting started can be hard, but Odalys believes your motivator must be your “why.” Think about why you want to start. “What’s the burning belief inside you that wants to kick this off? Your “why” will keep you grounded in those hard moments,” she shared. Then, you can think about the “what” and the “who” and work through those details of your venture.  

But never lose sight of why you are doing your work and who you are. Stay true to yourself, she urges. “Be the person you wish you had when you were younger.”