Volunteer in Jamaica With Jamaica Volunteer Programs

By Jamaica Volunteer Programs   Reviews (78)   94% Rating

Volunteer in Jamaica for the experience of a lifetime. There are Opportunities to make a difference, life changing experiences, and thrilling adventures. It is your chance to touch, feel and see the 'Real Jamaica.'

New and Exciting Ways to Volunteer
Yes! We offer a variety of NEW AND EXCITING WAYS TO volunteer. You can teach in schools, be a Sports Coach, work in an orphanage, work with a building maintenance team, or help in a Community based Organization. These programs are suitable for students in college, high school, university, youth looking for work experience, individuals, and families seeking to bond and work together.

As you grow and develop during your volunteering trip you will feel like a bird which has just learned to fly as you will do things you'd never imagine yourself capable of.

Program Info

Location: 
  • Jamaica
Program Length: 
1-2 weeks
2-4 weeks
1-3 months
3-6 months
6-12 months
Cost: 
See site for details.
See Additional Information
Age Group: 
14-18
18-22
22-35
50+
Languages: 
English
Housing: 
Guest House
Hostels
Hotels
Student Dormitory
Volunteer House
Travel: 
Participants travel to the program independently (not in a group with other participants).
Some travel is required during the program.
Application: 
Online Application
Letters of Recommendation
Phone / Skype Interview
Age Requirement
Other

Videos

Program Reviews (78)

94%
Positive
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  • Impact
    91%
  • Support
    95%
  • Fun
    89%
  • Value
    95%
  • Safety
    97%
  • Wendy DeVore
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Augsburg College
    An Opportunity to Serve While Staying in a Home-Away-From-Home
    05/19/2015

    Jamaica Volunteer Program delivered everything as advertised and more! The staff here ensured that we gained the type of experience that we were looking for. A crucial factor for us was that the staff are also very much part of the community which allowed us to access more of the culture more than if we had come on our own. It has been a rewarding experience and the memories that I have created here will always remain. Additionally, due to medical conditions, I have severe dietary restrictions. The staff here were able to accommodate my dietary needs. If you need a gluten free / dairy free / nut, peanut / meat free diet, no worries - you will not miss out on any of the fine cuisine that Jamaica has to offer!

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  • Austin Beatty
    Age: 31-50
    Male
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    Networking opportunity
    05/19/2015

    From the first interactions we had with Ms. Maureen Wright-Evans, to the last day of our trip, we have encountered nothing but professional courtesy and warm welcomes. I feel that Ms. Maureen went out of her way to accommodate our requests and make the connections we were seeking. Though she knew little about the specific field we work within, she and her staff did their homework, found the right resources and arranged appointments with the critical people we needed to meet. She was flexible with scheduling changes and last minute adjustments to our itinerary, and she made sure we were comfortable in our lodgings and dietary needs, as well.
    Thank you for a wonderful stay and a promising beginning to long-term partnerships.

    How could this program be improved?

    I would appreciate more low or no-cost opportunities for cultural immersion. Though I enjoyed the tours provided to us, I had more interest in some than others; additionally, the costs of the tours were not always accessible to all participants.

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  • Jarbi
    Age: 18 or younger
    Female
    Utah
    It was an AMAZING experience!
    05/14/2015

    My experience with Jamaica Volunteer Programs was wonderful! I worked with a school, orphanages, and a nursing home. I was able to feel the absolute love and kindness of these people. It was beautiful.

    How could this program be improved?

    Jamaica Volunteer Programs was great! They let me experience the Jamaican culture and helped me understand a lot of things I would never have known had I come to Jamaica without them. If I had to change one thing, I would change the transfer prices. There were times when others would be going somewhere and in order to tag along, you would have to pay a fee.

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  • Sharifa Davis
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Valley Stream, New York
    Drexel University
    Spring Break Instagram Worthy
    03/25/2015

    This welcoming staff was very helpful. I enjoyed every part of experience. Visiting the Rasatafarian camp was the most eye opening experience. The religion is very similar to Christianity and the men there are rather friendly. Visiting the University of West Indies was also enjoyable. The students interaction with the Professor is different in our country. The environment is more casual. Also the way they address authority is also not casual . Best experience yet.

