Location
  • Jamaica
Length
1 to 4 weeks

Program Details

Language
English
Age Min.
18
Timeframe
Short Term Spring Break Summer Winter Year Round
Housing
Guesthouse Host Family
Groups
Small Group (1-15)
Travel Type
Budget Family Older Travelers Solo Women

Pricing

Starting Price
395
Price Details
Fully hosted experience from only $395 for 1 week - this includes accommodation, breakfast, airport pick-up, orientation and 24/7 in-country support.
What's Included
Accommodation Airport Transfers Some Meals Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
Jun 09, 2021
Jun 23, 2022
28 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

You can now join IVHQ as a volunteer in Jamaica! The IVHQ Jamaica program is located the parish of St Mary, nearby the popular port town of Ocho Rios. You can choose to contribute to 5 volunteer projects including Teaching, Kindergarten, Animal and Veterinary Care, Sports Development and Business and Community Development.

Volunteers are accommodated alongside other international volunteers in either a homestay with a local family, or a dormitory-style volunteer house and are provided with a continental-style breakfast every morning. The IVHQ Jamaica program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, breakfast and 24/7 in-country support.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Programs are available year-round in Jamaica at an affordable price of US$395 for 1 week
  • The IVHQ Jamaica program begins on the first and third Monday of every month. You can choose to volunteer for durations ranging from 1 week to 8 weeks.
  • The Jamaica program is based in the parish of St Mary in the northeast of Jamaica.
  • Jamaica program fees include 24/7 in-country support, airport pick-up, program orientation, volunteer placement, accommodation, breakfast.
  • Ocho Rios is a popular destination for resorts and cruise ships, and you can expect to discover beautiful beaches, waterfalls and art galleries!

Program Reviews

9.9 Rating
based on 10 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9.6
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.8
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 8 of 10 reviews
Default avatar
Havishya
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching and School Support in Jamaica - Outstanding experience!

I was accepted to volunteer in Jamaica with International Volunteer HQ (June 2022). The application process was very clear and all the guidance materials provided were really helpful and informative. I was really impressed with the level of support from both Merran and the local team in Jamaica.

As I reflect on an amazing two week experience in St Mary Parish, I’m not even sure where to begin. I had the opportunity to cherish some beautiful moments at breathtaking sceneries with the most incredible individuals and share some unforgettable memories.

I had the privilege of teaching the wonderful, lively and content children of Faith Builders. Not only did these children teach me so much in such a short time but, have inspired me to create changes in my own behaviors and view life from a different perspective. They have taught me the importance of appreciation for everything in life and to find happiness in the little things.

The teachers inspired a passion for learning in the children all the while not always having the ample resources or access to technology most other schools take for granted. A big thank you to all the staff members at Faith Builders ECC for involving me in the learning and cultural activities.

The teaching and school support experience truly was emotionally rewarding, it has been a humbling experience and certainly the right decision! Thank you Jamaica! One love!

I was able to decide on the tours and activities that were of interest to me when I arrived and met the other volunteers. Some of these tours and activities include Blue Hole, the Luminous Lagoon and Green Grotto Caves and Jamaican cooking classes. All these activities took place in the first week of the program and were organized well in advance with updates sent on the Jamaica volunteer group chat so that we were able to plan meet ups with the other volunteers after work.

I especially enjoyed immersing myself in the Jamaican culture by supporting the local community at the street markets, restaurants and providing resources for the children to use in the schools. For example, purchasing Jamaican attire from the local markets and including this into my daily attire and buying fresh fruits from the side roads to eat at lunchtime. Some of the resources that I took along on the trip were coloring materials, coloring books, stickers, sweets and other toys. The class were able to use these during coloring tasks and enjoy the sweets on their last day which was also, the key stage 3 class's graduation day onto Primary School.

