The Decision to Move to Jamaica>Shared

My husband was contacted through his blog Moving Back to Jamaica @ last year  via email by the following writer.

She had a few questions to ask about  moving here to Jamaica and asked his advice, so he answered her and also told her to email me. We have since been in communication, and she has done several Pre- arrival trips and extensive research about what life would be like here for her.

She is now here in Jamaica and shared the following:


Jamaica is a wonderful place to be.  Life here may be hard for some, but for me this is where my soul is calling.  I made the decision to move to and live in Jamaica in August, 2007.  I know, the question is why?

Jamaican Jack Fruit Picture by

When I graduated high school at age seventeen, I wanted to join the Peace Corp and my parents said a definite “NO”.  So, after going to college and receiving my degree, I made up in my mind that when I got grown, I would teach in Africa or a Third World country.  Once again, my dream was deferred; marriage, children and life.

When I planned for my honeymoon in 2001, after being married for fifteen years to my second husband in 2001, unfortuna

Expats & Job Opportunities in Jamaica

I receive emails almost weekly from individuals who are considering moving to Jamaica.  Some have very simple questions while others speak to major concerns such as Jamaica’s unemployment rate and the ease of employment for outsiders. These questions generally come from:

* Jamaicans living overseas who wish to return to the Island
* Expats who have visited the Island on numerous occasions and are seeking to relocate to Jamaica permanently
* Trailing spouses following their husbands – coming to Jamaica for work – who want to continue pursuing their own careers goals

I try to be as honest and straight-forward with my answers as possible. I share the fact that living in Jamaica is clearly manageable as the local population now exceeds 2.7 million. However, securing employment as an Expat may prove to be an extremely difficult task, especially if you have not done so prior to relocating. In fact, if you have not already secured employment with one of the embassies or multinational companies, finding work may be difficult if not impossible.

If you are moving to Jamaica as a trailing spouse, you may want to consider participating in volunteer activities during the first year of your relocation. This will afford time for you to learn your way around, better understand the Jamaican culture and decide how to best utilize your skills in the Jamaican business environment. I have often met with trailing spouses who arrive to the Island misguidedly thinking they will find a job in no time as their skills are highly needed here on the Island. Although it may be true that your skills are needed, the job you were familiar with in your home country may not be the same here on the Island; a fact that people will rarely share with you.

Priority is usually given to Jamaicans for most vacancies. Although some expats occasionally acquire positions, creating your own world of work tends to be more of the norm.

If you are a returning resident, you will need to revitalize the contacts in your old networks in order to facilitate your transition back to the island. You may also wish to leverage the fact that you will not need a work permit to work on the Island.

The current global economic crisis may serve to further exacerbate the issue of job creation for outsiders in developing countries. If you are considering moving to Jamaica and have not yet secured employment, you should seek to identify alternative methods of generating income. Options include establishing your own business or working online for companies located outside of Jamaica.

Bagged Sugarcane & Coconuts for Sale > local vender

It is not unusual to hear about Expats who moved to Jamaica for a specific job with a multinational company and after living here for a few years decided to remain in Jamaica. Many of them have recognized that Jamaica is a country that is open to new ideas and possibilities. As such, they have learned that it is sometimes easier to start your own business rather than working for another person. After all, Jamaica is not called a developing country without reason. Therefore, if you are leaning towards opening a new type of business, ensure that you do your market research wisely.

Continue reading “Expats & Job Opportunities in Jamaica”

A Closer Peep at Jamaica>

The following realistic videos show snippets about what is good in Jamaica. I am often asked, “what do I like most about Jamaica? ” My initially answer is usually, that I love the food, the beautiful scenery of the countryside and the rhythm of the Jamaican people. The mountains, valleys and beaches are the best that I have seen in the Caribbean region, and while other islands may experience more financially stable economies, the beauty of this land is undeniable.

This is not however to say that living on the island is easy, so I then usually go further and share, that I have a love hate relationship with the soil. Some days I love it here and some days I look at myself in the mirror and ask ” What exactly were you drinking when you told your significant other yes, you would move to Jamaica with him?” What…. What !!!!!!

Sit back and enjoy the following videos. Keep in mind however, that your first step in seeing Jamaica is coming on a vacation away from the All-Inclusive hotels. So do your research wisely.

Part II

Running Talent In Jamaica: Jr. Champs to Sr.Champs

My attached blog was written in 2008, after I attended the great track event Champs. Getting tickets for Champs 2009 was near impossible this year for many, mainly because of the success of all the star athletes last year at the Olympics.

The demand for tickets was enormous and the scalpers were  also out. Tickets which sold for $1500.00 JA about $20.00 US currently, were being doubled by the scalpers. So many people decided to simply watch the event on television which was clearly not the same experience .

Anyhow, I saw this link posted  about how the British press reported in about Champs and wanted to share. Anybody arriving to Jamaica should be aware of how important track and field is to this beautiful  island of Jamaica.

For as long as I can remember I was always aware that Jamaican athletes, generally do exceptionally well at the Olympic track and field events.

What I did not know, is that the entire country views running and runners very seriously, and all this intensity  begins from a very young age. I remember watching the Olympic track meets on television several years ago with my husband, who at that time was my Jamaican boyfriend. He was jumping up and down on the furniture screaming at the top of his lungs ” go my yute, go my yute, run for Jamaica, run!”

