Affordable Volunteer Programs in Jamaica

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About

Jamaica Volunteer Expeditions offers a safe and meaningful volunteer travel experience that allows you to experience Jamaica not like a tourist but like a Jamaican. As a Jamaican owned and operated volunteer placement organization our programs are based in small Jamaican communities across the island which allows you the opportunity to immerse with local Jamaicans as you carry out your volunteer work rubbing shoulders with Jamaicans. Whether you’re an experienced traveler or it’s your first time travelling abroad one of our experienced Program Advisor will work closely with you to co-create a life changing and meaningful volunteer experience in Jamaica.

We offer a wide variety of service projects in rural areas, the city and the coast (Negril, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios) of Jamaica. Our volunteers are placed either with a host family or at a volunteer house. Volunteers who stay with a host family really get a firsthand experience of Jamaica's cuisine and our dialect "Patios".

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Reviews

9.43 Rating
based on 14 reviews
  • Impact 9.1
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.4
  • Value 9
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 8 of 14
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Drew
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Don’t Overthink It and Just Do It!

After excitedly planning this trip for two years, as the day of departure grew nearer both myself and classmates began to get cold feet, overthinking it for one reason or another (notably the price). However, from the moment we landed I knew I made the right choice. The country (especially Manchester where we stayed) was hands down one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, from the breathtaking green landscapes, to the extremely hospitable Jamaican people, from whom I feel we all can learn a lot from in how to live a happy life. Omar and JVE have seemingly perfected how to enfuse cultural immersion, meaningful service, and fun into one trip. After a different traditional breakfast, we worked at the school for the day, dividing ourselves up between helping in the classroom or teaching the primary children baseball, with volunteers freely circulating as they wish to. After school we visited the nearby boys home, playing games (including football, basketball, and dominos) with the 50 some boys there. In my humble opinion this was by far the highlight of the trip, as many of the boys were too in highschool, and shared interests with all of us from back home in the states. At night we came home and had a large traditional Jamaican meal and by 830 we were given the rest of the night to enjoy the 30 acre property as we pleased.

During our engages with the Jamaican people, the phrase “one people, one family” truly set in, as the way people live and interact with another is almost as if it was the same as from the states, only in a different enviroment. It was through this experience that my aspirations of becoming an enviromental engineer were reaffirmed, and I hope to rectory soon. We may have made much progress during our weeklong stay, but there still remains much work to be done to help this amazing country continue to develop into what it can be.

Getting to experience “Jamaican time” and the thrill of driving around in the mountains itself was worth it. Throw in the lasting impact made upon both myself and those I helped, and it’s clear that every penny was well spent. I am embarrassed to have ever hesitated in the first place about going, so please don’t make the same mistake I did, and if you ever have an opportunity to travel with JVE, jump on it ASAP!!

What would you improve about this program?
While the last couple of nights are spent out and about in the city and jam packed, for the duration of the actual service most nights were spent back at the homestead eating dInner and interacting with each other. By spending another one or two nights out on the town further immersing into this vibrant culture, the overall experience would be that much more exciting, and culturally educational, seeing how the things we learned from the staff actually are applied in real Jamaican towns and squares.
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David
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

JVE: A great choice for a service trip in Jamaica

As part of my school’s mission trip abroad, I visited Jamaica in the Manchester Parish for a week during January 2019. Through JVE, I was able to wholly immerse myself in the Jamaican culture through both the food and people that I encountered during my stay. The house, Tan Y Bryn served as a great place to sleep and enjoy Jamaican cuisine provided by the staff working there. Continuing with the staff, all of the employees at Tan Y Bryn were very amicable towards my volunteer group and helped us with every small need from plumbing to toiletries. While the housing accommodations were great, JVE truly shines through the service opportunities they provided for myself and other volunteers. We spent most of the time working at the Mt. Olivet Primary School and the Mt. Olivet Boys Home located only a 8 minute car ride away from Tan Y Bryn. During my time at the school, I was able to connect with many students and had special moment with a few individuals. Overall, I can wholeheartedly say that JVE was an excellent organisation to work with and I would definitely work with them again in the future if I return on a service trip to Jamiaca.

What would you improve about this program?
The only part of the trip I would complain about is the lack of consistent planning between our leaders and JVE representatives, albeit a minor issue.
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Jordan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

One of a kind experience

During my time here in Jamaica I learned many new things about the culture and how the people here live. I truly learned how lucky i am to have what I have and how I should be more thankful for all the little things I have. I also learned how you can be really happy with just having the basic things in life. You do not need to have all the best stuff and all of the new toys and gadgets to be happy. As long as you have your friends family and the basics you can really enjoy life. Also just experiencing everyday life really gave me an understanding how lucky I am. I had never had to worry about not having enough water to shower. I also really enjoyed different foods I got to try. Just experiencing all the different ways different foods are prepared and how much time actually goes into making them. I loved the program because of the different things it exposed me to and just being able to enjoy how beautiful this little island really is.

