On Jamaica's independence, we explore how much there is to love, from east to west.
Jamaica, aka "Land of Wood and Water", has 4,244 square miles to explore. Let's start, going east to west.
FREEDOM SKATE PARK
Skateboarding has been in Jamaica for decades. But it never seemed like it would stick, until now. Freedom Skatepark, Jamaica’s first skatepark, has changed the sporting landscape for good. At Freedom Skatepark in Bull Bay, just east of Kingston, skateboarding is a tool to stimulate youth personal and community development. For just a couple dollars, anyone can rent the gear and skate to their heart's content. The park is also a community hub for locals, providing employment and opportunities for youth skills training in media, music and more.
The impact on girls skateboarding has been particularly exciting. Led by Girls Skate Jamaica, founded by Kayla Wheeler (pictured), hundreds of girls have enjoyed access to skateboarding and quality instruction as well as mentorship and community. Want to get involved? Find out more details on our website!
Located in the parish of St. Elizabeth on the south coast, Treasure Beach is the kind of place you don’t arrive at by accident. At 3 hours from Kingston and 2.5 hours from Montego Bay, it's not on the way to anywhere. And it’s not a beach, rather a collection of beaches – namely Billy's Bay, Frenchman's Bay, Calabash Bay and Pedro Bay.
So, what is it then? It's where local and international literati call home once every two years for the Calabash Festival. Our friends at Jake’s Hotel in Treasure Beach know it well and call it “a neighbourhood”. Fishers like Khani and Captain John (pictured) call it home along with a few thousand other people. It's a small town vibes on the world stage. That's Jamaica. And Treasure Beach is Jamaica Nice.
MAIN STREET ROSE HALL
Main Street Rose Hall outside Montego Bay brings together Jamaica’s beloved food and culture -- and of course shopping -- all in one place. Around each corner is an IG-worthy mural hand painted by some of Jamaica's best loved muralists and visual artists. As with street corners in communities across the island, there are many things happening all at once. The music, the street art, the rum shop and the games are all part of the experience. Put it together and it's easy to make a day, or three, of it at Main Street Rose Hall.