Kingston is the country's capital and largest city, with a population of , Jamaicans mainly have African ancestry, with significant European , Chinese , Indian , Lebanese , and mixed-race minorities. Due to a high rate of emigration for work since the s, Jamaica has a large diaspora , particularly in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Jamaica is an upper-middle income country  with an average of 4. Jamaica is a Commonwealth realm , with Elizabeth II as its queen. Her appointed representative in the country is the Governor-General of Jamaica , an office held by Sir Patrick Allen since Jamaica is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with legislative power vested in the bicameral Parliament of Jamaica , consisting of an appointed Senate and a directly elected House of Representatives.
Colloquially Jamaicans refer to their home island as the "Rock. The south coast of Jamaica was the most populated, especially around the area now known as Old Harbour. Most notably among some Maroon communities as well as within some communities in Cornwall County, Jamaica   . Christopher Columbus claimed Jamaica for Spain after landing there in Ann's Bay was named "Saint Gloria" by Columbus, as the first sighting of the land. One and a half kilometres west of St. Ann's Bay is the site of the first Spanish settlement on the island, Sevilla , which was established in and abandoned around because it was deemed unhealthy.
Jago de la Vega , around at present-day St. Spanish Town has the oldest cathedral of the British colonies in the Caribbean. In , the population of Jamaica was about 4, white and 1, black. The Irish in Jamaica also formed a large part of the island's early population, making up two-thirds of the white population on the island in the late 17th century, twice that of the English population. They were brought in as indentured labourers and soldiers after the conquest of Jamaica by Cromwell's forces in The majority of Irish were transported by force as political prisoners of war from Ireland as a result of the ongoing Wars of the Three Kingdoms at the time.
Jews were expelled from Spain in and then forcibly converted to Christianity in Portugal, during a period of persecution by the Inquisition. Others were part of the Iberian colonisation of the New World, after overtly converting to Catholicism, as only Catholics were allowed in the Spanish colonies. By , Jamaica had become a refuge for Jews in the New World, also attracting those who had been expelled from Spain and Portugal. An early group of Jews arrived in , soon after the son of Christopher Columbus settled on the island.
Primarily working as merchants and traders, the Jewish community was forced to live a clandestine life, calling themselves "Portugals". After the British took over rule of Jamaica, the Jews decided the best defense against Spain's regaining control was to encourage making the colony a base for Caribbean pirates. With the pirates installed in Port Royal , which became the largest city in the Caribbean, the Spanish would be deterred from attacking.
The British leaders agreed with the viability of this strategy to forestall outside aggression. When the English captured Jamaica in , the Spanish colonists fled after freeing their slaves. The Jamaican Maroons fought the British during the 18th century. Under treaties of and , the British agreed to stop trying to round them up in exchange for their leaving the colonial settlements alone, but serving if needed for military actions.
The name is still used today by modern Maroon descendants, who have certain rights and autonomy at the community of Accompong. During its first years of British rule, Jamaica became one of the world's leading sugar -exporting, slave-dependent colonies, producing more than 77, tons of sugar annually between and After the abolition of the international slave trade in ,  the British began to "import" indentured servants to supplement the labour pool, as many freedmen resisted working on the plantations. Workers recruited from India began arriving in , Chinese workers in By the beginning of the 19th century, Jamaica's dependence on slave labour and a plantation economy had resulted in black people outnumbering white people by a ratio of almost 20 to 1.
Although the UK had outlawed the importation of slaves, some were still smuggled in from Spanish colonies and directly. While planning the abolition of slavery, the British Parliament passed laws to improve conditions for slaves. They banned the use of whips in the field and flogging of women; informed planters that slaves were to be allowed religious instruction, and required a free day during each week when slaves could sell their produce,  prohibiting Sunday markets to enable slaves to attend church. The House of Assembly in Jamaica resented and resisted the new laws.
Members then restricted to European-Jamaicans claimed that the slaves were content and objected to Parliament's interference in island affairs. Slave owners feared possible revolts if conditions were lightened. Following a series of rebellions on the island and changing attitudes in Great Britain, the British government formally abolished slavery by an act, beginning in , with full emancipation from chattel slavery declared in The population in was ,, of whom 15, were white, 5, free black; 40, 'coloured' or free people of color mixed race ; and , were slaves.
