Volunteer in Jamaica With Children and in the Community

Video and Photos

About

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.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

94%
based on 93 reviews
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 8.5
  • Value 9
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 61 - 75 of 93
Default avatar
Kim
9/10

Jamaica Spring Break Alternative

I had an incredible experience in Jamaica and I am so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone!! This was the first time I've ever done something like this but it was positive and everyone was so helpful and supportive. I loved working with the kids at the school and orphanage. They were so sweet and I would definitely recommend this program to anyone!!!

How can this program be improved?
I would just say the prices of the tours are a little expensive, but other than that everything was great!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Cameron
9/10

My stay at with the Evans family

I really enjoyed my stay at smoky manor with the Evans family. The house was very clean and this was my fourth volunteer vacation and i would say this was the best food by far and was the cleanest of them all. The staff have been great answering all the emails and keeping up with what we want well here in Jamaica. The two schools we visited were great, the teacher and community all came together to get the projects we had set aside to get done. I really enjoyed the area the schools location as well. Overall I learned a lot and really enjoyed my stay here! I will for sure recommend this place to other Canadians and hope to bring another group to Jamaica. You all are great people, and are doing all the right things to better the lives of people around you! I thank you for taking the group into your lives and lets us see a piece of how Jamaicans live. You have a beautiful family and a very nice home. We are so glade we took the time to come and stay at Smokey Manor.

How can this program be improved?
I believe we are paying to much for transportation. If there is going to be all these extra cost, the volunteers need to now a head of time. We did not release that we are out of town and if we need a trip into town we would have to pay a fee. I believe its is far to cover the gar but no more. maybe charge a little more and include a transportation if the volunteers need to go town. Overall it was fine but something to take into factor. One last thing is to maybe get some chairs on the deck off of dorm one for guest to sit out on :) thanks again for everything.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Colten
9/10

Alternative Spring Break

I enjoyed the experience at Smokey Manor. Working with less privileged schools was certainly an eye-opening experience for me, as I had never seen similar conditions at home in Canada. I particularly enjoyed learning how to mix cement with dirt and gravel while we helped to redo the floor of the classroom at Golden Hill Basic School. It's great to see how people can make the most of what they have and live their lives with a positive attitude no matter what they are faced with. I liked being able to make a difference in the lives of children who I've encountered, as this allows for me to truly feel the impact of the effort we put forth into our volunteer trip. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Jamaica and I'm grateful to have experienced it with Jamaica Volunteer Programs at Smokey Manor. Yeah mon!

How can this program be improved?
The program was a bit costly, and we had to fundraise a lot of money to make the trip happen. I'm sure the program costs are high for the staff of Jamaica Volunteer Programs, but if the fees were lower I think more students would be interested in participating in the alternative spring break.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Alex
9/10

Jamaica Spring Break Alternative

This program is a great way to see the culture of Jamaica. With helping the schools and meeting all of the friendly locals you really feel like a part of the community. Going to the orphanage and playing with the children is just a blast to do.

How can this program be improved?
no complaints
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Allison
10/10

Jamaica Spring Break Alternative

The work done at the schools was very productive. Transportation is a little expensive. Fun to learn new culture of the schools and see how kids are taught in Jamaica. Overall, great experience and I would definitely come back.

How can this program be improved?
Transportation costs are high, because Smokey Manor is isolated from city life.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Momoe
9/10

A once in a lifetime opportunity in a beautiful country.

Volunteering with Jamaica Volunteer Programs was a very satisfying experience. I volunteered as a Maths and English teacher for teenage boys at the YMCA ranging from 13 to 17 years old. Since I was the only volunteer working there, it was the first time that I had to take initiative and work hard. I learned to overcome the struggles that I first had when teaching the boys, as well as having patience and understanding for them. There were 17 kids in my classroom, which made it easier to gain one-on-one time and really get to know them as individuals. During lunch times, I would hang out with the kids and see how they interacted. I would have to say that teaching the boys at the YMCA was my favorite memory during my stay in Jamaica. Most of them face a lot troubles at home and do not come from much; and because of this I was able to think about the many things I take for granted. The volunteer staff in Jamaica were very welcoming and ensured that I would be safe at all times. Other than the volunteering aspect, there were many opportunities to experience the culture of Jamaica. Going to Portland, the Bob Marley Museum and Hellshire Beach were just some of the great traveling opportunities I had. The cuisine in Jamaica is also very fresh and delicious.Although my stay was wonderful, my only regret is that I did not stay longer to teach the kids at YMCA and get to know them even more.

