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Volunteer and Intern Abroad in Jamaica

Map of the Projects Abroad volunteer project placement in Mandeville, Jamaica
Volunteer Jamaica Baskets of fresh fruit and vegetables for sale in a local Jamaican market Care volunteers helping to serve breakfast to children at the Anna Miller Basic School during a nutrition outreach Volunteers paint the Bryce Primary School toilet facility Scenic shot of Jamaican seaside
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  • Location: Mandeville, Montego Bay, St Elizabeth
  • Accommodation: Host families
  • Local languages: Patois & English
Country Info

Of all the Caribbean islands, Jamaica is one of the most developed. However, the level of development is confined to major towns and the levels of poverty and unemployment in rural areas are extremely low and lack of basic amenities. Volunteering with Projects Abroad in Jamaica is a chance to contribute to meaningful volunteer projects in the developing world, whether you are a volunteer on a gap year, a summer vacation, or a career break.

A Jamaican child spends time with a Projects Abroad volunteer.

As a volunteer with Projects Abroad in Jamaica you will have the chance to make a positive impact on various projects including Care and Teaching. You could find yourself working with children and the elderly in care homes and orphanages, or teaching young children in schools and older students involved in the Community Literacy Program. 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. Removed from the main tourist trail, Mandeville is situated inland at a cooler altitude of about 2000ft, 100km west of Kingston. There are many areas in and around Mandeville which are home to poorer communities, and there is a desperate 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 in St. Elizabeth are located in Black River, Accompong, and Santa Cruz where much help is needed in these poorer communities.

Staff Profile Kay Hendricks – Projects Abroad Jamaica Country Director
Kay Hendricks
Projects Abroad Jamaica Country Director
“Jamaica is probably one of the most diverse destinations for volunteer work and vacationing. The lush island nestled in the Caribbean Sea is ranked among the preferred global destinations for leisure travel. The unparalleled beauty of its landscape is rivalled only by its vivacious culture, which is characterized by a rich history of colonialism, freedom fighting and a people of mixed descent. The people’s warmth and charm is infectious; they are vibrant and welcoming. Jamaica easily becomes a home away from home for first-time and return visitors. While Jamaica boasts of natural beauty and a rich cultural heritage, it is also a developing country with grave social and environmental challenges which seriously affect its most vulnerable citizens. If you are looking to engage in a worthwhile project that makes a real difference, while exploring the island and its hidden treasures, then come to Jamaica. We look forward to your visit!”

Where You Will Live in Jamaica with Projects Abroad

Local school children in Jamaica pose for a picture outside of their volunteer project placement

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.

Did you know? Rastafarianism is an Afro-Caribbean spiritual and political movement originating in Jamaica, that reveres Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia as the messiah.

Travel and Sightseeing Opportunities in Jamaica

Waterfall near the Projects Abroad volunteer placement 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 beautiful 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 island. 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.

Projects for All Ages in Jamaica

High School Specials for Teens in Jamaica

Alternative Spring Break Trips for University Students in Jamaica

Grown-up Specials for 50+ in Jamaica

Projects for professionals available in Jamaica

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