What was once known as “Santiago” is now the beautiful
island of Jamaica. It is the third largest island in the Caribbean Sea located
in the West Indies. Just west of Haiti and south of Cuba, Jamaica is about 146
miles long (4,243 square miles). Jamaica is lined with rugged mountains and a
coastal plain. The climate in Jamaica is typically hot and humid all year. The
two top major cities are Kingston and Montego Bay. Kingston, being the the
national capital and the largest city, it was the cultural and industrial hub
of the island. The only problem with Kingston being so high end is that the
unemployment rate is high. Montego Bay is mainly known for its tourists resorts
and beautiful coast line.
comes to landmarks, Jamaica has a wide variety of landmarks tourist love to
visit. One of the main landmarks would be the Devon House. It was built by
Jamaica’s first black millionaire, George Stiebel. One other landmark which is
highly recognized is the Bob Marley museum. Bob Marley was a famous reggae singer
in Jamaica. Jamaica is also known for its sugar plantations. The Bellefield
Great house is a great historical landmark which is most visited by tourists.
One of the most popular landmarks would be Dunn’s River Falls. It is located in
Ocho Rios. Visitors get to enjoy a 600-foot fall and enjoy the views of the
waterfall. Being one of the few falls that empties into the sea, Dunn’s River
Falls is enjoyable for climbers and non-climbers.
to Britannica, Jamaica’s ethnic compositions are predominantly descendants of
African slaves owned by the English settlers. Although the island is majority
black, there are also mixed, east indian, and other ethnicities within the
island. The official language of Jamaica is english, but they also speak some
spanish, french and creole, which is a Jamaican developed language. The
population size of Jamaica as of 2017 is 2.89 million people. By Jamaica’s
constitution, freedom of worship is guaranteed. Although there are multiple
religions throughout the whole island, majority are Protestant. The currency or Jamaican dollars are ran by
commercial bank systems. While being in foreign debt, the Jamaican dollar has a
stable exchange rate related to U.S dollars.
widely known for its reggae music. Bob Marley, one of the most famous musical
artist in the islands history told many stories in his songs. Rastafarian, one
of the religions on the island, was created through music and started its own
beliefs and customs. Most of the festivals and events in Jamaica deals mainly
with food, sports, and music. They are known for the fishing tournaments,
reggae music festivals and food festivals.
Christopher Columbus first landed and explored the island of Jamaica. Although
he may have been first to establish the island, the original founders were the
Arawakan-speaking Taino. The Arawaks settled in Jamaica first where they gave
it the name “Xaymaca” meaning land of wood and water. They used the resources
around them to make a living such as fishing. Around 1510, the Spaniard began
to take over Jamaica as the Arawaks started to die off due to diseases and
results from war with the European settlers. The Spaniards were the one who
started the African slave system in Jamaica. As Jamaica was transitioning from
being ruled by the Spaniards to the Britains, many of the slaves were able to
escape and conduct life in the wilderness. These group of people were called
“Maroons”, meaning wild and untamed.
Not long after, Jamaica became fully
controlled by Britain. In 1962, Jamaican gained full independence but still
remained under the British commonwealth. One of the most important aspects
Jamaica has always been known for is the production of sugar. Around 1672,
Jamaica became one of the most valuable colonies when it came to the agricultural
production, sugar, indigo and cacao. In the late 1600s, Jamaica also became one
of the busiest slave markets.In the 18th century, sugar production began to
decrease, dominating the economy and focusing more on slave trade for cheap
The Maroon Wars of 1686, which was
eventually won by the British was two of the bloodiest periods in history of
Jamaica. As Britain took over, many of the Maroons were executed and/or
deported. This triggered multiple slave revolts which only resulted in more
deaths of the Maroons. For many years, the economy of Jamaica was up and down
due to the lowering of sugar production and slave trades. In 1865, Jamaica
finally got its big turn around when the Jamaican assembly granted its power to
Governor Edward John Eyre. in 1834, slavery was finally abolished.
Eyre, who was not governor for long,
declared martial law for Jamaica and finally had the island almost on its feet
again. In 1866, Parliament declared a crown colony on the island, this
introduced Sir John Peter Grant as the islands new governor. Grant helped
establish many different things in Jamaican including a reformed judicial
system, medical services and improvement in schools. After about 20 years, the
British returned back to an representative government. By this time, bananas
were becoming a big production trade among Jamaica, started by Captain Lorenzo
Dow Baker. In 1938, riots began in Jamaica due to the dissatisfaction of the
crown colony system. This drove the people into establishing their own labor
unions and demanding of self-determination.
Jamaica is a constitutional
monarchy. As the independent country retained British monarch as head of state,
the island began relations with the United States as a result of the Cold War,
increasing the economy due to tourism.Although the economy was increasing due
to tourism and banana and sugar trade, the workforce was still at a low rate
resulting in unemployment, drug trafficking and violence among Jamaica.
The first interesting fact i
researched about Jamaica was the religious culture. As i discussed in the
paragraphs before, religion plays an important part in everyday life in
Jamaica. There are multiple religions and customs for people to choose from.
Although the main religion of Jamaicans today is protestant, one of the first
religions established there was Anglican. The Church of England, which was
Anglican, was one of the first established churched until 1870. Religion also
plays a big part when it comes to education because they originally started much
of the funding for schools in Jamaica.
Out of the many different religions in
Jamaica, the largest denominations include the Seventh-Day Adventist and
Pentecostal churches. One of the oldest religious communities in the Western
Hemisphere is the Jewish community. There are also some religions that combine
a religion and a culture into two like Christianity and West African
traditions. The Pukumina sect involves rituals including spirit possessions.
The Kumina sect rituals include spirit possessions combined with drumming and
Since the 1930s, Rastafarianism has
been a very important religion. It constitutes as one of the most famous
religious groups. This religion reached out more to the people living in poor
communities with small populations. Like Catholics believe God sent his only
son Jesus to die for our sins and come again, Rastafarians believe in the
divinity of Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie 1 and that he will one day return
for his followers in Africa. Rastafarianism became popular internationally
through its association with Jamaican music. Bob Marley for example made songs
about Rastafarianism .
The second most interesting topic i
researched in Jamaica was its education. Majority of the people living in
Jamaica has received some type of education throughout their life. The literacy
rate in Jamaica is 87.9%, with men being 84.1% and women being 91.6%. The
education system is based on the British schooling system. Education in Jamaica
is mainly free and mostly required by law for certain age groups. Jamaica’s
education is very important to them, in fact, most of the government’s budget
is funded towards education. Most of the schools, especially high schools, were
originally governed by religious bodies but today they are more so governed by
the government itself. Due to the effect religion has on the island, there has
been an increasing on vocational training.
my research i found out a lot about Jamaica. Even though i have never been, i
am very interested in adding this trip to my bucket list. What i found to be
most interesting was all the different historical landmarks they still have.
Jamaica has dealt with many earthquakes and fires over the years, not to
mention the poverty and unemployment rate, yet it is still one of the most
beautiful and most toured islands. I like music and Jamaica is huge when it
comes to their music festivals. The are held annually all throughout the year
and involves many activities, food vendors and musical enjoyance.
conclusion, Jamaica is overall like any other place on earth. It has its
moments where they are doing good and when they are doing bad. It is a well
known island for vacationing for multiple reasons. Now that i have done some
research on Jamaica, it gives me more of an idea on how the island is.