    How could this program be improved?

    More advertisement in the U.S.

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  • Devika Shah
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    From Philadelphia studying in Jamaica
    Drexel University
    Great!
    03/25/2015

    The program was great overall, the house is beautiful and accomodating and the staff is very friendly. I would maybe suggest more downtime in between activities, as well as double checking the Rastafarian Camp thing, but other than that it was wonderful.

    How could this program be improved?

    More downtime and checking itinerary for certain parts (the camp) and options for people with dietary restrictions.

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  • Victoria
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Philadelphia, PA
    Drexel University
    Jahhhh Rastafari
    03/25/2015

    I was amazed by how beautiful the house was. The experience was a once in a lifetime. From visiting the Rastafarian camp, exploring the beach, enjoying the native cuisine, to attending university in Jamaica--every experience was worthwhile. I'm definitely going to miss the staff at Smokey Manor. Maureen is THE perfect host! Would highly recommend the adventure for those interested in experiencing the true culture of Jamaica.

    How could this program be improved?

    Internet!

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  • Grace Farrow
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Drexel University
    Fun Experience!
    03/25/2015

    This adventure was so much fun and learned so much more than you would imagine in just 2 days and counting. Being here is such a difference experience compared to living in the states. Everyone is so friendly and you learn a lot just from the people in the area. Overall, I would recommend this for anyone who wants to leave their comfort zones for something new.

    How could this program be improved?

    Improve wifi and if I was staying longer I would want a larger fridge for the open area

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  • Dana
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Philadelphia PA
    Drexel University
    The taste of real Jamaican culture
    03/25/2015

    Our guide and all the staff went above and beyond to ensure we got the most out of our experience and felt comfortable. You get a sense of what it is like to really live in Jamaica (not just a resort)

    How could this program be improved?

    Honestly, i really enjoyed everything we did. My only suggestion would be to stay longer (we only had 3 days and then had to move on to our next destination as part of a school trip).

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  • Isabelle Di Nallo
    Age: 18 or younger
    Female
    Philadelphia, PA
    Drexel University
    Isabelle Di Nallo
    03/25/2015

    I loved every moment of my time in Jamaica here with the Volunteer in Jamaica program. At the begging of the week we were told we would never want to leave once we got, and it's true! Thanks for the memories, I will NEVER forget them (Especially the Rastafari's. . . Jah Rastafarai! ;) ). Thanks again and I hope to be back in the future.

    How could this program be improved?

    The only suggestions I could think of would be to purchase a hammock. You have a lovely home, but as we saw at the Bob Marley House, every good view of the mountains needs an equally as comfy hammock to relax with.

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  • Natalia Nikolina
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Philadelphia
    Drexel University
    Jamaica Experiences
    03/25/2015

    Jamaica has been an amazing experience! I've learned more about this beautiful country in couple days than in 12 years in high school. It changed my perspective of the country, its culture, people, traditions and food. We stayed at a very authentical house in Kingston, where rooms were big, view from the balcony was gorgeous and food delicious. Everybody was very friendly and helpful. Visiting university, swimming in the ocean, going to the museum was very different and important. Me, personally, enjoyed the Rastafari camp most of all. I learned so much about their religion and traditions. It was a culture shock!

    How could this program be improved?

    More time on the beach/outside

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  • Andy Macaleer
    Age: 31-50
    Male
    Philadelphia, PA
    Princeton University
    A wonderful experience
    03/25/2015

    Smokey Manor is a wonderful place to stay and to undertake your Kingston exploration experience. Tucked into the hills above Kingston, the house is beautiful in a safe and quiet neighborhood. The staff is more than accommodating. 30 minutes to anywhere in Kingston we visited many of the fantastic sites around town including Blue Mountain, Strawberry Hill, Hellshire Beach, Devon House and Bob Marley Museum. I would recommend time at Smokey Manor to anyone who wants an authentic Jamaican experience.

    How could this program be improved?

