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You might find yourself asking “out of all the countries in the world, why should I travel to Jamaica to volunteer, intern or study abroad? “
If you are, then you should continue reading to find out the exact reasons why you should hop on the next flight to Jamaica.
But before we begin listing off reasons, here is a bit of information about Jamaica’s history, so you can have a better understanding of the island and our culture.
Jamaica was first inhabited by the Tainos (Arawak Indians), until the island was claimed for Spain in 1509, having been discovered by Columbus in 1492. Many of the Tainos were killed off from exposure to European diseases, so African slaves were brought in to work on sugar plantations instead. In 1655, the island was claimed by the British, led by Admiral William Penn.
Sugar quickly became the island’s primary source of income, however slavery was abolished in 1834, so the British had to fill the void left by the loss of their slaves for cheap labor to tend the plantations, thus indentured plantation workers were brought in from many different races, such as Chinese, Indians, Germans, French etc. These laborers were placed across Jamaica, and they each brought their own religions, traditions, food, and language.
Many current day Jamaicans are a result of a mixture of these various races, hence why Jamaica is said to be a rich melting pot of cultures. This is perfectly encapsulated by our national motto, which is “Out Of Many, One People”.
National Fruit: Ackee
National Bird: Doctor Bird
National Flower: Lignum Vitae
National Tree: Blue Mahoe