Rastafarian Project in Jamaica
Grown-up Special for volunteers aged 50+
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- PLACEMENT LOCATION: Montego Bay
- TYPE OF PLACEMENT: Indigenous village
- Role:Learn about the Rastafarian culture through a wide range of visits and activities
- REQUIREMENTS: None
- accomodation:Shared volunteer accommodation
- ARRIVAL AIRPORTS: Montego Bay (MBJ) or Kingston (KIN)
- LOCAL LANGUAGES: English and Patois
Volunteer on the Rastafarian Grown-up Special in Jamaica with Projects Abroad and immerse yourself in a small Rastafarian community. The project is based in an indigenous village, located only 15 minutes from Montego Bay’s town centre by route taxi. The Montego Bay River runs alongside the village.
As a volunteer, you will learn more about the history of Rastafarianism and the art, architecture, music, religion and customs that shape their way of life. You will get an insight into how a Jamaican village is run and take part in various activities every day that introduce you to the culture while helping where needed.
You will work closely with a villager who will assist you with your daily work. Your tasks will vary, but during your trip, you could get involved in:
- Drum and jewellery making
- Organic farming of herbs (mint, rosemary, sage and thyme) used to make products for soaps and teas
- Production of herbal and natural products like teas, soaps and oils (the herbs used include mint, rosemary, sage and thyme)
- Assisting with educational tours for students and tourists
- Building or repairing of wooden and thatched structures in the village when needed
- Helping the village children with their homework when they return from school
Volunteers will also take part in weekly outreach activities outside of the village, organised by Projects Abroad. You will work alongside the local staff and fellow volunteers, visiting care centres, homes for the elderly and centres for people with disabilities. You will spend time with the children and provide them with educational support, help local teachers and caregivers or provide the staff at the special needs centres with the extra assistance that they need. This is a good opportunity to engage with Jamaicans outside of the village and to learn more about the country.
If you have skills or experience in accounting, finance, social media marketing or website development, you can also help villagers develop business plans, offer entrepreneurship training, and more.
The sense of community on this project is especially important and all of your meals will be eaten with the villagers. Only vegan meals are prepared and eaten in the village, but common Jamaican foods like jerk chicken, ackee and salt fish or patties can be bought from nearby shops and supermarkets outside of the village. You will share a room with another volunteer in a rustic wooden room. The livity (Rastafarian term for lifestyle/energy/ life-force) is very modest and staying in the village is a communal experience. The focus of your time will be about sharing and being one with nature.
Jamaica has extremely strict laws surrounding the use of cannabis; only practising Rastafarians in Jamaica may make use of it. Be mindful of the rules of the village and of Jamaica throughout your project.
Over the weekend, you will explore Jamaica with Projects Abroad staff and other volunteers. During your free time after your duties, you can also plan to see more of the beautiful country. Visit the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, take part in water sports or simply relax on a beautiful beach in Negril. Speak to the local Projects Abroad staff or the Rastafari villagers for guidance and ideas on how to use your spare time while in Jamaica.