Jamaica

Jamaica

Overview
Jamaica is an island nation
Island nation
An island country is a state whose primary territory consists of one or more islands or parts of islands. As of 2011, 47 of the 193 UN member states are island countries.-Politics:...

 of the Greater Antilles
Greater Antilles
The Greater Antilles are one of three island groups in the Caribbean. Comprising Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola , and Puerto Rico, the Greater Antilles constitute almost 90% of the land mass of the entire West Indies.-Greater Antilles in context :The islands of the Caribbean Sea, collectively known as...

, 234 kilometres (145.4 mi) in length, up to 80 kilometres (49.7 mi) in width and 10,990 square kilometres (4,243 sq mi) in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Sea
The Caribbean Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean located in the tropics of the Western hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico and Central America to the west and southwest, to the north by the Greater Antilles, and to the east by the Lesser Antilles....

, about 145 kilometres (90.1 mi) south of Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, and 191 kilometres (118.7 mi) west of Hispaniola
Hispaniola
Hispaniola is a major island in the Caribbean, containing the two sovereign states of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The island is located between the islands of Cuba to the west and Puerto Rico to the east, within the hurricane belt...

, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

 and the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

. Its indigenous
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

 Arawakan
Arawakan languages
Macro-Arawakan is a proposed language family of South America and the Caribbean based on the Arawakan languages. Sometimes the proposal is called Arawakan, in which case the central family is called Maipurean....

-speaking Taíno
Taíno people
The Taínos were pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Bahamas, Greater Antilles, and the northern Lesser Antilles. It is thought that the seafaring Taínos are relatives of the Arawak people of South America...

 inhabitants named the island Xaymaca, meaning the "Land of Wood and Water", or the "Land of Springs".

Once a Spanish
Habsburg Spain
Habsburg Spain refers to the history of Spain over the 16th and 17th centuries , when Spain was ruled by the major branch of the Habsburg dynasty...

 possession known as , in 1655 it became an English, and later a British, colony, known as "Jamaica".
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Unanswered Questions
Timeline

1494   Christopher Columbus lands in Jamaica.

1494   Christopher Columbus lands on the island of Jamaica and claims it for Spain.

1655   England, with troops under the command of Admiral William Penn and General Robert Venables, annexes Jamaica from Spain.

1692   Port Royal, Jamaica, is hit by a catastrophic earthquake; in just three minutes, 1,600 people are killed and 3,000 are seriously injured.

1865   Paul Bogle led hundreds of black men and women in a march in Jamaica, starting the Morant Bay rebellion.

1962   Jamaica becomes independent.

1962   Burundi, Jamaica, Rwanda and Trinidad and Tobago are admitted to the United Nations.

1966   Rastafari movement: Haile Selassie of Ethiopia visits Jamaica, an event now celebrated as Grounation Day.

1988   Hurricane Gilbert devastates Jamaica; it turns towards Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula 2 days later, causing an estimated $5 billion in damage.

 
Encyclopedia
Jamaica is an island nation
Island nation
An island country is a state whose primary territory consists of one or more islands or parts of islands. As of 2011, 47 of the 193 UN member states are island countries.-Politics:...

 of the Greater Antilles
Greater Antilles
The Greater Antilles are one of three island groups in the Caribbean. Comprising Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola , and Puerto Rico, the Greater Antilles constitute almost 90% of the land mass of the entire West Indies.-Greater Antilles in context :The islands of the Caribbean Sea, collectively known as...

, 234 kilometres (145.4 mi) in length, up to 80 kilometres (49.7 mi) in width and 10,990 square kilometres (4,243 sq mi) in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Sea
The Caribbean Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean located in the tropics of the Western hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico and Central America to the west and southwest, to the north by the Greater Antilles, and to the east by the Lesser Antilles....

, about 145 kilometres (90.1 mi) south of Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, and 191 kilometres (118.7 mi) west of Hispaniola
Hispaniola
Hispaniola is a major island in the Caribbean, containing the two sovereign states of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The island is located between the islands of Cuba to the west and Puerto Rico to the east, within the hurricane belt...

, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

 and the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

. Its indigenous
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

 Arawakan
Arawakan languages
Macro-Arawakan is a proposed language family of South America and the Caribbean based on the Arawakan languages. Sometimes the proposal is called Arawakan, in which case the central family is called Maipurean....

-speaking Taíno
Taíno people
The Taínos were pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Bahamas, Greater Antilles, and the northern Lesser Antilles. It is thought that the seafaring Taínos are relatives of the Arawak people of South America...

 inhabitants named the island Xaymaca, meaning the "Land of Wood and Water", or the "Land of Springs".

Once a Spanish
Habsburg Spain
Habsburg Spain refers to the history of Spain over the 16th and 17th centuries , when Spain was ruled by the major branch of the Habsburg dynasty...

 possession known as , in 1655 it became an English, and later a British, colony, known as "Jamaica". It achieved full independence in 1962. With 2.8 million people, it is the third most populous anglophone
English-speaking world
The English-speaking world consists of those countries or regions that use the English language to one degree or another. For more information, please see:Lists:* List of countries by English-speaking population...

 country in the Americas, after the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. It remains a Commonwealth realm
Commonwealth Realm
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. The sixteen current realms have a combined land area of 18.8 million km² , and a population of 134 million, of which all, except about two million, live in the six...

 with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

. Kingston
Kingston, Jamaica
Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica, located on the southeastern coast of the island. It faces a natural harbour protected by the Palisadoes, a long sand spit which connects the town of Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport to the rest of the island...

 is the country's largest city and the capital.

History


The Arawak and Taino
Taíno people
The Taínos were pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Bahamas, Greater Antilles, and the northern Lesser Antilles. It is thought that the seafaring Taínos are relatives of the Arawak people of South America...

 indigenous people, originating in South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, settled on the island between 4000 and 1000 BC. When Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

 arrived in 1494, there were over 200 villages ruled by caciques (chiefs of villages). The south coast of Jamaica was the most populated, especially around the area now known as Old Harbour. The Tainos were still inhabiting Jamaica when the English took control of the island. The Jamaican National Heritage Trust is attempting to locate and document any evidence of the Taino
Taíno people
The Taínos were pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Bahamas, Greater Antilles, and the northern Lesser Antilles. It is thought that the seafaring Taínos are relatives of the Arawak people of South America...

/Arawaks.