Over the next 20 years, several epidemics of cholera , scarlet fever , and smallpox hit the island, killing almost 60, people about per day. Nevertheless, in the census recorded a population of , people, , of which were males, and , females. Their races were recorded as 13, white, , coloured mixed black and white , and , black. In the 19th century, the British established a number of botanical gardens. These included the Castleton Botanical Gardens , developed in to replace the Bath Botanical Gardens created in which was subject to flooding.
It became a staple in island diets. Other gardens were the Cinchona Plantation , founded in , and the Hope Botanical Gardens founded in In , Kingston was designated as the island's capital. After Kenya achieved independence, its government appointed him as Chief Justice and he moved there. Jamaica slowly gained increasing independence from the United Kingdom. Jamaica attained full independence by leaving the federation in The optimism of the first decade was accompanied by a growing sense of inequality among many Afro-Jamaicans, and a concern that the benefits of growth were not being shared by the urban poor.
It tried to implement more socially equitable policies in education and health, but the economy suffered under its government. Owing to rising foreign and local debt, accompanied by large fiscal deficits, the government sought International Monetary Fund IMF financing from the United States and others. Economic deterioration continued into the mids, exacerbated by a number of factors. The largest and third-largest alumina producers, Alpart and Alcoa , closed; and there was a significant reduction in production by the second-largest producer, Alcan.
Reynolds Jamaica Mines, Ltd. There was also a decline in tourism, which was important to the economy. Independence, however widely celebrated in Jamaica, has been questioned in the early 21st century. Jamaica is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The governor-general is nominated by the Prime Minister of Jamaica and the entire Cabinet and then appointed by the monarch. All the members of the Cabinet are appointed by the governor-general on the advice of the prime minister.
The monarch and the governor-general serve largely ceremonial roles, apart from their reserve powers for use in certain constitutional crisis situations. Jamaica's current constitution was drafted in by a bipartisan joint committee of the Jamaican legislature. It came into force with the Jamaica Independence Act, of the United Kingdom parliament , which gave Jamaica independence. Members of the House known as Members of Parliament or MPs are directly elected, and the member of the House of Representatives who, in the governor-general's best judgement, is best able to command the confidence of a majority of the members of that House, is appointed by the governor-general to be the prime minister.
Senators are nominated jointly by the prime minister and the parliamentary Leader of the Opposition and are then appointed by the governor-general. The Judiciary of Jamaica operates on a common law system derived from English law and British Commonwealth precedents. The court of final appeal is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council , though the s, the parliament attempted to replace it with the Caribbean Court of Justice.
The party with current administrative and legislative power is the Jamaica Labour Party, with a one-seat parliamentary majority as of [update]. There are also several minor parties who have yet to gain a seat in parliament; the largest of these is the National Democratic Movement NDM. Jamaica is divided into 14 parishes , which are grouped into three historic counties that have no administrative relevance. In the context of local government the parishes are designated "Local Authorities.
The local governments of the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation. The newest city municipality created is the Municipality of Portmore in While it is geographically located within the parish of St. Catherine, it is governed independently. The JDF is based on the British military model with similar organisation, training, weapons and traditions.
Once chosen, officer candidates are sent to one of several British or Canadian basic officer courses depending on the arm of service. As with the British model, NCOs are given several levels of professional training as they rise up the ranks. Additional military schools are available for speciality training in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. The Coast Guard is divided between seagoing crews and support crews who conduct maritime safety and maritime law enforcement as well as defence-related operations.
The role of the support battalion is to provide support to boost numbers in combat and issue competency training in order to allow for the readiness of the force. In recent years the JDF has been called on to assist the nation's police, the Jamaica Constabulary Force JCF , in fighting drug smuggling and a rising crime rate which includes one of the highest murder rates in the world. JDF units actively conduct armed patrols with the JCF in high-crime areas and known gang neighbourhoods. There has been vocal controversy as well as support of this JDF role. This has not garnered support in either organisation nor among the majority of citizens.
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Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean. Mountains, including the Blue Mountains , dominate the inland. They are surrounded by a narrow coastal plain. Kingston Harbour is the seventh-largest natural harbour in the world,  which contributed to the city being designated as the capital in Tourist attractions include Dunn's River Falls in St.
