Dates: Jan 4 - Jan 18, 2014
Group Size: 2 student leaders, 1 staff advisor, 9 participants
Travel Clinic: Level 2 visit +immunizations
- Experience the joy of working with amazing kids!
- Hear the story of Jamaica often missed by its many visiting tourists.
Our host will be Jamaica Volunteer Programs. Over the past twenty years, they have provided programs to support the poor and vulnerable in and around Kingston, Jamaica. Their programs include working with orphanages, providing coaches for youth sports camps, and working in local schools. Maureen Write-Evans is the founder of the organization. She is from Jamaica and will be our host for this trip. She has deep love for her country and is excited to share the real story of Jamaica with our St. Thomas students.
The group will have the chance to explore the tremendous natural beauty of Jamaica through hiking and beach trips. Field trips include Hellshire Beach, Dunn River Falls and the Blue Mountains. The group will also have the chance to explore the music and religious practices of the Rastafarian tradition as well as some of the prominent Christian churches found in Jamaica. Jamaica has been a melting pot of many cultures and influences and nowhere is this better reflected than in the wonderful foods of this exotic island. Some popular foods you’ll find are: Calaloo & Saltfish, Curried goat,· Escoveith Fish, Bammy & Fish, Festival· Rice & Peas, Jerk Chicken and · Stew Peas & Rice
Your stay in Jamaica will be full of love and tradition. Become overjoyed as you are welcomed by the full hearts of the Jamaican people and experience a trip of a lifetime as you see and feel the ‘real’ Jamaica. Spend your week working alongside kids and people of the community and learn how one can have so little, but be still so genuinely happy. Weeks are full of adventures that consist of service projects in Manning’s hill, field trips to Hellshire beach, hikes up the Blue Mountains, attending the Rastafarian and Ethiopian Orthodox Church and being surrounding by the Jamaican culture. The entire community will take you in with open arms and teach you what it is like to live in the Jamaican world as you explore their history and lifestyle.
Most importantly, you come to Jamaica and leave with the reward of making a difference in someone’s life. As the community becomes your world, the people within become your family. You create a new sense of life and see your world with a whole new perspective. The impeccable land and sights gives you a greater outlook on what our lives can offer. You leave Jamaica with a full heart and great sense of accomplishment.
Often when we hear the word, “volunteer,” we are quick to pair it with thoughts of giving or servicing others. In my experiences in Jamaica, I saw volunteering through a new lens: how it gives and services me. During my 2-week stay in Kingston, I was confronted with opportunities to serve: the community, the Evans’ family, and myself. I dove head-first into the classroom, aiding teachers and students with their curriculum and questions. I dove heart-first into my relationships, giving one-on-one attention to every child, teacher, parent, or pedestrian I crossed. I wanted to know people: traditions, culture, their way of life. What I came to find out was more than I could have imagined. I came to know myself. I realized during those two weeks that volunteering fills me, it makes me whole. Through VISION, this trip granted me an awareness of the power of helping others, that has helped defined me ever since. -Rosie Murphy, Trip Leader 2013
Food, Lodging, and Travel:
Just think of Jamaica Volunteers as family waiting for you in Jamaica. One of their representatives will be at the airport to pick you up and transfer you to your housing. They will take you back on the return journey. The group will be housed in dorms and shared rooms at Smokey manor Guest House. Before the start of your project, you’ll be given an orientation which will give good insight into Jamaica, the culture, things to do and see, and what to do in case of an emergency. Daily breakfast and dinner are included and student will make their own lunch to bring to the worksite.
The trip fee of $2200 includes round-trip airfare, site transportation, work materials for site, transportation, meals lodging, as well as programmed group activities. Students should be prepared for additional expenses not included in the program fee, which include: spending money (as determined by the group agreement), food en route to site ($30), updated immunizations, passport fees, and optional travel medications.
For more information, go to http://jamaicavolunteerprograms.com/