Christopher Columbus claimed Jamaica for Spain after landing there in 1494 and his probable landing point was Dry Harbour, now called Discovery Bay
Discovery Bay, Jamaica
Discovery Bay is a town in Saint Ann Parish on the northern coast of Jamaica. The city is also known locally as Dry Harbour Bay, because it sits in the shadow of the Dry Harbour Mountains in St. Ann. There is a dispute as to whether Christopher Columbus first landed in Discovery Bay or Sevilla la...

. There is some debate as to whether he landed in St. Ann's Bay or in Discovery Bay. St. Ann's Bay
Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica
Saint Ann is the largest parish in Jamaica. It is situated on the north coast of the island, in the county of Middlesex, roughly halfway between the eastern and western ends of the island. It is often called 'the Garden Parish of Jamaica' on account of its natural beauty...

 was the "Saint Gloria" of Columbus who first sighted Jamaica at this point. One mile west of St. Ann's Bay is the site of the first Spanish settlement on the island, Sevilla, which was established in 1509 and abandoned around 1524 because it was deemed unhealthy. The capital was moved to Spanish Town
Spanish Town
Spanish Town is the capital and the largest town in the parish of St. Catherine in the county of Middlesex, Jamaica. It was the former Spanish and English capital of Jamaica from the 16th to the 19th century...

, then called "St. Jago de la Vega", around 1534 and is located in present day St. Catherine.

Out of all the British colonies in the Caribbean, Spanish Town has the oldest Cathedral
Cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

. The Spanish were forcibly evicted by the English at Ocho Rios in St. Ann, In 1655 the English, led by William Penn
William Penn (admiral)
Sir William Penn was an English admiral, and the father of William Penn, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania....

 and General Robert Venables
Robert Venables
Robert Venables , was a soldier during the English Civil War and noted angler.Venables was lieutenant-colonel in the parliamentary army. He was wounded at Chester in 1645. He was appointed governor of Liverpool in 1648. He served with success in Ireland from 1649 until 1654...

, took over the last Spanish fort in Jamaica. The name of Montego Bay, the capital of the parish of St. James, was derived from the Spanish name (or Bay of Lard) for the large quantity of boar
Boar
Wild boar, also wild pig, is a species of the pig genus Sus, part of the biological family Suidae. The species includes many subspecies. It is the wild ancestor of the domestic pig, an animal with which it freely hybridises...

 used for the lard-making industry.

In 1660, the population of Jamaica was about 4,500 whites and some 1,500 blacks and as early as the 1670s, blacks formed a majority of the population.

When the English captured Jamaica in 1655 the Spanish colonists fled after freeing their slaves. The slaves fled into the mountains, joining those who had previously escaped from the Spanish to live with the Taínos. These runaway slaves, who became known as the Jamaican Maroons
Jamaican Maroons
The 'Jamaican Maroons are descended from slaves who escaped from slavery and established free communities in the mountainous interior of Jamaica during the long era of slavery in the island. African slaves imported during the Spanish period may have provided the first runaways, apparently mixing...

, fought the British during the 18th century. The name is still used today for their modern descendants. During the long years of slavery Maroons established free communities in the mountainous interior of Jamaica, maintaining their freedom and independence for generations.

During its first 200 years of British rule, Jamaica became one of the world's leading sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

-exporting, slave-dependent nations, producing more than 77,000 tons of sugar annually between 1820 and 1824. After the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, the British imported Indian and Chinese workers as indentured servant
Indentured servant
Indentured servitude refers to the historical practice of contracting to work for a fixed period of time, typically three to seven years, in exchange for transportation, food, clothing, lodging and other necessities during the term of indenture. Usually the father made the arrangements and signed...

s to supplement the labour pool. Descendants of indentured servants of Indian and Chinese origin continue to reside in Jamaica today.

By the beginning of the 19th century, Jamaica's heavy reliance on slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 resulted in blacks outnumbering whites by a ratio of almost 20 to 1. Even though England had outlawed the importation of slaves, some were still smuggled into the colonies. The British government drew up laws regimenting the abolition of slavery, but they also included instructions for the improvement of the slaves' way of life. These instructions included a ban of the use of whips in the field, a ban on the flogging of women, notification that slaves were to be allowed religious instruction, a requirement that slaves be given an extra free day during the week when they could sell their produce as well as a ban on Sunday markets.

In Jamaica these measures were resisted by the House of Assembly. The Assembly claimed that the slaves were content and objected to Parliament's interference in island affairs, although many slave owners feared possible revolts. Following a series of rebellions and changing attitudes in Great Britain, the nation formally abolished slavery in 1834, with full emancipation
Abolitionism
Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery.In western Europe and the Americas abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first...

 from chattel slavery declared in 1838. The population in 1834 was 371,070 of whom 15,000 were white, 5,000 free black, 40,000 ‘coloured’ or mixed race, and 311,070 slaves.

In the 1800s, the British established a number of botanical gardens. These included the Castleton Garden, set up in 1862 to replace the Bath Garden (created in 1779) which was subject to flooding. Bath Garden was the site for planting breadfruit
Breadfruit
Breadfruit is a species of flowering tree in the mulberry family, Moraceae, growing throughout Southeast Asia and most Pacific Ocean islands...

 brought to Jamaica from the Pacific by Captain William Bligh
William Bligh
Vice Admiral William Bligh FRS RN was an officer of the British Royal Navy and a colonial administrator. A notorious mutiny occurred during his command of HMAV Bounty in 1789; Bligh and his loyal men made a remarkable voyage to Timor, after being set adrift in the Bounty's launch by the mutineers...

. Other gardens were the Cinchona
Cinchona
Cinchona or Quina is a genus of about 38 species in the family Rubiaceae, native to tropical South America. They are large shrubs or small trees growing 5–15 metres in height with evergreen foliage. The leaves are opposite, rounded to lanceolate and 10–40 cm long. The flowers are white, pink...

 Plantation
Plantation
A plantation is a long artificially established forest, farm or estate, where crops are grown for sale, often in distant markets rather than for local on-site consumption...

 founded in 1868 and the Hope Garden founded in 1874. In 1872, Kingston became the island's capital.

In 1945, Sir Horace Hector Hearne
Horace Hearne
Sir Hector Horace Hearne was a Judge.Hearne was born in 1892, the son of Samuel Hearne and Edith...

 became Chief Justice
Chief Justice
The Chief Justice in many countries is the name for the presiding member of a Supreme Court in Commonwealth or other countries with an Anglo-Saxon justice system based on English common law, such as the Supreme Court of Canada, the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the Court of Final Appeal of...

 and Keeper of the Records in Jamaica. He headed the Supreme Court
Supreme court
A supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, instance court, judgment court, high court, or apex court...

