**Special Note** A State of Emergency has been issued for the Kingston area and may be expanded to include other parishes. Travelers have been warned to exercise caution if traveling close to these areas.
Our Jamaica Undiscovered Program allows visitors to see a different side of Jamaica. Long associated with sun, sand, sea and all-inclusive resorts, there is much more to this Caribbean paradise. In the interior of the island, you will find the Cockpit Country, which is Jamaica's last remaining wilderness. This area is a global treasure due to its many endemic species, as well as its unique karst geography. Here, uniform limestone hills create the appearance of an upside-down egg carton, and harbor a complex cave system with numerous natural springs and rivers. A lack of economic options and poor land use practices threaten to destroy this important environment.
Volunteers will work with a local nonprofit in the Rock Spring community to implement sustainable development practices. The community is developing an eco-tourism program that utilizes forest resources in a sustainable manner and provides alternative income sources for community members. Volunteers will assist the community by cleaning up local rivers, caves, and sinkholes; marking trails; building wash stations in rivers to filter soap residue; teaching environmental education classes at local schools; and implementing anti-erosion measures on hillsides.
Projects vary depending on the number of volunteers, which projects were finished (or not) with the prior group, what priorities have changed, weather conditions, which supplies are available, and often the interest and fitness level of the volunteers. For these reasons, specific projects are often not fixed until the week prior to your arrival and can even change upon arrival.
Click here to view a short video on this program.
Please note it may take a couple of minutes to buffer before viewing, but it does NOT download to your desktop.
Food and Lodging
Families in Rock Spring open their homes to give volunteers a true taste of Jamaican hospitality. The host family aspect of the program gives volunteers the best opportunity for cross-cultural learning and to see how people really live in rural Jamaica. Electricity and running water are available at all bed & breakfast facilities. Traditional Jamaican meals will be provided daily to volunteers by host families and many special cook-outs and group meals will take place throughout the week. Volunteers can expect to try chicken-and-rice-and-peas, curried goat, ackee and saltfish, breadfruit, yams, and a variety of other local foods. Vegetarian options are readily available.
Leisure and Activities
Ample time has been included in the project itinerary for leisure activity. After a day of hard work volunteers will have time to relax with their host families or explore the community. A series of cross-cultural learning activities, such as cooking demonstrations, dominoes matches, and patois lessons are planned to be a fun yet educational way to be immersed in a new culture. One afternoon will be spent on a nature hike and cave tour exploring the Cockpit Country.
Arranging Your Airfare
Volunteers wil be picked up in the lobby of Glorianns Hotel at 11:00am the day their program commences. Glorianna Hotel is within five minutes of the Monetgo Bay International Airport.
Safety and Security
Your volunteer vacation will take place in rural Jamaica, where incidences of crime and violence are very rare. Rock Spring is a community that is familiar with foreign visitors. Travelers should be vigilant when in major cities or tourist areas.