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Ann, YS Falls in St. Elizabeth, the Blue Lagoon in Portland , believed to be the crater of an extinct volcano. Port Royal was the site of a major earthquake in that helped form the island's Palisadoes. The climate in Jamaica is tropical, with hot and humid weather, although higher inland regions are more temperate. Jamaica lies in the hurricane belt of the Atlantic Ocean and because of this, the island sometimes suffers significant storm damage.
In the s decade , hurricanes Ivan , Dean , and Gustav also brought severe weather to the island.
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Among the variety of terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems are dry and wet limestone forests, rainforest, riparian woodland, wetlands, caves, rivers, seagrass beds and coral reefs. The authorities have recognised the tremendous significance and potential of the environment and have designated some of the more 'fertile' areas as 'protected'. Among the island's protected areas are the Cockpit Country , Hellshire Hills , and Litchfield forest reserves. In , Jamaica's first marine park, covering nearly 15 square kilometres 5.
Portland Bight Protected Area was designated in Jamaica's climate is tropical, supporting diverse ecosystems with a wealth of plants and animals. Jamaica's plant life has changed considerably over the centuries. When the Spanish arrived in , except for small agricultural clearings, the country was deeply forested. The European settlers cut down the great timber trees for building and ships' supplies, and cleared the plains, savannas, and mountain slopes for intense agricultural cultivation. Many new plants were introduced including sugarcane, bananas, and citrus trees.
Today, however, Jamaica is now the home to about 3, species of native flowering plants of which over 1, are endemic and are species of orchid , thousands of species of non-flowering flora, and about 20 botanical gardens , some of which are several hundred years old. Areas of heavy rainfall also contain stands of bamboo, ferns, ebony, mahogany, and rosewood. Cactus and similar dry-area plants are found along the south and southwest coastal area.
Parts of the west and southwest consist of large grasslands, with scattered stands of trees. The Jamaican animal life, typical of the Caribbean , includes highly diversified wildlife with many endemic species found nowhere else on earth. As with other oceanic islands, land mammals are mostly several species of bats of which at least three endemic species are found only in Cockpit Country , one of which is at-risk.
Other species of bat include the fig-eating and hairy-tailed bats. The only non-bat native mammal extant in Jamaica is the Jamaican hutia , locally known as the coney. Introduced mammals such as wild boar and the small Asian mongoose are also common. Jamaica is also home to about 50 species of reptiles,  the largest of which is the American crocodile ; however, it is only present within the Black River and a few other areas. Lizards such as anoles , iguanas and snakes such as racers and the Jamaican boa the largest snake on the island , are common in areas such as the Cockpit Country.
None of Jamaica's eight species of native snakes is venomous. Jamaica is home to about species of birds of which 27 are endemic found nowhere else in the world , including the endangered black-Billed parrots and the Jamaican blackbird , both of which are only found in Cockpit Country. It is also the indigenous home to four species of hummingbirds three of which are found nowhere else in the world : the black-billed streamertail , the Jamaican mango , the Vervain hummingbird , and red-billed streamertails.
The red-billed streamertail, known locally as the "doctor bird", is Jamaica's National Symbol. One species of freshwater turtle is native to Jamaica, the Jamaican slider. It is found only on Jamaica, Cat Island , and a few other islands in the Bahamas. In addition, many types of frogs are common on the island, especially treefrogs. Birds are abundant, and make up the bulk of the endemic and native vertebrate species. Beautiful and exotic birds, such as the Jamaican tody and the Greater flamingo ,  can be found among a large number of others.
Jamaican waters contain considerable resources of fresh-and saltwater fish. Fish that occasionally enter freshwater and estuarine environments include snook , jewfish , mangrove snapper , and mullets. Fish that spend the majority of their lives in Jamaica's fresh waters include many species of livebearers , killifish , freshwater gobies , the mountain mullet, and the American eel.
Tilapia have been introduced from Africa for aquaculture, and are very common. Also visible in the waters surrounding Jamaica are dolphins, parrotfish , and the endangered manatee. Insects and other invertebrates are abundant, including the world's largest centipede, the Amazonian giant centipede.
