Thinking about volunteering abroad? Why not volunteer in Montego Bay, or MoBay as it is commonly referred is one of Jamaica’s most popular tourist destinations. Numerous resorts, both newly built and original sugarcane plantation buildings, occupy the coastland. The vibrant street life hustles and bustles along Sam Sharpe Square – the site of the famous slave rebellion in 1831 – and the entire city provides an appreciation of Jamaica beyond the beach.
In volunteering in Montego Bay you will learn about Jamaica’s struggle to end slavery and Montego Bay’s history in the sugar trade, see exquisite Georgian architecture, colonial churches and estates, and witness modern-day life of this coastal Caribbean city. Downtown offers an opportunity to experience the real Jamaica, amidst crumbling buildings and hectic traffic. For a change in pace the hip strip on Gloucester Avenue is lined with tourist hotels, shops, restaurants and bars. And for those of you who pictured lying back on perfectly white, sandy beaches with an icy cold beverage in hand – then Montego Bay is your ideal volunteer destination.
But the most important thing you will gain here is a little perspective. When you volunteer in Montego Bay you will come face-to-face with the harsh realities of Jamaican life, outside the glitzy resorts and tourist hot spots. The real Jamaica is where you will find purpose by helping others, one trip at a time. It’s where our volunteers of all walks of life – students, groups, missionaries, individuals, tourists, etc – choose to work with children in an orphanage, care for the disabled or the elderly, participate in community development projects or teach disadvantaged kids as a teaching assistant. Montego Bay is also a hub for nature lovers. When you volunteer in Montego Bay you get the opportunity to help to protect marine life alongside park rangers at the Montego Bay Marine Park, or care for neglected animals at the JSPCA. Here the glimpse of Jamaica is not as beautiful as the postcards portray, but we all know beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity to get off the resort and see the world from a different perspective, then be sure to volunteer in Montego Bay for your next vacation in the Caribbean.