Petersfield, Jamaica

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Jamaica flagLocation | Rural Jamaica
Photos | Found here
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Read more about Amizade in Jamaica
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Community Initiatives in Jamaica
Service Opportunities | Construction, teaching in schools, architectural design, running a summer camp, and much more
Cultural and Recreational Highlights | Cooking nights, game nights, visiting a local beach, visiting a tourist beach, roaring river, visiting a sugar factory, and much more

Jamaica is known for its beach resorts, tropical beauty, and warm, friendly atmosphere, yet the majority of this enchanting island is not visited by tourists. The small and very safe community of Petersfield, located in the heart of Jamaica’s sugarcane industry, offers volunteers a glimpse into a more authentic Jamaican culture than the flashy Montego Bay destinations.

Volunteers in Petersfield participate first-hand in the life of a rural community. Working with a local community organization gives volunteers a chance to contribute their skills while absorbing the stories and strength of people working to build a better future for their community.

Program Overview

Jamaican kidsAmizade volunteers have the opportunity to learn about local history and culture; explore the beauty of Jamaica’s urban, rural, and coastal areas; and serve with the Association of Clubs (AOC), a well-established community organization. Volunteers tutor local students, provide computer instruction, and participate in construction, maintenance and repair initiatives, and much more. Volunteers do not need prior experience in tutoring or construction as all projects are supervised by a very knowledgeable site director.

Amizade volunteers in Petersfield stay with local families in “homestays,” designed to give an opportunity for both further cultural learning and deeper personal relationships.

School construction in Jamaica

Lodging | Incredible homestays; guest house/motel by special request
Food | Lots of fresh fruit, rice, juice, chicken, and fish
Flights | Very quick from the US
Visa | No
Communication | Cell networks; internet cafes
Closest Airport | Montego Bay

Our Community Partner

The Association of Clubs (AOC) | Because tourism dominates the Jamaican economy, traditional sugar-farming communities such as Petersfield must prepare theircitizens to act to ensure the economic sustainability of the community. The AOC was founded with this goal of individual and community empowerment in mind. Amizade first partnered with the AOC in 2003 and continues to connect enthusiastic volunteers to this unique grassroots organization.

Tutoring in Jamaica

The mission of the AOC is “to help communities establish self-reliant organizations linked with others, so that ordinary people can have a much greater part in building the community and the country. The Association of clubs is a community-based organization organized to develop and secure the implementation of strategies and policies which address the principal social and economic problems facing the community. They network with other development oriented organizations in order to stimulate community action and self-reliance.

The organization is the join efforts of eight community-based organizations. These communities are strategically situated around the sugar belt where most people depend on the sugar industry and tend to fall in the lower socio-economic bracket.

By cooperating with the AOC’s already effective and existing programs, Amizade volunteers learn about community organizing while contributing their skills to the effort. Amizade volunteers have helped make a difference on the following AOC projects:

  • Youth Empowerment Summer Camp – teaching computer classes, serving as camp counselors, andtutoring.
  • Videography Program – creating video as a tool for educating the community, raising funds, and inspiring people to action.
  • Building Revitalization – contributing to a community park, painting the local post office, and restoring homes and community buildings.
  • School and Hospice Visits - spending time and sharing culture with school children and people who are ill.

Volunteers with an interest in community development, technology, health, education, construction, youth, business initiatives, and more will find plenty of opportunities to lend a hand and learn from this vibrant community.

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