Jamaica is a beautiful island nation located in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba and west of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Nowhere else in the Caribbean islands are African people, history, and culture so prevalent as Jamaica. Volunteers will have lots of exploring to do since Jamaica is also full of attractions to fulfill any Caribbean vacation fantasies.

Education: Teaching is a popular way to volunteer abroad in Jamaica. From tutoring in after school to coaching to teaching adults, there are many ways to work in the education field. Many poorer and rural communities lack the money and resources to give children the education they deserve.

Agriculture, Construction, and many Outdoor Jobs: This forested nation receives a large amount of rainfall and boasts a large variety of plants and animals. According to the World Bank, more than 40% of Jamaica’s land is used for agricultural purposes. There are many possible outdoor volunteer activities that will give you a chance to see the country, get your hands dirty, and help the local community. From conservation to construction, find the program that allows you to be immersed in the natural wonders of Jamaica.

Community Development: Although Jamaica is most well-known for tourist hot spots like resorts and beaches, there is a whole other side to Jamaican culture. The national government has worked on several initiatives to support the poor population. Community development projects may include providing employment/business assistance, providing basic services like health care, supporting community-based infrastructures, minority empowerment, and more.

  • Things to Do: Although you will see many people living in poverty, there are lots of places in Jamaica that have found wealth from tourism. It’s best to try to experience a mix of these two very different Jamaican lifestyles. Take a break from volunteering to swim with dolphins, explore a local market, relax on the beaches, try street food, deep sea fishing, and more!
  • Volunteer/NGO Culture and History in Jamaica: Volunteering directly with NGOs is a great way for more independent travelers to save some money and work with locals. According to WANGO, 22 NGOs are currently working to assist Jamaican people in need.

Health and Safety of Volunteers in Jamaica:

Generally, only the Hepatitis A immunization is required but check with your doctor before traveling or visit MD Travel Health for more information. Travelers’ diarrhea is common but if you bring antibiotics and avoid drinking tap water, you should be fine. Unfortunately, Jamaica has been known for many years for its high crime and murder rates. This doesn’t mean that travelers should avoid it or that they would be in particular danger. Jamaica is also known for being homophobic.

Contributed by Katie Boyer

Programs

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Recently Reviewed Programs

Myself and school children
Mari Jones
10/10
The most unique aspect of my volunteering experience was not only mixing with new people on the trip, but mixing with Ghanaians. Such as our host family, people in the communities and schools and...
On Our Way to the Beach
Sydney Hirschmugl
10/10
Ever since I was really little, it has always been my dream to travel, and with IVHQ I was given the perfect opportunity. My parents got married in Jamaica, which is one of the main reasons why I...
this is the group that volunteered at the animal house jamaica rescue. This litter is up for adoption
Estefania Holt
10/10
I have done IVHQ a total of 3 times. The first time was in Cusco, Peru, I volunteered my time at an orphange. The second was in Costa Rica, working at a coffee farm harvesting and grounding coffee....
Our volunteer group and Mark outside of the volunteer house in Oracabessa.
Scott Finkelstein
10/10
I volunteered with IVHQ and V2 Volunteers for their Jamaica program in July of 2019. My volunteer work consisted of business and community development; my friend and I helped a local business owner...