, Kingston
Kingston, Jamaica
Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica, located on the southeastern coast of the island. It faces a natural harbour protected by the Palisadoes, a long sand spit which connects the town of Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport to the rest of the island...

 between 1945 and 1950/1951. He then moved to Kenya where he was appointed Chief Justice
Chief Justice
The Chief Justice in many countries is the name for the presiding member of a Supreme Court in Commonwealth or other countries with an Anglo-Saxon justice system based on English common law, such as the Supreme Court of Canada, the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the Court of Final Appeal of...

.

Jamaica slowly gained increasing independence from the United Kingdom and in 1958, it became a province in the Federation of the West Indies, a federation among the British West Indies
British West Indies
The British West Indies was a term used to describe the islands in and around the Caribbean that were part of the British Empire The term was sometimes used to include British Honduras and British Guiana, even though these territories are not geographically part of the Caribbean...

. Jamaica attained full independence by leaving the federation in 1962.

Strong economic growth, averaging approximately 6% per annum, marked the first ten years of independence under conservative governments which were led successively by Prime Ministers Alexander Bustamante
Alexander Bustamante
Sir William Alexander Clarke Bustamante GBE, National Hero of Jamaica was a Jamaican politician and labour leader....

, Donald Sangster
Donald Sangster
Sir Donald Burns Sangster was a Jamaican politician and the second Prime Minister of Jamaica. He entered politics in 1933 at the age of 21 with his election to the council of the Parish of St Elizabeth, Jamaica...

 and Hugh Shearer
Hugh Shearer
Hugh Lawson Shearer, ON, OJ, PC was the third Prime Minister of Jamaica, from 1967 to 1972.Born in Martha Brae, Trelawny Parish, Jamaica, near the sugar and banana growing areas, Shearer attended St Simon's College after winning a parish scholarship to the school.In 1941 he took a job on the staff...

. The growth was fuelled by strong investments in bauxite
Bauxite
Bauxite is an aluminium ore and is the main source of aluminium. This form of rock consists mostly of the minerals gibbsite Al3, boehmite γ-AlO, and diaspore α-AlO, in a mixture with the two iron oxides goethite and hematite, the clay mineral kaolinite, and small amounts of anatase TiO2...

/alumina, tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

, manufacturing industry and, to a lesser extent, the agricultural sector.

The optimism of the first decade was accompanied by a growing sense of inequality, and a sense that the benefits of growth were not being experienced by the urban poor. This, combined with the effects of a slowdown in the global economy in 1970, prompted the electorate to change government, electing the PNP (People's National Party
People's National Party
The People's National Party is a social democratic and social liberal Jamaican political party, founded by Norman Manley in 1938. It is the oldest political party in the Anglophone Caribbean and one of the main two political parties in Jamaica. Out of the two major parties, it is considered more...

) in 1972. Despite efforts to create more socially equitable policies in education and health, Jamaica continued to lag economically, with its gross national product having fallen in 1980 to some 25% below the 1972 level. Rising foreign and local debt, accompanied by large fiscal deficits, resulted in the invitation of the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 (IMF) financing from the United States and others, and the imposition of IMF austerity measures (with a greater than 25% interest rate per year).

Economic deterioration continued into the mid-1980s, exacerbated by a number of factors; the first and third largest alumina producers, Alpart
Alpart
Alumina Partners of Jamaica, also known as Alpart, is a company that owns and operates a bauxite refinery in Nain, Jamaica. Alpart was founded in 1969 as a joint venture by Kaiser Aluminum, Reynolds Aluminum, and Anaconda. Alpart exports 1.65 million tonnes of alumina overseas per year, and...

 and Alcoa
Alcoa
Alcoa Inc. is the world's third largest producer of aluminum, behind Rio Tinto Alcan and Rusal. From its operational headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Alcoa conducts operations in 31 countries...

 closed, and there was a significant reduction in production by the second largest producer, Alcan
Alcan
Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. is a Canadian company based in Montreal. It was created on November 15, 2007 as the result of the merger between Rio Tinto PLC's Canadian subsidiary, Rio Tinto Canada Holding Inc., and Canadian company Alcan Inc. On the same date, Alcan Inc. was renamed Rio Tinto Alcan Inc..Rio...

. In addition, tourism decreased and Reynolds Jamaica Mines, Ltd. left the Jamaican industry.

Government and politics


Jamaica is a parliamentary democracy
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 and constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 with the monarch
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 being represented by a Governor-General
Governor-General of Jamaica
The Governor-General of Jamaica represents the Jamaican monarch, and head of state, who holds the title of King or Queen of Jamaica ....

. The head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 is Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

, who officially uses the title "Queen of Jamaica
Monarchy of Jamaica
The Monarchy of Jamaica is a constitutional system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of Jamaica, forming the core of the country's Westminster-style parliamentary democracy...

" when she visits the country or performs duties overseas on Jamaica's behalf. The Governor General is nominated by the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Jamaica
The Prime Minister of Jamaica is Jamaica's head of government, currently Andrew Holness. Andrew Holness was elected as the new leader of the governing Jamaica Labour Party and succeeded Bruce Golding to become Jamaica's ninth Prime Minister on 23 October 2011...

 and the entire Cabinet and appointed by the monarch. All the members of the Cabinet are appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister. The monarch and the Governor-General serve largely ceremonial roles, apart from their potent reserve power
Reserve power
In a parliamentary or semi-presidential system of government, a reserve power is a power that may be exercised by the head of state without the approval of another branch of the government. Unlike a presidential system of government, the head of state is generally constrained by the cabinet or the...

 to dismiss the Prime Minister or Parliament.

Jamaica's current Constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 was drafted in 1962 by a bipartisan joint committee of the Jamaican legislature
Parliament of Jamaica
The Parliament of Jamaica is the legislative branch of the government of Jamaica. It is a bicameral body, composed of an appointed Senate and an elected House of Representatives....

. It came into force with the Jamaica Independence Act, 1962 of the United Kingdom Parliament
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

, which gave Jamaica political independence.

The Parliament of Jamaica
Parliament of Jamaica
The Parliament of Jamaica is the legislative branch of the government of Jamaica. It is a bicameral body, composed of an appointed Senate and an elected House of Representatives....

 is bicameral
Bicameralism
In the government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. Thus, a bicameral parliament or bicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of two chambers or houses....

, consisting of the House of Representatives (Lower House) and the Senate (Upper House). Members of the House (known as Members of Parliament or MPs) are directly elected, and the member of the House of Representatives who, in the Governor-General's best judgement, is best able to command the confidence of a majority of the members of that House, is appointed by the Governor-General to be the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Jamaica
The Prime Minister of Jamaica is Jamaica's head of government, currently Andrew Holness. Andrew Holness was elected as the new leader of the governing Jamaica Labour Party and succeeded Bruce Golding to become Jamaica's ninth Prime Minister on 23 October 2011...

