Volunteer and Intern Abroad in Jamaica
- Location: Mandeville
- Accommodation: Host families
- Local languages: Patois & English
Volunteering in Jamaica is a unique way to experience the real Jamaica, a world away from the tourist hype. Projects are available for anyone interested in volunteering in the developing world, whether you are a volunteer on a gap year, a summer vacation, or a career break.
As a volunteer with Projects Abroad in Jamaica you will have the chance to make a real difference on various exciting projects including Teaching, Care, Sports, Music, Medicine & Healthcare, Building, Farming, Journalism, Disaster Management, Veterinary Medicine & Animal Care, Dance & Drama, and Community projects. You will live with a Jamaican host family who will provide you the very best Jamaican hospitality and you will find you rapidly integrate into the local community.
Projects Abroad Jamaica is based in the university town of Mandeville. We also have projects in St. Elizabeth (Accompong, Black River, and Santa Cruz). Removed from the main tourist trail, Mandeville is situated inland at a cooler altitude of about 2000ft, 100km west of Kingston. The town is the capital of the Parish of Manchester and retains an English ‘village’ feel with its grassy town square and local parish church. However, there are areas in and around Mandeville which are home to poorer communities, where there is a real need for help.
St. Elizabeth is the neighboring parish to Manchester, approximately forty five minutes from Mandeville. The parish has a very natural, rustic, and pristine atmosphere. Projects are located in Black River, Accompong, and Santa Cruz where much help is needed in these poorer communities.
Volunteer Work and Internships in Jamaica
The Caribbean island of Jamaica is well known for its idyllic beaches, turquoise seas, and romantic sunsets. However, beyond the tourist brochure façade is a country of laid-back, welcoming people, smiling children, and a lush mountainous interior well worth exploring.
Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean and was described by Christopher Columbus in the late 15th century as the ‘fairest land my eyes have ever seen’. Plenty of visitors today would still agree and tourism is a vital source of income for the island. However, many visitors who find time to venture off the cruise ships do not make it beyond one or two coastal towns and often miss out on one of Jamaica’s biggest assets - its incredible mix of people.
Jamaica’s rich history and cultural heritage is an intriguing mix of Arawak Indians, infamous pirates, Spanish settlers, British naval explorers, and slaves yearning for freedom. Today, people of African descent make up just over 75% of the 2.8 million population.
Volunteer Travel and Tourism in Jamaica
On the weekends, volunteers in Jamaica are spoiled for choice in terms of travel opportunities. The Blue Mountains, YS Falls, Dunn’s River Falls, the Bob Marley Museum, Outameni Experience, and Treasure Beach are popular weekend or day trips from Mandeville.
There are many paradise beaches awaiting you in places like Ocho Rios, Negril, Montego Bay, and Port Antonio. Water sports and activities like diving, snorkeling, and river tubing and rafting are popular around the entire coast. Or you can choose to just ‘chill’ in a hammock and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.
No trip to Jamaica is complete without experiencing the vibrant music scene. Echoes of Jamaica’s most famous citizen, Bob Marley, will undoubtedly follow you everywhere on the island and spectacular music festivals take place throughout the year.