Jamaica is the home to about species of butterflies and moths, including 35 indigenous species and 22 subspecies. It is also the native home to the Jamaican swallowtail , the western hemisphere's largest butterfly. Coral reef ecosystems are important because they provide people with a source of livelihood, food, recreation, and medicinal compounds and protect the land on which they live. However the marine life in Jamaica is also being affected. There could be many factors that contribute to marine life not having the best health.
Jamaica's geological origin, topographical features and seasonal high rainfall make it susceptible to a range of natural hazards that can affect the coastal and oceanic environments. These include storm surge, slope failures landslides , earthquakes, floods and hurricanes. The ocean connects all the countries all over the world, however, everyone and everything is affecting the flow and life in the ocean.
Jamaica is a very touristy place specifically because of their beaches. If their oceans are not functioning at their best then the well-being of Jamaica and the people who live there will start to deteriorate. Healthy oceans, coasts and freshwater ecosystems are crucial for economic growth and food production, but they are also fundamental to global efforts to mitigate climate change. Pollution occurs everywhere in which could cause damage. Pollution comes from run-off, sewage systems, and garbage. However, this typically all ends up in the ocean after there is rain or floods.
Everything that ends up in the water changes the quality and balance of the ocean. Poor coastal water quality has adversely affected fisheries, tourism and mariculture, as well as undermining biological sustainability of the living resources of ocean and coastal habitats.
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Some of the imports that go into Jamaica include petroleum and petroleum products. Issues include accidents at sea; risk of spills through local and international transport of petroleum and petroleum products. Oil and water do not mix. Unfortunately oil spills is not the only form of pollution that occurs in Jamaica. Solid waste disposal mechanisms in Jamaica are currently inadequate. Solid waste is also harmful to wildlife, particularly birds, fish and turtles that feed at the surface of the water and mistake floating debris for food.
Pieces of plastic, metal, and glass can be mistaken for the food fish eat. There are policies that are being put into place to help preserve the ocean and the life below water. The goal of integrated coastal zone management ICZM is to improve the quality of life of human communities who depend on coastal resources while maintaining the biological diversity and productivity of coastal ecosystems.
Over-building, driven by powerful market forces as well as poverty among some sectors of the population, and destructive exploitation contribute to the decline of ocean and coastal resources. Some of these practices include: Develop sustainable fisheries practices, ensure sustainable mariculture techniques and practices, sustainable management of shipping, and promote sustainable tourism practices. Tourist are not going to be used to living in a different style compared to their own country. Practices such as: provide sewage treatment facilities for all tourist areas, determine carrying capacity of the environment prior to planning tourism activities, provide alternative types of tourist activities can help to get desired results such as the development of alternative tourism which will reduce the current pressure on resources that support traditional tourism activities.
Instead of using tourist fees they would call them environmental fees. This study aims to inform the relevant stakeholders of the feasibility of implementing environmental fees as well as the likely impact of such revenue generating instruments on the current tourist visitation rates to the island. The results show that tourists have a high consumer surplus associated with a vacation in Jamaica, and have a significantly lower willingness to pay for a tourism tax when compared to an environmental tax.
A tax high enough to fund for environmental management and protection but low enough to continue to bring tourist to Jamaica. The Jamaican national motto is 'Out of Many One People' , based on the population's multiracial roots. The motto is represented on the Coat of Arms, showing a male and female member of the Taino Indian tribe standing on either side of a shield which bears a red cross with five golden pineapples.
Most of Jamaica's population is of African or partially African descent with many being able to trace their origins to the Western and Central African countries of Ghana and Cameroon ,  as well as Europe  and Asia. Other famous full African Jamaicans include the Maroons of Accompong and other settlements, who were the descendants of escaped slaves that introduced the jerk cooking technique to the world.
Many Maroons continue to have their own traditions and speak their own language, known locally as 'Kromanti'. It is extremely uncommon for Jamaicans to identify themselves by race as is prominent in countries like the United States where the race of a person is hyphenated with the ethnicity proceeding the nationality, for example, the American usage of the terms, White-American or African-American. Due to its history, most Jamaicans describe their nationality as a race in and of itself where they identify as simply being 'Jamaican' regardless of ethnicity.