I was part of the meal plan during the weekdays, for both weeks, which includes breakfast and dinner and this was more than enough for me. The cook catered for vegetarian and gluten-free meals. We were provided with hot, traditional meals along with refreshing juices at 5pm Monday to Friday. A few of the dishes included rice and beans, steamed vegetables, jerk chicken, and salad. The meal portions were perfect and simply delicious! I would definitely recommend signing up for the meal plan, you won't regret it!

The hosts were simply brilliant! They all encouraged responsible travel, ensured that we were well looked-after during our programs and that we were enjoying the volunteering experience as a whole. To our hosts, Jade and Chayna, thank you! 🖤

Pros
  • Experience working with children in a different environment.
  • Immersing in the Jamaican culture and supporting the local community.
  • A range of activities included on and outside of the program.
Cons
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Alison
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ Jamaica Veterinary Care

My vet care volunteer experience with IVHQ Jamaica was simply one of the best times in my life. The communication up front was great with Merran at IVHQ and on the ground with Jade and her team at V2 Volunteers in Jamaica. The volunteer house and property was well equipped, comfortable and we were all very well cared for. I have made some great friends there from all around the world and I will be visiting one later this year! My time at the vet clinic with Dr. Cole and her team was also outstanding, I learned so much. It was truly an unforgettable, enriching, life changing experience. I cannot say enough good things about the program and the experience. I will definitely be doing future trips with IVHQ.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
There was a super cool Jamaican fruit called Ackee which is very strange looking and has a large black pit! It looks like eggs when cooked, but tasted delicious.
10 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Tia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Jamaica Marine Conservation

This was my second time volunteering with IVHQ on a marine conservation program. I was in the first cohort of volunteers to come to Jamaica after Covid so our group was small and the programs were just getting back on their feet. Nonetheless, it was a great experience - I got to dive almost every day and do meaningful work on the coral reef like building coral nurseries and removing invasive species. I also got to contribute to the Whiteriver fish sanctuary by writing the August newsletter and getting involved with community outreach. I really enjoyed the company of the locals I got to engage with and learn from at work, everyone was extremely kind and fun to be around. Jamaica is a breathtakingly beautiful and diverse island, so I would suggest making the most out of your time there by exploring it as much as possible on the weekends or whenever you have some free time. The highlight for me was visiting Negril, a town on the west point of the island - great for diving (contact Scuba Dive Jamaica, Michael is a great diving instructor), food and sunsets. As for the volunteer accommodation, you stay in a proper house with a kitchen, 2 bathrooms and 2 bedrooms with bunk beds, and a common area as well as a very large garden. There is no AC so it can get pretty hot and humid especially at night, but that's all part of the experience! I would recommend this program to anyone seeking to get out of their comfort zone, get adventurous and do something meaningful for the planet and the people with their time.

10 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Sydney
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Life Changing Experience

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 chose to serve in this location, and I am so glad that I did. The volunteer placement is located in a beautiful, very safe area of the island and was walking distance from James Bond Beach which all us volunteers loved. I volunteered in the local kindergarten, and honestly, working with the kids there truly changed my life. Both them, and the head teacher were so welcoming to me and the other volunteers, and I genuinely looked forward to going to work each day. Overall, IVHQ is an incredible and affordable option for people like me who love adventure and have a calling to travel. Can't wait to go on more IVHQ trips!

What was your funniest moment?
One of the volunteers brought a tub of bubbles to take to the school, and it was so funny seeing the kids' reactions when they saw them. They were chasing them, trying to pop each one. They couldn't get enough of it! :)
21 people found this review helpful.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Sydney, Thanks for your review of the Jamaica program. The contribution you made to the Kindergarten program is greatly appreciated. We look forward to having you volunteer with us at IVHQ again soon. ^ Grace - IVHQ Jamaica Program Manager

