I enjoy traveling because learning becomes interactive. My visit to Jamaica revealed that poverty is real. In the United States people can go most of their life without seeing or meeting homeless. However, that is getting more difficult as economies remain unstable.
I was impressed with the Jamaican people, that no matter the difficulties of their struggles, the Jamaicans are a positive and resilient people. In Montego, Jamaica stands a statue of Samuel Sharpe,a revered freedom fighter against slavery. Sharpe, a leader in abolishing slavery in Jamaica, and aided towards eventual independence from Britain.
“…Jamaica slaves won emancipation in 1834…”-Photo with History of Jamaica.
Our tour guide, Debbie revealed to the bus load of people, that Jamaica struggled often with unemployment, but some years were better than others.
Searching for better options, garment factories escaped from the high tax demanded from the Jamaican government.The garment factories have found greener pastures, and cheaper labor in Mexico.
Tourism is now Jamaica’s main money-maker, but with so much competition tourism does not always pay the bills.
So no more factories? “No problem, mon,” as the Jamaicans say.
The tour bus passes through small fishing villages (click the link to see how Jamaican citizens are working to improve their plights).These families fish daily for their food.
It is not uncommon to find conch, clams, and lobsters on good days. As the bus drove on it passed a small fresh fish market where people were bidding on their dinner for the evening.
In Flamouth, Jamaica the stalls are much smaller and the town looks like a surreal picture of poor, and newly revived sitting side by side. The new port authority landscaping is picture perfect Jamaica. Then you step through the looking-glass and see the difference. Stall owners try to capture your attention hoping sell their services or merchandise. Some can be more pushy than others, but stand your ground without offending.