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Hi, my name is Janine. I am the mind and soul behind Casa MexiBali

Updated: Jan 28

Next, I'll tell you a bit about my small venture Casa MexiBali, the development of its conception, ethics, culture, and about me.


Who am I?


I am a German by origin, and since my childhood, I have had a great interest in foreign cultures, especially those of tropical countries. At the age of 18, I headed to Spain to learn one of the most valuable resources for traveling: a new language. Apart from studies, I worked as a waitress at a beachside restaurant which not only helped me to finance my life and education in Spain, but also to practice the language.


After a few months of studies in Spain, the school gave me the opportunity to obtain a scholarship to study a different dialect in Costa Rica. Of course, I accepted! So, my first trip across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe was to Costa Rica, and I fell in love. Upon returning to Germany, I decided to pursue a degree in journalism. I wanted to turn my desire to explore the world into a job, narrating the stories I encountered on my journey and, at the same time, highlighting the wrongdoings to raise awareness.


Subsequent travels took me to South Africa, South and Central America, Mexico, the United States, Europe, and Oceania (Asia and Australia), always with the ideology of immersing myself in local life, cultures, and understanding their way of living. Tropical life fascinated me the most, and it continues to impress me to this day. I decided to settle in Costa Rica and later moved to Australia and Indonesia for a few years. In Australia, I worked as a cleaner in beach houses during the afternoons and in construction during the day, as my English was not proficient enough to work as a journalist there. Over the years, that changed, and I did learn the language.


Subsequently, I moved to Bali, Indonesia, to pursue my passion for surfing and the ocean, and then to obtain my master's degree in Media and Linguistics. After completing my master's between Bali and Austria (Europe), I founded my own public relations business.


Why Mexico?


I always dreamed of living in a tropical place, calm, close to the beach and ocean waves, surrounded by nature. After visiting many places, Mexico, especially Guerrero, with its untouched beaches and indistinguishable culture, was one that captivated me the most. Its cultural diversity, different ethnicities, climatic zones, the richness of nature, and the varying mindset among states deeply attracted me.


So much so that I chose Mexico as my home, trusting that everything would turn out well. I began building Casa MexiBali, my future home, with local labor to provide employment to those seeking it in the area. Unfortunately, things didn't go as expected; I became a victim of theft, threats, faulty construction, and extortion.


Despite the material losses, I also tried to overcome the physical damages and continue with my project. But problems persisted; people from the town invaded the street that served as the legal access to my house and demanded money to release it. Not accepting extortion and negotiating in that way, they tried to expel me, threatening me with death if I continued the legal process to free the access to Casa MexiBali (and about 6 more houses in the town, not counting the vacant lots). In the end, I had to defend myself, activating my country's embassy, involving national and international politicians, and after two years of struggling to find a solution, at least temporarily, the access to the street leading to Casa MexiBali and other houses in the town was restored.


Based on my experiences, at least in this region of Mexico, foreigners are not as welcomed as in other parts of the country, that is if they do not allow themselves to be extorted or frequently give away their money or other material things. I cannot meet the illegal demands of those around me acting in bad faith, especially not when they are based on my foreigner status and illegal acts. They are not real needs of the local people but instead, very regrettable attempts to satisfy resentment and to gain power.


Despite everything that happened, the most shocking thing for me was realizing the lack of government authority and justice in the state of Guerrero. I had witnessed a lot of corruption in the countries I visited previously, but Mexico represents a different level of corruption, organized crime, and injustice that I never could have imagined. And in the end, the worst part of it all is that the people who have lived there all their lives take it as 'normal'. They tolerate it, accept it, and follow it without complaining because they are afraid there might be consequences, and rightly so, unfortunately! For them, there is not much possibility to get out of there, and they cannot defend themselves with an embassy or reliable authorities like I can. They wouldn't even want to because many don't see it as abnormal to be robbed of basic humanitarian rights - and it what is most devastating to me.


How did Casa MexiBali come to be, and why 'MexiBali'?


So even though the access problem was resolved, I never managed to feel welcome in that environment as a foreigner, as an expatriate, as the person I am, direct and with a very, very German sense of justice for all.


Subsequently, I decided for myself to move to another country and turn the house I built into a rental business to offer a place of rest to people who, like me, work hard and just want to enjoy a weekend at the beach to get inspired and recharge their energy.


The current result is Casa MexiBali, a fusion of two cultures I love: Mexico, with its natural and cultural diversity, its temperament, and vibrant colors; and Bali, which has greatly influenced my life with its vibrant and relaxing atmosphere, its internationalism and tolerance, its inclusion of foreigners, and the humility of its people.


At Casa MexiBali, the positive spirits of these two countries are intertwined, at least that's how I imagine it and wish for you to feel. The concept of the house reflects the characteristics of both cultures.


Every year, I spend some months in Mexico, at Casa MexiBali and in other places in the country, trying to balance the bad experiences with good ones, deepening my knowledge about the country, and highlighting the positive aspects of Mexico because fortunately, my faith in the goodness of its culture has not yet faded.


I am immensely grateful to everyone who has rented Casa MexiBali in the last 24 months and those who will in the future. And although I certainly love that people from all over the world rent my property, what fills me with the most joy is that the majority of my guests are Mexicans. This reflects my initial idea for the house: to live with local people, get to know their diverse cultures, habits, ethnicities, and characteristics close to the beach and ocean waves, in a magical place in its nature, relaxing and peaceful.


I have poured my heart and soul into this project. I hope you can feel it when staying here. I hope you enjoy it!




Janine Reith, Casa MexiBali

Saludos,

Janine.


  • German by origin, with a touch of Mexico and Bali.

  • 34 years old (2024)

  • currently living in Bali

  • already anticipating my return to Mexico.

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