Home Building and Farming in Jamaica
Jamaica is a country of extremes. On the northern coast—home to tourism—and in the suburbs of Kingston, wealthy Jamaicans live in first-rate housing, visit shopping centers featuring the best imported goods, and enjoy an elevated standard of living. Living in such suburbs as Cherry Gardens, Arcadia Gardens, and Forest Hills, the wealthy send their children to private schools and to universities abroad, and employ private security forces.
Yet not far from these wealthy enclaves a significant number of poor Jamaicans live in squalor, with poor housing, limited food supply, and inadequate access to clean water, quality health care or education.Kingston's poor congregate in the slum districts of Trench Town, Jones Town, and Denham Town, where water supplies are often polluted and violent youth gangs clash with police for control of the streets. Jamaica's high inflation and dependence on imports—especially for food, gasoline, and clothing—has meant that the poor have had to spend a high amount of their relatively small incomes on the necessities of life.
In this two-week service trip, we will delve into the poorest sections of Jamaica to meet and learn from the people there. In partnership with Franciscan Ministries and Sister Grace, our focus will be working with our hands – both in the capital Kingston and in rural Jamaica. We will begin in an underserved neighborhood surrounding Kingston where we will help build a simple house for someone in great need. Usually people who are incapable of affording their own home are on a waiting list for a home like this for years. After a week in Kingston, we will travel to rural Jamaica where we will help Sister Grace work on a "Security Farm" – where food is grown for the poor. This might include farming, watering or maintenance at the farm with a possible service project in a small rural town as well.
This is a great introductory trip for people who like to labor in the hot sun – one of our most service-oriented experience! An added perk - Jamaicans speak English!
For further information, contact Lu Firestone at x 2422 or email@example.com.