    I think we tried to do much each day. We need to revisit the itinerary for our next trip and trim it down. Otherwise, I wouldn't change a ting :)

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  • John O'Kelly
    Age: 31-50
    Male
    Philadelphia
    Drexel University
    smokey manor
    03/25/2015

    Good trip. Rustic homestead experience on an authentic homestead. No frills. Beautiful location to escape city life and experience real Jamaica. Excursions were well planned. Transportation wasn't the most comfortable (old, uncomfortable buses) but it was tolerable and overall a quite enjoyable experience.

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  • Dana DAngelo
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    Philadelphia
    Could not have more perfect
    03/25/2015

    We had a wonderful time...Maureen and Staff are personable, reliable, informative and just delightful. The activities all met our needs - I am already planning to come back with another group. We especially love the cooking and meeting so many friendly people. Accommodations were great - safe and beautiful. And the staff went the extra mile to provide unique things we wanted like the Bobo Camp. Thanks to all - it is like home away from home.

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  • Zachary Fisher
    Age: 25-30
    Male
    Prides Crossing, MA
    Gordon College
    School Trip
    03/21/2015

    This is my second time as a school group leader working alongside Jamaica Volunteer Programs, and they have been terrific. The minute we arrived in Jamaica, we were greeted by friendly staff who treated us like family. Throughout the course of the week, our group was immersed in the Jamaican culture by traveling through the city and countryside, trying authentic food, visiting beaches and venturing up into the Blue Mountains. JVM helped us fulfill our goal of teaching at a local school, and the students I was in charge of said that was one of their highlights. I would recommend Jamaica Volunteer Programs to anyone looking experience this incredible country!

    How could this program be improved?

    Considering that our group only had one week, and that that travel time within the country is time-consuming, are there closer schools to establish relationships with in order to maximize the group's time?

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  • Ben
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    Cincinnati, OH
    University of Cincinnati
    Service Trip in Jamaica
    03/19/2015

    I would have liked it a lot better if we had been allowed to pick which programs we wanted to do and the ability to choose the different culture experiences. I also this it would have been nice to have a better break down of the cost because there were expenses we were not informed about that caused us to run out of money. The cost for transportation at night to go done a hill to the supermarket of to do something in the city was outrages. I think that this should have been allowed without having to pay, since it is only a five min drive. Another things is I didn't realize that none of the money going to help the children. I thought that was why it cost so much.

    I really enjoyed working with the children. This was life changing, but I felt like I could have done more if part of the money we payed was going to help the children.

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Alumni Interviews

  • Why did you pick this program?

    Eliza: The University of Cincinnati's "Serve Beyond Cincinnati" student organization partners with both domestic and international organizations to volunteer and make the world a better place. We were placed with Jamaica Volunteer Programs to assist with working in an orphanage and primary school. I love children and service so I felt this was a perfect match for me...AND I WAS RIGHT! I loved the children so much!

    What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

    Eliza: I encourage every single one of my friends to go abroad! In undergrad I studied in France and now this most recent trip has solidified my love for traveling. Even if one of my friends goes to an English speaking country I encourage them to go! I tell them traveling doesn't mean going to somewhere you don't know the language. Traveling is to experience a new culture, try something out of your comfort zone, and open your eyes to what the entire world has to offer.

    What is the most important thing you learned abroad?

    Eliza: The most important thing I learned abroad is openness and awareness of other cultures. I'm originally from a small rural Ohio town where there was barely any diversity. Being exposed to other cultures truly opened my eyes to the beauty of the world. But it also reminded me to count my blessings each day and to never take anything for granted.

    What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?

    Eliza: My favorite experience was the first day at the orphanage. We arrived in the morning while the children were eating breakfast. We were waiting at a picnic table outside and marveling in the fact that the children only had a swing set in a concrete playground. The orphanage was exactly how you see it in movies, but living the experience was a whole different ball game.

    Once the children finished eating we heard a woman tell them to go outside so we prepared to meet them. But as soon as they saw us they ran to us, climbed all in our laps, grabbed crayons off the table, and it was absolute chaos!!! These children had no idea who we were but they loved us immediately. We were complete strangers in their lives but they could not stop talking to us, getting us to play games, and demanding attention. It struck me as profoundly beautiful that children with no possessions or toys or anything to call their own could love so immensely.