What would you improve about this program?
Some ways I think this program could improve is adding in the fees for lunch at the schools and for all the tips in the initial price to you don't have to worry about not having enough money.
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victor
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Thank you!

The experience was one of a kind... definitely recommend it! It started with us getting here and while we were eating at ultimate jerk, i found out what real Jamaican culture is like. After, when we worked with the boys, it was memorable because we made real connections with them that i didn't think were possible in such a short time. When we would play football with the guys from the home, they felt what connection with someone was... something that some hadn't felt before. when we did the cultural exchange, it was really meaningful because they showed us so much about their culture with just little bits of music and dancing. They taught me that happiness is more than just owning things. Happiness is about the times spent with people you love and the people you care about and i learned that while realizing the kids dindt have all the money in the world... even coming into school with ripped pants, but yet they all had a smile on their face at all times.

Default avatar
Alexander
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My expeirence

I have been to many places around the world for service and Jamaica was unique. With that being said, it was fun because it was a different. I had never stayed in a house like that for a service project, but I think that it enhanced the comradery and the expeirence. I liked the idea of having a lot of time to play with the kids. Also, being a part of the culture was nice. It was as if we were not only there for service but also for vacation.

What would you improve about this program?
The only way I would improve this program is the scheduling. There was too much down time, and I think we could jahve gotten a lot more done if we had a set schedule.
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Trish
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Girl Scouts had a great experience with Jamaica Volunteer Expeditions

Our girl scout troop had a fabulous service trip to an orphanage in Jamaica thanks to the help of Jamaica Volunteer Expeditions. The trip was life changing and the bonds we formed with the children we met will never be forgotten. Jamaica Volunteer Expeditions was key to the success of our trip -- they worked tirelessly with our leader to ensure everything was organized prior to our arrival. The staff of JVE ensured our trip was safe, informative and fun for adults and girls alike. No detail was left to chance and our trip was exactly what we hoped it would be and so much more. We are looking forward to a return journey next summer to visit all our new friends at the orphanage and we are excited to work with Jamaica Volunteer Expeditions again. JVE worked to ensure that the program fit perfectly with the goals of girl scouts in building girls of courage, confidence and character. Our trip was a huge success and although we know we can't solve all the world's problems -- it was wonderful to be able to make a difference for the amazing children we met in Jamaica.

What would you improve about this program?
To improve the program I would advise visiting groups to have double the activities planned that they think they will need. I would also ask JVE to provide more paintbrushes and garden tools (the needed tools for our project) so that more of us could work together to get the job done. More challenging projects would also be welcome -- volunteers are coming to work and more than anything else want to leave knowing they made a lasting change. It is great to be able to stretch beyond your limits (for kids and adults) to help someone in need.
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Christine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great program & support from start to finish!

Jamaica Volunteer Expeditions was such a terrific company to work with for our Girl Scout trip abroad. From the very first day I contacted the company expressing interest in volunteering to help children in Jamaica they were extremely helpful in providing information and suggestions for my group which consisted of 8 Girl Scouts and 8 mother's. They worked with me throughout the whole planning process for months before our trip, and were on top of getting back to me with any questions I needed answered.
As for the volunteer program that they set up for our group it was a perfect match! I couldn't have planned anything better. Volunteering at an orphanage was so rewarding. All of us on the trip formed such a bond with the people of the orphanage; residents and administrative workers.
The whole staff of Jamaica Volunteer Expeditions was amazing to work with! They were with us from start to finish, offering support the whole time.
I was very impressed with Jamaica Volunteer Expeditions, and so was my whole group. It was such a heart filled experience and impacted us in ways that are hard to explain. We loved it so much we hope to return next year!
I definitely recommend Jamaica Volunteer Expeditions to help organize a program for anyone that is interested in volunteering abroad!

What would you improve about this program?
The program was perfect, if I had to say one thing it would be that more gloves and paint brushes/rollers were provided so more of us could work at one time & accomplish more.
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Sasha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Working with children

I always knew that I wanted to volunteer, but nothing really captivated me until I found an opportunity to volunteer in Kingston. I wasn't sure what to expect so I was very nervous, especially as a young woman travelling alone. I worked with children ages 4-17 at an orphanage. The other volunteers and I created a summer program for the kids where we held computer, math, english, and art classes. We also played games and had loads of fun! In addition to volunteering, I experienced Jamaican cuisine, the beautiful sights and the night life. I have since been back 5 times to visit the kids, one of which times my mum and step dad came to meet the kids and see the orphanage!
I could ramble on, so if you have any questions or would like to know more about my experience, feel free to contact Jamaica Volunteer Expeditions and ask to speak with me :)
I highly recommend the program!
- Sasha