How can this program be improved?
The location of the accommodation was quite inconvenient for travel. Cars were the main form of transportation to reach places such as the local supermarket. However, it was also good because the area that I stayed in was a very safe neighborhood.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Bill
9/10

Wonderful Volunteer experience

We came to Jamaica as a semi-retired couple wishing to combine visits with our grandchild and her parents who live in Jamaica with a volunteer experience. The Jamaica Volunteers program provided us with both great accommodations during the week and an incredible experience teaching at Constant Spring Primary and Junior High School.

We were treated like family at Smokey Manor by Maureen Wright-Evans, her family and staff. The meals were true Jamaican cuisine`and plentiful. Situated in the hills overlooking Kingston, the air was sweet and the views lovely.

On our first day at the Constant Spring School, we were warmly welcomed by the Principal and Vice Principal and immediately brought to a 5th and 4th grade class respectively. Within minutes of arriving in the classroom we were given the opportunity to teach a class! While quite energetic, the students were respectful, eager to learn and very affectionate. During our 2 weeks, we taught and experienced classes in grades 2,3,4,5, and 6. Despite large class size (32-40), cramped conditions, and constant noise (many classrooms were rail car style with no door and only a low thin wall) the classrooms themselves were quite rich with many pictures and much information on walls and hung on strings that stretched across the class room. The curriculum was very rich covering not only the typical 3 R academic subjects, but also included religions of the world, social studies and even Spanish! The teachers were mostly excellent, with an amazing ability to maintain classroom order, while keeping the students engaged and interested under very difficult conditions. A highlight of the week for us was introducing all 3 4th grade classes to Judaism, which included the blessings at the beginning of Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath. The kids were most interested and it was a great experience for all!

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

Visually impaired volunteer

I am visually impaired and volunteered at Constant Spring School working closely with a fellow volunteer. The children at the school were incredible and truly touched my heart. They were sometimes boisterous but so willing to help. I often had five children escorting me around the school. On our last day we bought some sports equipment for the school and they gave the most amazing thank you ceremony which included children singing and a patois poem. These children made such a huge impression on me and I hope I made an impression on them.
The tours are spectacular and you really get to see how beautiful jamaica is but it's the local people we met that really make jamaica beautiful. Hellshire beach was my favourite tour because you get a chance to chat to the locals. It's such an amazing place.

Smokey manor is lovely. The walls are thin so you can hear other volunteers. There was a great mixture of old and young volunteers and we all got on well. The food was great but I would have liked some spicy food and the opportunity to eat out. I had my 40th birthday while volunteering and it was the best birthday. The highlight was the Norwegian girls singing happy birthday and the dance class given by Lovely Lanette.

I would have liked the opportunity to go to a local market and talk to more local people.

We did so much in 2 weeks. It was a trip of a lifetime and one I will never forget . Thank you JVP

How can this program be improved?
The food could be a bit spicier and I would have loved a chance to mingle with the locals more
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Johnnay
8/10

UST student

The program was great! I had a blast and loved being part of the experience. I felt part of the family as soon as I walked in the door. Maureen honestly felt as my Jamaican momma. My favorite part of the trip was talking with her about being a strong woman in Jamaica. She had wisdom and an understanding about being a woman and what that means in the world today. One thing I wished we had an opportunity to do during this trip would be to sit down one-on-one with more Jamaican adults and hear about everyday life, politics and culture. I didn't feel that we had a chance to talk to adults about life here being in the schools. I also wished we had more of an impact in the schools. I felt that we weren't needed in the schools and if anything, we were more of a distraction to the teachers. I have nothing but respect for Jamaican teachers. The respect the students have the the teachers is undeniable. Coming into the classroom I felt that there was something more we could do but I felt as if we were used as a way for the teachers to have a break from the class and leave the class to us. Not being a education major made the time in the schools less helpful and more underwhelming. I felt that the school needed and appreciated us being there but didn't know what to do with us. I also felt that the only time we were immersed into the culture was through tourist attractions. I wish we had a chance to see everyday life and talk to locals. I understand that it is dangerous here and I don't know what could change to make it a happy medium between tourist and local attractions but it was something that was talked about with the group multiple times. Overall the trip was great! I've been surrounded by laughter, good company with good hearts all in the Jamaican air. Overall no complaints!

