Founder, Charles Boyd tells his story.
Updated: Aug 22, 2021
Many years ago, I believe about 15 now, I saw a huge need for all of the little skateboarders that were being bullied in Centro Jaco by Taxistas and others for a place that they could skate. As a skater myself having grown up in Los Angeles amongst all of the original greats like Tony Alba, Steve P and the DogTown boys, and fighting for run time at the few skate parks that existed, I knew how positive having a place to skate was, and sneaking into emptied swimming pools always got us in trouble as kids, and is not a solution here in Jaco, so I assisted in donating resources for the surrounding wall of the property and building the skate ramp at the Christian Surfer property on Calle De Pops..and while attending bible studies there every Wednesday and Saturday for quite a while and spending time with the youth there, I started hearing of this re-occuring issue in where many single moms out of pure necessity were having to take their young boys out of school in order to work some odd job just to make ends meet. This of course directly effects the educational journey in each of the boys lives and it simply broke my heart that I did not see anybody trying to offset this and just accepting it as part of the local culture etc..
So I immediately started looking for ways to do just that, and even tried getting local businessmen to join me in the effort but to no avail. So I birthed the idea eventually of starting a car wash and detail center where these young men could have a way to stay in school, while still being able to make a few bucks after or before school to help out at home, but I found out that one of the additional problems was that many of these boys had already suffered great setbacks in school and were up to 4 years behind in some cases, so I cleaned out one of the offices at my office building where I work and hired a great teacher that had found herself living here in the area after a great stretch of working as a high school teacher in the USA. She also understood and spoke pretty good Spanish so her and I teamed up and started offering tutoring and full time classes up to 12 seats each class and I gave her a full time teaching job, and was eventually able to not only employ many of these young men but get them caught back up and even ahead in school with a lot of hands on teaching by Kate the teacher, and my self mentoring the guys on basic living principles of responsibility and accountability, while trying to act as kind of a big brother and even papa to over 25 boys at a time.
This not only worked for over 8 years, we now have 3 people that we have successfully sponsored for over two years at University of Costa Rica and two have moved in to the working class with degrees and one is in his second year and doing great!
I found that the basic biblical principals of giving your time and heart and consistent love as a practical way of truly giving these young men what they truly needed as opposed to just handing them money or wishing them well started paying off with us even being able to enforce a rule that if they wanted in to the program, and wanted to work at our car wash and detail center in centro Jaco, they had to keep their grades up at the 80% and above level to have the desired access to work.
This not only worked for over 8 years, we now have 3 people that we have successfully sponsored for over 2 years at University of Costa Rica and 2 have moved in to the working class with degrees and one is in his second year and doing great!
There was also an incident at the local multi use gym where I went to support a couple of our boys at their “school basketball game” and unfortunately saw a level of abuse from the “sport director “ that broke my heart and with a very strong love and history of playing high level basketball my self, I decide to start coaching these guys and have done so on many levels for the past 10 years. So we have had the benefit of traveling all over the country and playing other cities and even spanked some adult players at Sabana Park in San Jose after these incredible young men learned more of the principles of team work, positive attitude and trained hard to become some of the best basketball players in our region.
We have recently turned our car wash in to a MMA gym and teach Jujitsu and boxing and I still teach fundamental basketball and expect to start up a regular youth team as well as an adult team starting soon depending on Pandemic issues and how they unfold between now and Christmas.
Our gym, and the former Car Wash has never turned a profit for us as business owners, but has provided tips and many salaries for multiple employees, but most importantly every single cent that comes in the door for memberships etc, goes towards the edifying of these young men and some young ladies and also employs many that in other cases would not be able to work, such as a recent hire of a young mother that has a special needs child, and now she is able to work at the gym and have her child with her while earning enough to pay her rent and provide for her daughters needs, and this is truly what we believe we should be doing in the community. Helping those that are very talented, and hungry for a place to be that is healthy and positive and drug free while participating in the overall edification of their community and the people within it.
I will continue this mission always and believe that with the simple gesture of loving on these young people with consistency and providing them an alternative to the almost non existent activities for the youth in our area will always bear good fruit and build future leaders with a strong sense of responsibility and desire to edify the next one growing up behind them, and have received some great recent reports from some of the young men that have been participating for over 10 years now about the success they are experiencing in the community and giving SJY the credit for giving them the “nudge” they needed to make the difference.
Support Jaco Youth desires to instill 3 major pillars in these young peoples lives. Education, vocation and strong spiritual principles to give them the needed foundation to succeed during these challenging times.