. Senators are nominated jointly by the Prime Minister and the parliamentary Leader of the Opposition
Opposition (parliamentary)
Parliamentary opposition is a form of political opposition to a designated government, particularly in a Westminster-based parliamentary system. Note that this article uses the term government as it is used in Parliamentary systems, i.e. meaning the administration or the cabinet rather than the state...

 and are then appointed by the Governor-General.

In February 2006, Portia Simpson-Miller
Portia Simpson-Miller
Portia Lucretia Simpson-Miller, ON, MP is Jamaica's Leader of the Opposition and was the country's seventh Prime Minister from 30 March 2006 to 11 September 2007...

 was elected by delegates of the ruling People's National Party (PNP) to replace P. J. Patterson
P. J. Patterson
Percival Noel James Patterson, ON, QC, PC, O.E., was the sixth Prime Minister of Jamaica from 1992 to 2006. Until February 2006 he was the leader of the Jamaican People's National Party . The new PNP leader, Portia Simpson-Miller, took over as Prime Minister on 30 March 2006...

 as President of the Party. At the end of March 2006 when Patterson demitted office, Simpson-Miller became the first female Prime Minister of Jamaica. Former Prime Minister Patterson had held office since the 1992 resignation of Michael Manley
Michael Manley
Michael Norman Manley ON OCC was the fourth Prime Minister of Jamaica . Manley was a democratic socialist....

. Patterson was re-elected three times, the last being in 2002.

On 3 September 2007, Bruce Golding
Bruce Golding
Orette Bruce Golding MP served as Prime Minister of Jamaica from 11 September 2007 to 23 October 2011. He is a member of the Jamaica Labour Party.-Biography:...

 of the Jamaica Labour Party was voted in as Prime Minister-Designate after achieving a 33 – 27 seat victory over Portia Simpson-Miller and the PNP in the 2007 Jamaican general election
Jamaican general election, 2007
General elections in Jamaica were held on September 3, 2007. They had originally been scheduled for August 27, 2007 but were delayed due to Hurricane Dean. The preliminary results indicated a slim victory for the opposition Jamaican Labour Party led by Bruce Golding, which grew by two seats from...

. Portia Simpson-Miller conceded defeat on 5 September 2007. On 11 September 2007, after being sworn in by Governor-General Kenneth Hall, The Hon. Bruce Golding
Bruce Golding
Orette Bruce Golding MP served as Prime Minister of Jamaica from 11 September 2007 to 23 October 2011. He is a member of the Jamaica Labour Party.-Biography:...

 assumed office as Prime Minister of Jamaica
Prime Minister of Jamaica
The Prime Minister of Jamaica is Jamaica's head of government, currently Andrew Holness. Andrew Holness was elected as the new leader of the governing Jamaica Labour Party and succeeded Bruce Golding to become Jamaica's ninth Prime Minister on 23 October 2011...

.

Jamaica has traditionally had a two-party system
Two-party system
A two-party system is a system where two major political parties dominate voting in nearly all elections at every level of government and, as a result, all or nearly all elected offices are members of one of the two major parties...

, with power often alternating between the People's National Party
People's National Party
The People's National Party is a social democratic and social liberal Jamaican political party, founded by Norman Manley in 1938. It is the oldest political party in the Anglophone Caribbean and one of the main two political parties in Jamaica. Out of the two major parties, it is considered more...

 and Jamaica Labour Party
Jamaica Labour Party
The Jamaica Labour Party is one of the two major political parties in Jamaica, the other being the People's National Party. Despite its name, the JLP is a centre-right, conservative party.-Background:...

 (JLP). Over the past decade a new political party called the National Democratic Movement (NDM) emerged in an attempt to challenge the two-party system, though it has become largely irrelevant in this system, as it garnered only 540 votes of the over 800,000 votes cast in the 3 September elections. Jamaica is a full and participating member of the Caribbean Community
Caribbean Community
The Caribbean Community is an organisation of 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies. CARICOM's main purposes are to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy...

 (CARICOM).

Parishes


Jamaica is divided into 14 parishes
Parishes of Jamaica
Administratively, Jamaica is divided into fourteen parishes. They are grouped into three historic counties, which have no administrative relevance :...

, which are grouped into three historic counties
County
A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

 that have no administrative relevance.
Cornwall County
Cornwall, Jamaica
Cornwall is the westernmost of the three historic counties into which Jamaica is divided. It has no current-day administrative significance. It includes Montego Bay, the island's second largest city by area.The county of Cornwall is shown in green...

Capital km2 Middlesex County
Middlesex, Jamaica
Middlesex is the central of the three historic counties into which Jamaica is divided. It has no current-day administrative significance. It covers 5041.9 km² and has a population of 1,183,361 giving it the largest area and population of the three counties...

Capital km2 Surrey County
Surrey, Jamaica
Surrey is the easternmost and the smallest by area of the three historic counties into which Jamaica is divided. It has no current-day administrative significance...

Capital km2
1 Hanover
Hanover Parish, Jamaica
Hanover , is a parish located on the northwestern tip of the island of Jamaica. It is a part of the county of Cornwall, bordered by St. James in the east, and Westmoreland in the south. With the exception of Kingston, it is the smallest parish on the island...

Lucea   450 6 Clarendon
Clarendon Parish, Jamaica
Clarendon is a parish in Jamaica. It is located on the south of the island, roughly half-way between the island's eastern and western ends...

May Pen 1,196 11 Kingston
Kingston Parish, Jamaica
Kingston is one of the 14 Parishes of Jamaica. Together with neighboring St. Andrew Parish, it makes up the consolidated administrative unit of Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation, or, informally the City of Kingston....

Kingston 25
2 Saint Elizabeth
Saint Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica
St. Elizabeth, one of Jamaica's largest parishes, is located in the southwest of the island, in the county of Cornwall. Its capital, Black River, is located at the mouth of the Black River, the longest on the island.-History:...

Black River 1,212 7 Manchester
Manchester Parish, Jamaica
The parish of Manchester is located in west-central Jamaica, in the county of Middlesex. Its capital, Mandeville, is a major business centre, and the only parish capital not located on the coast or on a major river. The Right Excellent Norman Washington Manley The parish of Manchester is located in...