Asians form the second-largest group and include Indo-Jamaicans and Chinese Jamaicans. The southwestern parish of Westmoreland is famous for its large population of Indo-Jamaicans. Along with their Indian counterparts, Chinese Jamaicans have also played an integral part in Jamaica's community and history. There are about 20, Jamaicans who have Lebanese ancestry. Eventually, their descendants along with Syrian Jamaicans Bob Marley , became very successful politicians and businessmen. In , Lord Seaford gave acres of his 10, acre estate in Westmoreland for the Seaford Town German settlement.
Today most of the town's descendants are of full or partial German descent. The first wave of English immigrants arrived to the island , after conquering the Spanish. Today, their descendants represent some of Jamaica's most celebrated representatives. The first Irish immigrants came to Jamaica in the s as war prisoners and later, indentured labor.
Despite their very sordid arrival, their descendants became very accomplished men. Along with the English and the Irish , the Scots are another group that has made a significant impact on the island. According to the Scotland Herald newspaper , Jamaica has more Campbell surnames, than the population of Scotland itself and it also has the highest percentage of Scottish surnames outside of Scotland.
The first Jamaican inhabitants from Scotland were exiled "rebels". Later, they would be followed by ambitious businessmen who spent time between their great country estates in Scotland and the island. As a result, many of the slave owning plantations on the island were owned by Scottish men and it resulted in the high occurrence of Jamaica's coloured mixed-race population. High immigration from Scotland continued until well after independence.
There is also a significant Portuguese Jamaican population that is predominantly of Sephardic Jewish heritage that is primarily located in the Saint Elizabeth Parish in the southwestern part of Jamaica. The first Jews arrived as explorers from Spain in the 15th century after being forced to convert to Christianity or face death. Some very few , became slave owners and even famous pirates. Many visitors to the island are often surprised to find many "dark" colored mixed-race Jamaicans with Jewish surnames. During the Holocaust, Jamaica became a refuge for Jews who faced expulsion.
Famous Jewish descendants include the dancehall artist Sean Paul , former record producer and founder of Island Records Chris Blackwell , and Jacob De Cordova who was the founder of the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper   . About 7, Americans also reside in Jamaica. American fashion icon and philanthropist Ralph Lauren has been a resident of the island for almost 30 years. Kennedy's honeymoon after marrying his wife Jacqueline.
It has also hosted several celebrities and politicians from around the world and has been the inspiration for many of his home and fashion collections, including the Spring collection that was officially presented at New York Fashion Week. Lauren's wife, Ricky, is also a popular socialite among locals who has written a book about the island entitled, "My Home". There are also many first-generation American, British and Canadians of Jamaican descent. A study found that the average admixture on the island was Jamaica is regarded as a bilingual country, with two major languages in use by the population.
However, the primary spoken language is an English-based creole called Jamaican Patois or Patwa. A survey by the Jamaican Language Unit found that In the case of the United States, about 20, Jamaicans per year are granted permanent residence. There has also been emigration of Jamaicans to Cuba. It was estimated in that up to 2. Jamaicans in the United Kingdom number an estimated , making them by far the country's largest African-Caribbean group. Large-scale migration from Jamaica to the UK occurred primarily in the s and s when the country was still under British rule.
Jamaican communities exist in most large UK cities. In Canada, the Jamaican population is centred in Toronto , and there are smaller communities in cities such as Hamilton , Montreal , Winnipeg , Vancouver and Ottawa. When Jamaica gained independence in , the murder rate was 3. By , the rate was 62 per , inhabitants, one of the highest in the world. However, there were 1, reported murders in and 1, in Christianity is the largest religion practised in Jamaica.
The Rastafari movement has 29, adherents, according to the census, with 25, Rastafarian males and 3, Rastafarian females. The Hindu Diwali festival is celebrated yearly among the Indo-Jamaican community. There is also a small population of Jews , about , who describe themselves as Liberal-Conservative.
Originally built in , it is the official and only Jewish place of worship left on the island. The once abundant Jewish population has voluntarily converted to Christianity over time. Shaare Shalom is one of the few synagogues in the world that contains sand covered floors and is a popular tourist destination. On March 23, , Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan visited Shaare Shalom, his first visit to a synagogue,  in an attempt to repair his controversial relationship with the Jewish community.