  • Allison Gengler - Volunteer in Jamaica

    Highlights: The highlight of my trip was working with all the kids you can learn so much from an elementary aged child. They will tell you their favorite things about Jamaica what they know about America, what music they like. The kids had so much energy and we always knew they were going to bring a smile to our face everyday, It was the hardest part of the trip leaving those smiling kids faces after you had built relationships with them.

    Morning: A typical morning in Jamaica was beautiful we would wake up at around 6:50, just early enough to run out of our rooms to catch the breath taking sunrise come out from behind the mountains. After watching this we would run back to our rooms get ready real quick and head down for a delicious breakfast. Our breakfasts consisted of fresh fruit, porridge and sometimes fish! You may think fish for breakfast is a little bit strange but once you're there you just embrace it and it tastes great.

    After breakfast we loaded up in the van and headed to our work site. My favorite place we worked was at a Primary School, we arrived there and the kids would flock to us yelling our names and want us to walk with them to there class. In the group I traveled with their was 12 of us so we each got assigned our own classroom, I was with a vibrant and full of energy second grade class. I helped the students with homework and answered all of there out of the box questions about America! I taught them about seasons and about the differences in the culture, for example, how americans treat pets and animals compared to Jamaicans. They thought it was so fascinating. I taught them all day until school got out at 2:30.

    Day in the Life of Allison - Volunteer/Study in Jamaica
    Day in the Life of Allison - Volunteer/Study in Jamaica

    Afternoon: At 2:30 we left when the kids left and we headed over to S.O.S. children's village an orphanage fairly close to the school, when we arrived again we were created by tons of bright smiling faces, these kids were so happy even with their current situation. We played soccer, danced, talked, and just spent time with all these awesome kids. We were able to make some great connections that we will never forget. We stayed at S.O.S. till around 5:30 then we headed back home to Smokey Manor for the night!

    Evening: A typical evening in Jamaica was relaxing, we had very tiring days so it was very nice to get back to the manor and rest. We would arrive back and eat a scrumptious authentic Jamaican dinner and just hang out. The family we were staying with had two sons in their twenties so we were able to ask other people similar in age to us different cultural questions we would think of throughout our days work. We would also spend time as a group reflecting on the days work, and planning games and activities for the next day with the kids. We went to bed early most of the time, because we knew the kids expected us to be ready to go and full of energy and we wanted to deliver that!

  • Jamaica
    Nathan in Jamaica

    Why did you decide to volunteer with VISIONS in Jamaica?

    Nathan: I was the staff advisory for a VISION trip comprised of 10 undergraduate students from a mid-western university looking to serve and learn from Jamaica and its wonderful residents. We we looking for a comprehensive program that would be flexible enough to allow us to focus on the desired values of service, simplicity, spirituality, community, cultural exchange, and justice issues as well as a program structured enough to provide a safe learning experience.

    Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

    Nathan: Through this experience we had the opportunity to volunteer at two separate orphanages, a primary school, as well as a senior citizen home.

    What made this experience unique and special?

    Nathan: Hands down, living with a true Jamaican family transformed this experience. To be able to have numerous direct contacts to ask questions of, learn about their lives, live where they live and eat traditional meals gave an insight into the culture that can only come from such a personal interaction.

    How has this experience impacted your future?

    Nathan: I can boldly speak for the group when I say that all of us have a much clearer picture of what life is truly like in Jamaica. We may have only visited for 2 weeks, but the amount of quality time spent there investing and learning was extremely fruitful. Our days were busy and very enjoyable, but always learning and growing. Personally this trip has reinvigorated my heart to serve underprivileged youth in developing countries and here at home in America.

About the provider

We are a volunteer travel company that offer packages to mainly colleges, universities, youth organizations and individuals who are looking to have an authentic Jamaican learning experience.

Our company's goal is to identify and offer volunteer programs in different locations around Jamaica at affordable prices where visitors to Jamaica can volunteer or Interns while immersing themselves into the culture

We partner with schools, orphanages and other Non- Profit organizations and make all the arrangements for volunteers to come to Jamaica. By doing this, we take the hassle out of volunteering and finding the right opportunities.