I had the chance to visit Jamaica this past year on two occasions. The first was on a resort where I had the opportunity to speak to a few of the employees there and was shocked to learn how much they make a day. It is often times it is less than CDN$15.00 for a full day’s work. Correct me if I am wrong, but is tourism not one of Jamaica’s major sources of revenue and yet they pay their employees barely enough to EXIST and SURVIVE.
Even those who are fortunate to secure a job still can’t make enough to strive to better their education or themselves or even afford a better standard of living. It’s barely enough to pay rent, phone bill and food let alone support a family. They are forced off the job every three or six month for three weeks at a time without pay while the hotel decides if they want to renew their contract. I view it as a scare tactic to perform or else in my view anyways.
Here is a video that capture some of the realities of Jamaica
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I then went a second time and rented a house and car and really saw the Paradise called Jamaica. Although it’s land is beautiful without a doubt, there seems to be no happy medium for the people who live there you either have it or you don’t. I saw many young women with no shoes on their feet and child on their hip. Groups of men hanging out during the day not necessarily by choice but by circumstance. Young kids in the traffic trying to sell whatever they can to make a dollar it’s a school day yet they are in the streets at a young age trying to contribute to the family instead of in school learning so that they won’t end up in some of their parents situations unemployable.
This young man who wrote the poem (Why) seemed to hit many points on the head and I think is one of the main reasons why many Jamaican youths are so eager to go where the grass is greener. Why live in Jamaica with no work no money no job and if you find one get paid CDN$15.00 a day when they can come abroad and earn that a hour.
It was a real eye opener once I was out of the tourist area to see what that Island is really about. Many visitors think it is hot and beautiful and it is but that all counts for nothing if you have no money or food to survive.
I love the island and would go back to visit but hope that changes are made to enable the young people of Jamaica to succeed it always seems to start with the kids they are the future … but that is just my opinion
Written and submitted by a Non-Jamaican