Other small groups include Muslims , who claim 5, adherents,  The Muslim holidays of Ashura , known locally as Hussay or Hosay and Eid , have been celebrated throughout the island for hundreds of years. In the past, every plantation in each parish celebrated Hosay. Today it has been called an Indian carnival and is perhaps most well known in Clarendon where it is celebrated each August.
People of all religions attend the event, showing mutual respect. There is also a small community of Mormons. Though a small nation, Jamaican culture has a strong global presence. The musical genres reggae , ska , mento , rocksteady , dub , and, more recently, dancehall and ragga all originated in the island's vibrant, popular urban recording industry. Jamaica also played an important role in the development of punk rock , through reggae and ska. Reggae has also influenced American rap music, as they share roots as rhythmic, African styles of music. Some rappers, such as The Notorious B.
Internationally known reggae musician Bob Marley was also Jamaican. The genre jungle emerged from London's Jamaican diaspora. The birth of hip-hop in New York City owed much to the city's Jamaican community. The journalist and author H. Born in Falmouth, Jamaica , de Lisser worked as a reporter for the Jamaica Times at a young age and in began publishing the magazine Planters' Punch.
The White Witch of Rosehall is one of his better-known novels. He was named Honorary President of the Jamaican Press Association; he worked throughout his professional career to promote the Jamaican sugar industry. Roger Mais — , a journalist, poet, and playwright wrote many short stories, plays, and novels, including The Hills Were Joyful Together , Brother Man , and Black Lightning He helped develop tourism to this area, popularising trips down rivers on bamboo rafts.
Jamaica has a history in the film industry dating from the early s.
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A look at delinquent youth in Jamaica is presented in the s musical crime film The Harder They Come , starring Jimmy Cliff as a frustrated and psychopathic reggae musician who descends into a murderous crime spree. The American film Cocktail , starring Tom Cruise , is one of the more popular films to depict Jamaica.
Another popular Jamaican-based film is the Disney comedy Cool Runnings , which is loosely based on the true story of Jamaica's first bobsled team trying to make it in the Winter Olympics. The island is famous for its Jamaican jerk spice , curries and rice and peas which is integral to Jamaican cuisine.
From the Jamaica Information Service . Sport is an integral part of national life in Jamaica and the island's athletes tend to perform to a standard well above what might ordinarily be expected of such a small country. Jamaica has produced some of the world's most famous cricketers, including George Headley , Courtney Walsh , and Michael Holding.
Sabina Park is the only Test venue in the island, but the Greenfield Stadium is also used for cricket. Since independence Jamaica has consistently produced world class athletes in track and field. In Jamaica it is not uncommon for young athletes to attain press coverage and national fame long before they arrive on the international athletics stage.
Over the past six decades Jamaica has produced dozens of world class sprinters including Olympic and World Champion Usain Bolt , world record holder in the m for men at 9. Jamaica has also produced several world class amateur and professional boxers including Trevor Berbick and Mike McCallum.
Association football and horse-racing are other popular sports in Jamaica. Horse racing was Jamaica's first sport. It was brought in the s by British immigrants to satisfy their longing for their favorite pastime back at home. During slavery, the Afro-Jamaican slaves were considered the best horse jockeys. Today, horse racing provides jobs for about 20, people including horse breeders, groomers, and trainers.
Also, there are hundreds of Jamaicans who are employed in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom as exercise riders and groomers. Race car driving is also a popular sport in Jamaica with several car racing tracks and racing associations across the country. The Jamaica national bobsled team was once a serious contender in the Winter Olympics , beating many well-established teams. Netball is also very popular on the island, with the Jamaica national netball team called The Sunshine Girls consistently ranking in the top five in the world.
Rugby league has been played in Jamaica since The emancipation of the slaves heralded in the establishment of the Jamaican education system for the masses. Prior to emancipation there were few schools for educating locals. Many sent their children off to England to access quality education.
Most of these schools were established by the churches. Education is free from the early childhood to secondary levels. There are also opportunities for those who cannot afford further education in the vocational arena, through the Human Employment and Resource Training-National Training Agency HEART Trust-NTA programme,  which is opened to all working age national population  and through an extensive scholarship network for the various universities.