Mandeville    830 12 Portland
Portland Parish, Jamaica
Portland, with its capital town Port Antonio, is a parish located on Jamaica's northeast coast. It is situated to the north of St Thomas, and the east of St Mary in Surrey county. It is one of the rural areas of Jamaica and is known for its great beaches....

Port Antonio 814
3 Saint James
Saint James Parish, Jamaica
St James is a suburban parish, located on the north west end of the island of Jamaica. Its capital, Montego Bay, derived from the Spanish word Manteca because many wild hogs were found there from which they made lard. It was named publicly the second city of Jamaica, behind Kingston, in 1981....

Montego Bay   595 8 Saint Ann
Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica
Saint Ann is the largest parish in Jamaica. It is situated on the north coast of the island, in the county of Middlesex, roughly halfway between the eastern and western ends of the island. It is often called 'the Garden Parish of Jamaica' on account of its natural beauty...

St. Ann's Bay 1,213 13 Saint Andrew
Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica
Saint Andrew is a parish, situated in the southeast of Jamaica in the county of Surrey. It lies north, west and east of Kingston, and stretches into the Blue Mountains and at the 2001 census had the highest population of all the parishes in Jamaica. The Right Excellent George William Gordon Saint...

Half Way Tree 453
4 Trelawny
Trelawny Parish, Jamaica
Trelawny is a parish in Cornwall County in northwest Jamaica. Its capital is Falmouth. It is bordered by the parishes of Saint Ann in the east, Saint James in the west, and Saint Elizabeth and Manchester in the south.-History:...

Falmouth   875 9 Saint Catherine
Saint Catherine Parish, Jamaica
St Catherine is a parish located in the south east of Jamaica. It is located in the county of Middlesex, and is one of the island's largest and most economically valued parish because of its many resources. It includes the first capital of Jamaica, Spanish Town, originally known as San Jago de la...

Spanish Town 1,192 14 Saint Thomas
Saint Thomas Parish, Jamaica
Saint Thomas is a suburban parish that is situated at the south eastern end of Jamaica, in the county of Surrey. It is the birth place of The right Honorable Paul Bogle, one of Jamaica's seven National Heroes...

Morant Bay 743
5 Westmoreland
Westmoreland Parish, Jamaica
Westmoreland is the westernmost parish in Jamaica, located on the south side of the island. It is situated to the south of Hanover, the southwest of Saint James, and the northwest of Saint Elizabeth, in the county of Cornwall. The chief town and capital is Savanna-la-Mar...

Savanna-la-Mar   807 10 Saint Mary
Saint Mary Parish, Jamaica
Saint Mary is a parish located in the northeast section of Jamaica. With a population of 115,000 it is one of Jamaica's smallest parishes, located in the county of Middlesex. Its chief town and capital is Port Maria, located on the coast. It is also the birthplace of established dancehall reggae...

Port Maria    611

Military


The Jamaica Defence Force
Jamaica Defence Force
The Jamaica Defence Force is the combined military forces of Jamaica, consisting of an Army, Air Wing and Coast Guard. The JDF is based upon the British military model with organisation, training, weapons and traditions closely aligned with Commonwealth Realm countries...

 (JDF) is the small but professional military force of Jamaica. The JDF is based on the British military model with organisation, training, weapons and traditions closely aligned with Commonwealth realm
Commonwealth Realm
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. The sixteen current realms have a combined land area of 18.8 million km² , and a population of 134 million, of which all, except about two million, live in the six...

s. Once chosen, officer candidates are sent to one of several British or Canadian basic officer courses depending on which arm of service they are selected for. Enlisted soldiers are given basic training at JDF Training Depot, Newcastle or Up Park Camp, both in St. Andrew. As with the British model, NCOs are given several levels of professional training as they rise up the ranks. Additional military schools are available for speciality training in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

The JDF is directly descended from the British West India Regiment
West India Regiment
The West India Regiment was an infantry unit of the British Army recruited from and normally stationed in the British colonies of the Caribbean between 1795 and 1927. The regiment differed from similar forces raised in other parts of the British Empire in that it formed an integral part of the...

 formed during the colonial era. The West India Regiment was used extensively by the British Empire in policing the empire from 1795 to 1926. Other units in the JDF heritage include the early colonial Jamaica Militia, the Kingston Infantry Volunteers of WWI and reorganised into the Jamaican Infantry Volunteers in World War II. The West Indies Regiment was reformed in 1958 as part of the West Indies Federation
West Indies Federation
The West Indies Federation, also known as the Federation of the West Indies, was a short-lived Caribbean federation that existed from January 3, 1958, to May 31, 1962. It consisted of several Caribbean colonies of the United Kingdom...

, after dissolution of the Federation the JDF was established.

The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) comprises an infantry Regiment and Reserve Corps, an Air Wing, a Coast Guard fleet and a supporting Engineering Unit. The infantry regiment contains the 1st, 2nd and 3rd (National Reserve) battalions. The JDF Air Wing is divided into three flight units, a training unit, a support unit and the JDF Air Wing (National Reserve). The Coast Guard is divided between seagoing crews and support crews who conduct maritime safety and maritime law enforcement as well as defence-related operations. The role of the support battalion is to provide support to boost numbers in combat and issue competency training in order to allow for the readiness of the force. The 1st Engineer Regiment was formed due to an increased demand for military engineers and their role is to provide engineering services whenever and wherever they are needed. The Headquarters JDF contains the JDF Commander, Command Staff as well as Intelligence, Judge Advocate office, Administrative and Procurement sections.

In recent years the JDF has been called on to assist the nation's police, the Jamaica Constabulary Force
Jamaica Constabulary Force
The Jamaica Constabulary Force is the police force of the island nation of Jamaica. The official JCF staff numbers 9,930 plus 55 auxiliary positions, making a total of 9,985; its current strength is 8,441. Its commissioner is Owen Ellington, M.Sc, B.Sc, CD...

 (JCF), in fighting drug smuggling and a rising crime rate which includes one of the highest murder rates in the world. JDF units actively conduct armed patrols with the JCF in high-crime areas and known gang neighbourhoods. There has been vocal controversy as well as support of this JDF role. In early 2005, an Opposition leader, Edward Seaga
Edward Seaga
Edward Philip George Seaga ON PC was the fifth Prime Minister of Jamaica from 1980 to 1989 and Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party from 1974 to 2005. He served as leader of the opposition from 1974 to 1980 and again from 1989 until January 2005...

, called for the merger of the JDF and JCF. This has not garnered support in either organisation nor among the majority of citizens.

Geography and Environment




Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

. It lies between latitudes 17°
17th parallel north
The 17th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 17 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, Central America, the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and 19°N
19th parallel north
The 19th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 19 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, North America, the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean....