How can this program be improved?
To have more of a chance to talk to locals or have a chance to sit down with someone from the Rasta community. Overall I would change the amount of time that was spent in the house and spend more time out in the community whether that be by going to a museum or walking around downtown - something that would allow us to see more of the real beautiful, beautiful Jamaica.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Philipo
10/10

Vision in Jamaica

My normal day in Jamaica is to wake up with breakfast prepared by amazing staff. Then on weekdays we would go to our day programs such as teaching math and reading at Manning primary school and others will work on building the playground at Manning hill basic school for the young children. After work around 2:30 pm we would come back and get some time to relax before dinner. Dinner was always filling and great. Best things we have experienced would be site seeing such as blue mountain, maroon village, hillshire beach and dunn's river falls. The culture here is excellent and the staff does a great job highlighting it to the group.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Meredith
9/10

Happy In Jamaica!

Staying at Smokey Manor with the Wright-Evans family has been an incredible experience. I felt welcome immediately upon entering the house and continued to feel so throughout my two-week stay. Every morning began with incredible cooking from Jerry and Louise; every bus ride ended safely at our volunteer site (Mannings Hill Primary School); every evening settled down in the tidy and homey dorm rooms. The view from the house is incredible, not to mention the community the volunteers who are staying there provides. Meeting people from around the world who have chosen Jamaica as their ideal volunteer spot has been such an enhancement to the already vibrant cultural exchange found in Jamaica. The school invited us in and even the surrounding businesses welcomed our group with love and pride. Furthermore, each outing provided incredible and overwhelming amounts of history, excitement, and culture. Overall, my stay at Smokey Manor has been incredible, and I could not have imagined a more wonderful Jamaica experience.

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

Student service learning trip to Jamaica

The trip I went on had six days of volunteering (every Monday through Wednesday) and adventure days the rest of the week that immersed us in the Jamaican culture. I worked at a school that had never had volunteers before and they were overjoyed to have us. We started to build a play area for them and had lunch with them. We played with the kids (ages 2-5) and had so much fun. We also spent time at a local orphanage and donated items they really needed (with a list provided by our hosts)

Every outing provided new insights to the culture from history to the food and landscape. We never went anywhere alone and the hosts made sure that every step of the way we were having fun and learning.

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

Jamaican Student Learning Trip

This experience has been amazing! We have gotten to experience both service work and the cultural aspects of Jamaica! The staff has been MORE than friendly and helpful with everything. One thing that we got to do was supply and build a playground. This provided a place for the students to play and will always be there! Also the different cultural trips we went on, like Blue Mountain, were great ways to show us the Jamaican Cultural, while still having fun.

How can this program be improved?
If I could change one thing, I wish that we could have had dinner on the town one of the nights. I felt like we didn't visit the town as that much--usually we stayed at the guest house--and it would be great to visit the city more.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Claire
9/10

Jamaica Student Service Learning Trip

I really enjoyed this program because safety seemed to be the number one goal for each and every volunteer. I really enjoyed being in the mountain as well as having safety with our food and water each and every day.

How can this program be improved?
Although I enjoyed the safety like I mentioned above, I did find myself a little frustrated by the lack of freedom I felt I had at times. Of course, being on a mountain, there are limited possibilities and places for us to go, but even when we went on the day trips, I felt as if I was a little sheltered.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Michael
10/10

Immerse yourself in Jamaica through service-learing

My service trip to Jamaica has been a great experience. I had the opportunity to work at a basic school and build a build a playground for the children. It was a much better experience than i can imagine anyone getting as a tourist. I was able to work alongside individuals who were either married to a teacher at the school, had children there, or where related to the principal. Participating on this trip gave me an understanding of the true Jamaican culture. Meeting the local people and working alongside them has taught me more than any class could have. I have made relationships with the people and was sad when we had to say goodbye. This trip not only focused on service but provided us with opportunities to get to see different areas of Jamaica such as the beach, the mountains, and the city. I would recommend this trip to anyone!

How can this program be improved?
I would make sure that everything is communicated clearly and in a timely manner. Sometimes our group wasn't sure of exact times that we were doing our activities or exactly of what they all entailed.
Yes, I recommend this program

Interviews

About Jamaica Volunteer Programs

We identify and offer programs where travellers can volunteer, intern or study abroad while immersing in the ‘Real’ Jamaican culture at affordable prices.

When you book with us you will be treated as if you are a relative visiting from overseas and...