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

Found a family

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. This time around, I went to Jamaica to volunteer at an animal rescue shelter. Every experience was a different and incredible experience. Volunteering with IVHQ is the most affordable way to travel around the world and I recommend it to anyone who says they can't afford to travel. It was also a very humbling experience to hang out with the locals, get to know their culture, eat their food and enjoy spending time at the famous Jamaican attractions. The best part about Jamaica was instead of staying with a host family, we stayed in a volunteer dorm where we got to live together as a family. We all cooked for each other, played games, went out to explore and became a family. One thing, I said about when coming to volunteer on this trip was to grow as a person and find myself but instead I found a family. There will never be an experience better the immersion of culture and coming together to achieve one goal which is volunteering your time and effort to those who need it more than we do. Along the way you make friends for life and experiences you will never forget. Where else are you going to find crazy traveling explorers who love to volunteer their time in a different country? Only at IVHQ!

What would you improve about this program?
I would not change anything. I know the volunteer area is under construction. I would hope they will finish it. It didn't bother us so much. The volunteer house did not have air condition and we were all dying of heat. Maybe air conditioning or more fans should be provided.
18 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Nina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The greatest week of my life

When you volunteer with IVHQ you get Fair fees, great service, and a life changing experience. I went to Jamaica for a week through IVHQ and I cannot wait for my next trip. I found all the staff to be extremely helpful, they respond to emails quickly and had an answer to every question I had and we also had 24/7 in country support. The houses we stayed in were very clean and with the meal plan, we got delicious home cooked meals all through the week. I loved my volunteer placement and all the amazing places that the Ivhq staff showed us. If you have the funds you should definitely go for at least 2 weeks, my one week was amazing but definitely not long enough. For my one week I spent around 1500 and that included registration and program fees, plane tickets, travel insurance, a meal plan, transportation, and spending money.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I did the animal care project and before I left I promised my mom that I wouldn’t come back with a dog. I met a dog, Bindi, who I completely fell in love with so I got myself an apartment and am now in the process of adopting her!
19 people found this review helpful.
January 2018
Scott
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best week of my life!

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 find and finalize packaging, labeling, and branding for her company's locally-sourced, handmade soaps. We lived in a volunteer house with seven other volunteers and the program coordinator, Mark. Over the course of our time there, we all became close enough to consider each other family (Mark included!). The program staff was a great help when it came to addressing issues, recommending activities, and coordinating transportation for us. Mark especially was a critical part of what made our experience so enjoyable; he consistently went above and beyond to socialize with all of us, give us advice about the surrounding area, and simply make us feel at home. This trip not only provided me with lifelong memories and a plethora of first-time experiences that I will never forget, but it also provided me with a wonderful group of people who I was able to bond and share these experiences with. The other volunteers and I are already planning our next trip through IVHQ; this is an unforgettable experience that I would recommend to everyone!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
The most unforgettable part of my time in Jamaica is all of the interactions and experiences I had with the locals. In your downtime when you're not volunteering, make it a point to go out of your way to interact with locals and go to local bars and restaurants! The people of the country are really what makes spending time in Jamaica such a great and fulfilling experience.
22 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Marie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience

Volunteering with IVHQ in Jamaica was amazing! This was my first trip and it was bery organized. The support team there was very friendly and helpful. You could tell that they actually cared about our wellbeing while we stayed there. The school that we volunteered at welcomed us with open arms. Getting around town was relatively easy since the taxis ran very frequently. There is a ton of stuff to do and to site see. I wish I could have stayed longer to see more instead of just a week. The food was delicious and youbhave the option to choose a meal plan provided by the support team in case you did not want to constantly eat out. I loved this program and have absolutely no complaints. I am definitely volunteering again with IVHQ because of them.

What was your funniest moment?
Catching the taxis since the taxi drivers were hilarious
21 people found this review helpful.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Marie, Thanks for your lovely feedback - it's awesome to hear that you felt well-supported by the local team in Jamaica and enjoyed your time teaching sport at the local school! We look forward to having you volunteer with us again soon! Charlotte - IVHQ Program Manager.

Questions & Answers