, and longitudes 76°
76th meridian west
The meridian 76° west of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, North America, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, South America, the Pacific Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 79°W
79th meridian west
The meridian 79° west of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, North America, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, Central America, South America, the Pacific Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole.The 79th meridian west...

. Mountains, including the Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains (Jamaica)
The Blue Mountains form the longest mountain range in Jamaica. They include the island's highest point, Blue Mountain Peak, at 2256 m . From the summit, accessible via a walking track, both the North and South coasts of the island can be seen...

, dominate the inland. They are surrounded by a narrow coastal plain. Chief towns and cities include the capital Kingston
Kingston, Jamaica
Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica, located on the southeastern coast of the island. It faces a natural harbour protected by the Palisadoes, a long sand spit which connects the town of Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport to the rest of the island...

, Portmore
Portmore
Portmore is a coastal city in southern Jamaica in Saint Catherine, and a dormitory town for the neighbouring cities of Kingston and Spanish Town.-Geography:...

, Spanish Town
Spanish Town
Spanish Town is the capital and the largest town in the parish of St. Catherine in the county of Middlesex, Jamaica. It was the former Spanish and English capital of Jamaica from the 16th to the 19th century...

, Mandeville
Mandeville, Jamaica
Mandeville is the capital and largest town in the parish of Manchester in the county of Middlesex, Jamaica. In 2005, the town had an estimated population of 50,000, and including the immediate suburbs within a radius of the total population is about 72,000. It is located on an inland plateau at an...

, Ocho Ríos
Ocho Rios
Ocho Ríos is a town in the parish of Saint Ann on the north coast of Jamaica. Although he landed in many spots along the Jamaican coast, many believe that Christopher Columbus first set foot on land in Ocho Rios...

, Port Antonio
Port Antonio
Port Antonio is the capital of the parish of Portland on the northeastern coast of Jamaica, about 60 miles from Kingston. It had a population of 12,285 in 1982 and 13,246 in 1991...

, Negril
Negril
Negril is a small but widely dispersed beach resort town located across parts of two Jamaican parishes of Westmoreland and Hanover. Westmoreland is the westernmost parish in Jamaica, located on the south side of the island...

, and Montego Bay
Montego Bay
Montego Bay is the capital of St. James Parish and the second largest city in Jamaica by area and the fourth by population .It is a tourist destination with duty free shopping, cruise line terminal and the beaches...

. Jamaica has the seventh largest natural harbour in the world, Kingston Harbour
Kingston Harbour
-External links:**Photos:...

. Tourist attractions include Dunn's River Falls
Dunn's River Falls
Dunn's River Falls is a famous waterfall near Ocho Rios, Jamaica and a major Caribbean tourist attraction that attracts thousands of visitors each year.About high, the waterfalls are terraced like giant stair steps of which some are man-made improvements...

 in St. Ann, YS Falls in St. Elizabeth, the Blue Lagoon in Portland, and Port Royal
Port Royal
Port Royal was a city located at the end of the Palisadoes at the mouth of the Kingston Harbour, in southeastern Jamaica. Founded in 1518, it was the centre of shipping commerce in the Caribbean Sea during the latter half of the 17th century...

, which was the site of an earthquake that helped form the island's Palisadoes
Palisadoes
Palisadoes is the thin tombolo of sand that serves as a natural protection for Kingston Harbour, Jamaica. Norman Manley International Airport and the historic town of Port Royal are both on Palisadoes....

.

The climate in Jamaica is tropical, with hot and humid weather, although higher inland regions are more temperate. Some regions on the south coast, such as the Liguanea Plain and the Pedro Plains, are relatively dry rain-shadow areas. Jamaica lies in the hurricane belt
Hurricane belt
The hurricane belt is an area in the Atlantic Ocean, including the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, which is prone to hurricanes during the Atlantic hurricane season....

 of the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 and because of this, the island sometimes experiences significant storm damage. Hurricanes Charlie
Hurricane Charlie (1951)
Hurricane Charlie was the deadliest tropical cyclone of the 1951 Atlantic hurricane season. The third named storm, second hurricane, and second major hurricane of the season, it developed from a tropical wave east of the Lesser Antilles. It moved briskly west-northwest, passing between the islands...

 and Gilbert
Hurricane Gilbert
Hurricane Gilbert was an extremely powerful Cape Verde-type hurricane that formed during the 1988 Atlantic hurricane season and created widespread destruction in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. It is the second most intense hurricane ever observed in the Atlantic basin behind only...

 hit Jamaica directly in 1951 and 1988, respectively, causing major damage and many deaths. In the 2000s, hurricanes Ivan
Hurricane Ivan
Hurricane Ivan was a large, long-lived, Cape Verde-type hurricane that caused widespread damage in the Caribbean and United States. The cyclone was the ninth named storm, the sixth hurricane and the fourth major hurricane of the active 2004 Atlantic hurricane season...

, Dean, and Gustav
Hurricane Gustav
The name Gustav has been used for five tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean:* 1984's Tropical Storm Gustav - Spent most of its existence as a tropical depression hovering over Bermuda, no major damage was reported....

 also brought severe weather to the island.

Flora and Fauna


Jamaica's climate is tropical, supporting diverse ecosystems with a wealth of plants and animals.

Jamaica's plant life has changed considerably over the centuries. When the Spanish came here in 1494- except for small agricultural clearings- the country was deeply forested, but the European settlers cut down the great timber trees for building purposes and cleared the plains, savannas, and mountain slopes for cultivation. Many new plants were introduced including sugarcane, bananas, and citrus trees.

In the areas of heavy rainfall are stands of bamboo, ferns, ebony, mahogany, and rosewood. Cactus and similar dry-area plants are found along the south and southwest coastal area. Parts of the west and southwest consist of large grasslands, with scattered stands of trees.

The Jamaican animal life, typical of the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

, includes a highly diversified wildlife with many endemic species found nowhere else on earth. As with other oceanic islands, Land mammals are made up almost entirely of Bat
Bat
Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera "hand" and pteron "wing") whose forelimbs form webbed wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums, and colugos, glide rather than fly,...

s. the only non-bat native mammal extant in Jamaica is the Jamaican Hutia, locally known as the coney. Introduced mammals such as Wild Boar and the Small Asian Mongoose are also common. Jamaica is also home to many reptiles, the largest of which is the American Crocodile
American Crocodile
The American crocodile is a species of crocodilian found in the Neotropics. It is the most widespread of the four extant species of crocodiles from the Americas. Populations occur from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of southern Mexico to South America as far as Peru and Venezuela. It also lives...

