Rastafarian Project in Jamaica for Volunteers over 50
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- Placement locations: Montego Bay
- Type of placement: Rural village
- Accommodation: Shared volunteer accommodation
- Requirements: None
- Arrival Airport: 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 a rural village situated along the Montego Bay River that is dedicated to living the Rastafarian way of life.
As a volunteer, you will learn more about the history of Rastafarianism, including the art, architecture, music, religion, and customs that shape the Rastafarian way of life. Your daily activities will expose you to life in a Jamaican village, and you will have the opportunity to engage and help in various areas of need, such as helping local village children with their schoolwork.
The Rastafarian Project location is 15-minutes from Montego Bay’s town centre by route taxi.
Your Role at the Rastafarian Grown-up Special
During your stay as a volunteer, you will work closely with a villager who will assist you with your daily work. Your tasks will vary, but they can include the following activities:
- 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
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. Please let us know what skills you have.
You will also take part in weekly outreach activities outside of the village. You will work alongside local staff and fellow volunteers, visiting childcare centers, homes for the elderly and centers for people with disabilities. You can spend time with the children to provide educational support, help local teachers and care-givers, or provide staff at the special needs centers with the extra assistance they need. This is a good opportunity to engage with Jamaicans outside your village and to learn more about the country.
Daily Life in Jamaica during the Rastafarian Project
A sense of community and togetherness is especially important in Jamaican culture. You will experience this by being fully involved in most aspects of village life, such as eating all your meals with fellow 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 the village. You will share a room with another volunteer in a rustic wooden home.
The livity (Rastafarian term for lifestyle, energy, or life-force) is used when referring to the Rastafarian way of life. It is 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 get the opportunity to explore Jamaica with other volunteers on our specially planned excursion, and during your free time you can continue seeing more of the beautiful country. Some possible activities include visiting the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, taking part in water sports or simply relaxing on a beautiful beach in Negril. Our local Projects Abroad staff and the Rastafari villagers will be glad to offer guidance and ideas on how to use your spare time while in Jamaica.