I looked at him like he was crazy and asked “can you quit making all that noise, as they cannot hear you and somebody may even telephone the police.” Now this was in the United States, where if neighbors perceive that too much noise is being made, and it is not Super Bowl night, 911 can be quietly dialed.

Anyhow, I then learned lessons about us Trinis/Trinidadians never really sending many athletes to the Olympic games, where the Jamaicans came out and blazed trails. I knew not to argue after all he had a point and since we were in the early dating phase why rock the boat over some runners my female mind told me. Plus it was his turn to cook Jamaican food that night.
I also learned that Champs was an event where the majority of raw talent was shaped and molded. Hmmm.

Continue reading “Running Talent In Jamaica: Jr. Champs to Sr.Champs”

Shattered Dreams of Teaching In Jamaica: Part I

Today,  while drinking my morning coffee and wondering what next to share at my blogsite, a story  in the local Observer newspaper jumped at me. Since I am usually on the prowl for expat related stories, my interest was peaked.

I found the story interesting as it described how the writer fell in love with Jamaica’s  culture after  making several trips here over a span of years. The piece is a clear example of what I often tell people thinking about moving to Jamaica. I always encourage people to ask several questions to different people when trying to figure out how to manage and maneuver any bureaucratic red tape for living in Jamaica.  Correct information is power and can save you the new comer, time, money and energy when performing  a task as simple as obtaining Internet access.

My shattered dreams
guest columnist
Thursday, October 09, 2008

Part I of a two-part feature:

My love for Jamaica begun in 1984 when I taught English, Mathematics, and Spanish at the Mount Alvernia High School. During that time I walked all over the town and talked with Jamaicans of all ages, from every walk of life. The friendliness, the manners, the playfulness impressed me. As a teacher, however, I was most enthusiastic about the intelligence.

That’s right! As soon as I heard Jamaicans speak, I thought to myself, “They talk so fast, they must be thinking fast!” As the young hagglers selling necklaces approached me to buy something, I began quizzing them. The education wasn’t there, but the smarts sure was. I enjoyed giving them math riddles, brain busters and such, and they enjoyed figuring them out.

From then on, they begged me, “Teacher, please teach us something”. It was always with respect as they put their wares away and we explored the math around us. In the classroom, the good students actually ended up helping me teach the slower ones. Being conditioned by Americans students who are so spoiled with schooling that they are resistant to it, I was thrilled to meet people who valued learning. For them, it wasn’t just memorizing and regurgitating, these students worked hard at mastering the material.

Conversations with adults led my idealism and nature as a teacher to take over. They all wanted to learn. And they learned so well, all I could think was “Wow! If these people received the education we get in the US, they wouldn’t build bombs. I was firm in believing that these amazing Jamaican people could change the world by example. With education, there would be solar power, wind power, clean water, housing and food for all. My vision truly was Heaven on earth. Yes, I believe, “on Earth as it is in Heaven.’ And it was to start somewhere. I still believe education is the key. Give them something to do with their minds and bodies and they won’t need to turn to crime.

All right, that was the mid eighties. I had to leave after two years stay but I vowed to come back. My dream was to return to Jamaica to start a Maths Clinic where anyone could come to learn. I mapped it out, I envisioned it. I worked toward it. For twenty years I worked at schools in the US, saving money and collecting materials for the Maths Clinic, while visiting Jamaica at least twice a year. I was determined to make this dream come true. I felt it God’s purpose for my life.

I returned to Jamaica in 2004, bringing with me crates full of teaching materials, paid US$10 000 to ship them here and then started paying the government for the privilege of teaching. It took a year and a half before I got a self-employment work permit valid for a two year period. Until the government granted me the permit, I frequented the Library helping students who needed it and did volunteer work at several schools nearby.

Continue reading “Shattered Dreams of Teaching In Jamaica: Part I”

Moving To Jamaica with Pets>

Ever so often I notice postings and questions to various expat sites, about where Jamaica stands on people who want to relocate to the Island and bring in their pets. I have also received a few emails regarding that very topic, as the law only allows pets in from certain countries. Anybody considering a move here, would need to check to see if pets are allowed in from the country you will be moving from.

Being a person that is extremely allergic to all pets, puts me in a category of not exactly being fond of (Baxter the dog or Penelope Cat, nor do I ever get into any serious pet conversations. I have ended up in emergency rooms far too many times to even consider pets as cute.

I did however hunt down this information to post at my site for people who are pet lovers. Read on, as Jamaica does have strict pet laws in place as it pertains to people relocating with animals. After being on the island for a month, most people are puzzled, as they see stray dogs at every corner and then ask themselves, “why are these laws in place when nobody appears to care about the many stray dogs of the country?” The local’s retort: “Is dog dat!!!!!”

Saturday, September 08, 2007
Moving Pets to Jamaica! Information Update

Veterinary association concerned about risk of rabies in Jamaica

THE Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association (JVMA), which joins other countries around the world in marking the inaugural World Rabies Day, says the public needs to be educated about this disease, given the reported incidence of smuggling of animals into the country from various sources, including rabies-infected countries.

Jamaica, however, remains on the list of rabies-free countries, the association said.

The disease kills approximately 55,000 people worldwide every year, mainly in developing countries.

Rabies is caused by a virus that infects the nervous system causing erratic or aggressive behaviour, paralysis, coma and death in many animal species including humans. It may take up to six months between exposure and the onset of illness but once the disease manifests itself, there is no cure.

Continue reading “Moving To Jamaica with Pets>”