. However, it is only present within the Black River and a few other areas. Lizards such as Anoles and Iguana
Iguana
Iguana is a herbivorous genus of lizard native to tropical areas of Central America and the Caribbean. The genus was first described in 1768 by Austrian naturalist Josephus Nicolaus Laurenti in his book Specimen Medicum, Exhibens Synopsin Reptilium Emendatam cum Experimentis circa Venena...

s and snakes such as racers and the Jamaican Boa
Jamaican Boa
The Jamaican Boa,, or yellow snake is non-venomous boa species found in Jamaica. No subspecies are currently recognized.-Geographic range:Found in Jamaica, including Goat Island...

 (the largest snake on the island) are common. None of Jamaica's native snakes are dangerously venomous to humans. One species of Freshwater turtle is native to Jamaica, the Jamaican Slider
Jamaican Slider
The Jamaican slider also known as the Cat island slider is a species of fresh water turtle in the Emydidae family....

. It is found only on Jamaica, Cat Island
Cat Island (Bahamas)
Cat Island is in the central Bahamas, and one of its districts, and has the nation's highest point. Its Mount Alvernia rises to 206 ft and is topped by a monastery called The Hermitage. This assembly of buildings was erected by the Franciscan "Brother Jerome" .The first European settlers were...

, and a few other islands in The Bahamas
The Bahamas
The Bahamas , officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a nation consisting of 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets . It is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola , northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States...

.In addition, many types of frogs are common on the island, especially Treefrogs. Birds are abundant, and make up the bulk of the endemic and native vertebrate species. beautiful and exotic birds such as the Jamaican Tody
Jamaican Tody
Found only in Jamaica, the Jamaican Tody is a small and colourful bird, predominantly green above, with a red throat and yellow underparts, with some pink on the sides. It has a large head and a long, flat bill. It perches on small branches, with its bills unturned and, like its Cuban relative ,...

 and the Doctor Bird (the national bird) can be found, among a large number of others. Insects and other invertebrates are abundant, including the world's largest centipede, The Amazonian Giant Centipede, and the Homerus Swallowtail, the Western Hemisphere's largest butterfly.

Jamaican waters contain considerable resources of fresh-and saltwater fish. The chief varieties of saltwater fish are Kingfish
Kingfish
-Fish:* King mackerel Scomberomorus cavalla* Kingcroaker Menticirrhus spp.* Narrow-barred Spanish mackerel Scomberomorus commerson * White croaker Genyonemus lineatus * Cobia Rachycentron canadum...

, Jack
Carangidae
Carangidae is a family of fish which includes the jacks, pompanos, jack mackerels, and scads.They are marine fish found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans...

, Mackerel
Mackerel
Mackerel is a common name applied to a number of different species of fish, mostly, but not exclusively, from the family Scombridae. They may be found in all tropical and temperate seas. Most live offshore in the oceanic environment but a few, like the Spanish mackerel , enter bays and can be...

, Whiting, Bonito
Bonito
Bonito is a name given to various species of medium-sized, predatory fish in the Scombridae family. First, bonito most commonly refers to species in the genus Sarda, including the Atlantic bonito and the Pacific bonito ; second, in Japanese cuisine, bonito refers to the skipjack tuna , which, in...

, and Tuna
Tuna
Tuna is a salt water fish from the family Scombridae, mostly in the genus Thunnus. Tuna are fast swimmers, and some species are capable of speeds of . Unlike most fish, which have white flesh, the muscle tissue of tuna ranges from pink to dark red. The red coloration derives from myoglobin, an...

. Fish that occasionally enter freshwater and estuarine environments include Snook
Snook
Snook or Snoek may refer to:* Fish in the family** Centropomidae especially the common snook.** Gempylidae ** Percidae ** Scombridae , subfamily: Scombrinae** Sphyraenidae...

, Jewfish, Mangrove snapper
Mangrove snapper
The mangrove snapper, Lutjanus griseus, is a snapper in the family Lutjanidae. It is also known as the gray snapper, mango snapper, or cabellerote....

, and Mullet
Mullet
- Fish :* Mullet , or "grey mullets", of the family Mugilidae, of which the most widely known species is the striped mullet, Mugil cephalus* Goatfish, or "red mullets", of the family Mullidae; in particular, red mullets of the genus Mullus...

s. Fish that spend the majority of their lives in Jamaica's fresh waters include many species of Livebearers, Killifish
Killifish
A killifish is any of various oviparous cyprinodontiform fish . Altogether, there are some 1270 different species of killifish, the biggest family being Rivulidae, containing more than 320 species...

, freshwater Gobies
Goby
The gobies form the family Gobiidae, which is one of the largest families of fish, with more than 2,000 species in more than 200 genera. Most are relatively small, typically less than 10 cm in length...

, the Mountain Mullet, and the American Eel
American eel
The American eel, Anguilla rostrata, is a catadromous fish found on the eastern coast of North America. It has a snake-like body with a small sharp pointed head. It is brown on top and a tan-yellow color on the bottom. It has sharp pointed teeth but no pelvic fins...

. Tilapia
Tilapia
Tilapia , is the common name for nearly a hundred species of cichlid fish from the tilapiine cichlid tribe. Tilapia inhabit a variety of fresh water habitats, including shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes. Historically, they have been of major importance in artisan fishing in Africa and the...

 have been introduced from Africa for aquaculture, and are very common.

Among the variety of terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems are dry and wet limestone forests, rainforest, riparian woodland, wetlands, caves, rivers, seagrass beds and coral reefs.

The authorities had recognized the tremendous significance and potential of this aspect of their heritage and designated some of the more 'fertile' areas 'protected'. Among the island's protected areas are the Cockpit Country
Cockpit Country
Cockpit Country is an area in Jamaica which provided a natural defensive area used by Maroons to establish communities outside the control of Spanish or British colonialists....

, Hellshire Hills, and Litchfield forest reserves. In 1992, Jamaica's first marine park, covering nearly 6 square miles (about 15 square km), was established in Montego Bay
Montego Bay
Montego Bay is the capital of St. James Parish and the second largest city in Jamaica by area and the fourth by population .It is a tourist destination with duty free shopping, cruise line terminal and the beaches...

.

The following year Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park
Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park
Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park is a national park in Jamaica. The park covers 495.2 km2 and accouts for 4.5% of Jamaica's land surface.The park is globally known for its biodiversity...

  was created on roughly 300 square miles (780 square km) of wilderness that supports thousands of tree and fern species and rare animals.

