Education on Jamaica...
I just heard an interesting, albeit brief, report on NPR about the relative GDP of Jamaica and Barbados, and the direct correlations in both cases with their education systems.
These island nations have a lot in common... people, history, both were part of the British Empire, both are parliamentary democracies, etc. Notice I didn't list economy.
At independence, Jamaica took on a heavy load of debt. Barbados did not. This has had commensurate effects on the ongoing economies, GDP's and education systems of each.
I don't write this so much to make a particular point, other than to remind us all how very important our visits are to our Jamaican homes. Its not only important to the resorts and their staffs; we are vitally important to the island's transport system, service industries, commercial endeavors and small business people, along with their employees (and their families).
So remember this when you are home on the beach. Your presence and the money you spend DOES make a difference to the very core of Jamaica... its children and their future.
I would also add, if this is something in which you are interested, check out the movie Life and Debt. We recently watched it and it made me feel good that we are going to a resort who's owners are so involved in and give so much back to Jamaica.
I read somewhere that tourism accounts for approximately 73 percent of Jamaica’s GNP and that the average yearly income is slightly over $2000. Yes we play an important part in supplying income to a large majority of the islands population. I just wonder if we are helping or hurting the people of Jamaica?
I feel so humanitarian now, and much more validated in having two upcoming trips to Jamaica. It's nice to know I'm making a difference! :-) Thanks for sharing that!
I agree that "Life and Debt" is a movie to see - if you care about Jamaica. They should show it on the plane ride, it would be a real eye opener for many.Probably too heavy for some.
Lots of people go to a resort and don't get past the Bar - then go on about how "easy-going and care free all Jamaicans are"
or they take a hotel/tour company- sanctioned excursion to a tourist attraction to see the
That is not the real Jamaica.
I withhold comment on the "Life and Debt' movie itself, but give ringing endorsement of Buju Banton's performance of "Destiny" on the DVD. Sticks in my mind for a long, long time.
Chris - thanks for the post; will listen to the story.
Totally agree, Wanda. Though, having seen it, even though I think it's a "must see," man would that be depressing on the plane ride.
I fully admit I have not left the resort other than guided tours too, but also fully admit I know not of the "real Jamaica." That movie broke my heart.
spot on !
Originally Posted by WandA
I read this post and then found the movie Life and Debt. I watched the movie. It is certainly a real eye opener. It is sad. It makes me think...... what can I do?
In response to "what can I do?"
The ISSA Foundation is one way of helping the Jamaican children. By pooling our funds this foundation has the abiity to reach out with greater impact.
We enjoy stopping and meeting the young children selling fruits on the side of the road. We usually buy all their fruits but somehow we always forget to take them with us when we leave. Our loss their gain. But the smiles you leave are lasting memories.
We have often stopped at roadside kitchens to experience the local menu and I enjoy making friends with any local oldtimer that may be nearby. Learning the language barrier is one thing but putting a big smile on someones face as you buy them a hearty lunch is a memory that will last a long time. Perhaps our next stop there will be greeted with a "Hello my friends. Welcome back".
"what can I do?"
Appreciate what you have and treat the people you meet with respect.
there is a lot you can do...A place to start:
Go on Trip Advisor for Jamaica and search for the School lists posted there. Allnof the contact info is there...
When you're in Jamaica, contact a local Church , Orphanage or Hospital. Get involved. Adopt a family you can help year round.
Get off the resort property. Open your eyes.
If more people would get involved it can be contagious.