Jamaica is a mixed economy with both state enterprises and private sector businesses. Major sectors of the Jamaican economy include agriculture , mining , manufacturing , tourism , petroleum refining , financial and insurance services. Tourism and mining are the leading earners of foreign exchange. Half the Jamaican economy relies on services, with half of its income coming from services such as tourism. An estimated 4. Supported by multilateral financial institutions, Jamaica has, since the early s, sought to implement structural reforms aimed at fostering private sector activity and increasing the role of market forces in resource allocation    Since , the government has followed a programme of economic liberalisation and stabilisation by removing exchange controls,   floating the exchange rate,   cutting tariffs ,  stabilising the Jamaican currency, reducing inflation  and removing restrictions on foreign investment.
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During this period, a large share of the economy was returned to private sector ownership through divestment and privatisation programmes. Jamaica's economy grew strongly after the years of independence,  but then stagnated in the s, due to the heavy falls in price of bauxite and fluctuations in the price of agriculture. In and there was a decrease in GDP largely due to significant problems in the financial sector and, in , a severe island-wide drought the worst in 70 years and hurricane that drastically reduced agricultural production.
The economy in was marked by low levels of import growth, high levels of private capital inflows and relative stability in the foreign exchange market. Recent economic performance shows the Jamaican economy is recovering. Agricultural production, an important engine of growth increased to 5. January's bauxite production recorded a 7. The country also exports limestone of which it holds large deposits. The government is currently implementing plans to increase its extraction.
A Canadian company, Carube Copper Corp, has found and confirmed, " Tourism, which is the largest foreign exchange earner, showed improvement as well. In , the total visitor arrivals was 2 million, an increase of , from the previous year. In , Jamaica recorded a Petrojam, Jamaica's national and only petroleum refinery, is co-owned by the Government of Venezuela.
Petrojam, ".. Jamaica's agricultural exports are sugar , bananas , cocoa ,  coconut , molasses  oranges , limes , grapefruit ,  rum , yams , allspice of which it is the world's largest and "most exceptional quality" exporter ,  and Blue Mountain Coffee which is considered a world renowned gourmet brand. Jamaica has a wide variety of industrial and commercial activities. The aviation industry is able to perform most routine aircraft maintenance, except for heavy structural repairs.
There is a considerable amount of technical support for transport and agricultural aviation. Jamaica has a considerable amount of industrial engineering , light manufacturing , including metal fabrication , metal roofing, and furniture manufacturing. Food and beverage processing, glassware manufacturing, software and data processing , printing and publishing , insurance underwriting, music and recording, and advanced education activities can be found in the larger urban areas.
Our highest platform jump is 35 feet and ensures the thrill of a lifetime. Boasting a magnificent 7 tiered cascading waterfall, an expansive wading pool fed by underground springs, exciting canopy rides which carreen you down the alley high above the falls. Born in France, Annie was a petite woman barely 4 feet tall, it is said who moved to the beautiful island of Jamaica to be the wife of a powerful man who owned Rose Hall and thousands of acres of sugar plantation. Mayfield Falls offers some of the prettiest scenery Mother Nature has to offer. The attraction is a mere twenty miles from Montego Bay and forty miles from Ocho Rios.
You sit on a raised dais on bamboo logs and watch the river scenery unfold. Whisk through the verdant rainforest canopy and glide from one platform to another. The secure zip lining tour consists of the following: Seven 7 platforms, Six 6 Zip lines averaging nearly meters in length, One meter vertical rappel descent and One meter suspension walking bridge.
The minute trip through bamboo groves includes an opportunity to take a brief swim, along with a visit to a local bar, midway. You can enjoy a variety of equestrian activities, riding, jumping and polo lessons and the thrilling Beach Ride. Beautiful series of waterfalls just off the Black River, lined with plenty of picnic areas for pleasant afternoon lunches. The Reach Falls is Located approx. It's most spectacular natural waterfalls in Jamaica.
The minute trip through bamboo groves. My best friend and I, who also happens to be a female, traveled alone to jamaica and were very concerned with safety first and having fun second. Well we got both with Explorer Jamaica! Denzil was on time to pick us up for our tour and was extremely pleasant and accomodating. The touring vehicle was new, clean and the air-conditioning worked very well. We traveled to Montego Bay,.
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