Ethnic origins


According to the 2001 census, the majority of Jamaica's population is of African descent (referring to those who have origins mainly in Africa). The most common ethnic groups among all Africans taken to Jamaica were the Akan
Akan people
The Akan people are an ethnic group found predominately in Ghana and The Ivory Coast. Akans are the majority in both of these countries and overall have a population of over 20 million people.The Akan speak Kwa languages-Origin and ethnogenesis:...

 (known as the "Coromantee") and the Igbo
Igbo Jamaican
Igbo people in Jamaica are citizens of the Caribbean island-nation of Jamaica that are a whole or a significant part descended from the Igbo people of what is now Nigeria. Most of the Igbo people arrived to Jamaica by force on slave ships and taken to plantations to work as slaves and have...

. Multiracial
Multiracial
The terms multiracial and mixed-race describe people whose ancestries come from multiple races. Unlike the term biracial, which often is only used to refer to having parents or grandparents of two different races, the term multiracial may encompass biracial people but can also include people with...

 Jamaicans form the second largest racial group many of whom also have some Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 ancestry although most mixed-race people on the island self-report simply as "Jamaican". Jamaicans of Indian
Indo-Jamaican
The Hindustani community of Jamaica, popularly known as Indo-Jamaicans or Indian Jamaicans, are primarily the descendents of indentured workers of India who are citizens or nationals of Jamaica...

 and Chinese
Chinese Jamaican
Chinese Jamaicans are the descendants of migrants from China to Jamaica. Early migrants came in the 19th century; there was another wave of migration in the 1980s and 1990s...

 ancestry, form the next largest racial groups after multiracial Jamaicans. Lebanese
Lebanese immigration to Jamaica
A Lebanese Jamaican is a Jamaican citizen of Lebanese origin or descent. There are around 20,000 Jamaicans of Lebanese origin. Jamaica has the largest Lebanese population in the Caribbean.-Surnames of the first Lebanese families in Jamaica:-Cuisine:...

, Syrian, English
English immigration to Jamaica
The English came to Jamaica in 1665 when they captured the island from the Spanish. They too have left some of their distinct culture. British control began some 50 years later in 1707, when England and Scotland were formally united with one Parliament, known as the nation of Britain...

, Scottish
Scottish Jamaican
A Scottish Jamaican is a Jamaican with Scottish ancestry. Scottish Jamaicans include those of European and mixed Asian and African ancestry with Scottish ancestors, and date back to the earliest period of post-Spanish, European colonisation....

, Irish
Irish people in Jamaica
Irish people in Jamaica is a Jamaican person who is of Irish descent. The legacy of the Irish is still seen in the places names, such as Dublin Castle, Irish pen. Irish town, Sligoville, Kildare, Leinster Road and Belfast. Their connection in Jamaica goes beyond the names of places...

, and German
Germans in Jamaica
A German population in Jamaica was established in the 1830s when the abolition of slavery resulted in a labour shortage on the Caribbean island. Lord Seaford, who owned the Montpelier Estate and Shettlewood Pen in St...

 Jamaicans make up a smaller racial minority but are still very influential both socially and economically. In recent years, immigration has increased, coming mainly from China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

, Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, and other Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

n countries; 20,000 Latin Americans
Latin Americans
Latin Americans are the citizens of the Latin American countries and dependencies. Latin American countries are multi-ethnic, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds. As a result, some Latin Americans don't take their nationality as an ethnicity, but identify themselves with...

 currently reside in Jamaica. About 7,000 Americans
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 also reside in Jamaica, as well as many first generation American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and Canadian of Jamaican descendant.

Language


The official language of Jamaica is English
Jamaican English
Jamaican English or Jamaican Standard English is a dialect of English spoken in Jamaica. It melds parts of both American English and British English dialects, along with many aspects of Irish intonation...

. Jamaicans primarily speak an English-African Creole language
Creole language
A creole language, or simply a creole, is a stable natural language developed from the mixing of parent languages; creoles differ from pidgins in that they have been nativized by children as their primary language, making them have features of natural languages that are normally missing from...

 known as Jamaican Patois, which has become known widely through the spread of Reggae
Reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

 music. Jamaican Patois was formed from a base of mainly English words with elements of re-formed grammar, together with a little vocabulary from African languages and Native American
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 words. Some archaic features are reminiscent of Irish English.

Emigration


Many Jamaicans have emigrated
Emigration
Emigration is the act of leaving one's country or region to settle in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement before the establishment of political boundaries or within one state is termed migration. There are many reasons why people...

 to other countries, especially to the United Kingdom, the United States, and to Canada. In the case of the United States, about 20,000 Jamaicans per year are granted permanent residence. The great number of Jamaicans living abroad has become known as the Jamaican diaspora
Jamaican diaspora
“Diaspora” means the scattering of people from their ethnic roots, enforced or voluntary. Thus the Jamaican diaspora refers to Jamaicans who have left their traditional homelands, the dispersal of such Jamaicans, and the ensuing developments in their culture...

. There has also been emigration of Jamaicans to Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

. The scale of emigration has been widespread and similar to other Caribbean entities such as Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

, Guyana
Guyana
Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

, and The Bahamas
The Bahamas
The Bahamas , officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a nation consisting of 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets . It is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola , northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States...

. It is estimated that up to 2.5 million Jamaicans and Jamaican descendants live abroad. An estimated 60% of the highly educated people of Jamaica now live abroad.

Concentrations of expatriate
Expatriate
An expatriate is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing...

 Jamaicans are large in a number of cities in the United States, including New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, Buffalo
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

, the Miami metro area, Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is the capital and most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia. According to the 2010 census, Atlanta's population is 420,003. Atlanta is the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, which is home to 5,268,860 people and is the ninth largest metropolitan area in...

, Chicago, Orlando
Orlando, Florida
Orlando is a city in the central region of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat of Orange County, and the center of the Greater Orlando metropolitan area. According to the 2010 US Census, the city had a population of 238,300, making Orlando the 79th largest city in the United States...

, Tampa
Tampa, Florida
Tampa is a city in the U.S. state of Florida. It serves as the county seat for Hillsborough County. Tampa is located on the west coast of Florida. The population of Tampa in 2010 was 335,709....

, Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, Philadelphia, Hartford
Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford is the capital of the U.S. state of Connecticut. The seat of Hartford County until Connecticut disbanded county government in 1960, it is the second most populous city on New England's largest river, the Connecticut River. As of the 2010 Census, Hartford's population was 124,775, making...

, Providence
Providence, Rhode Island
Providence is the capital and most populous city of Rhode Island and was one of the first cities established in the United States. Located in Providence County, it is the third largest city in the New England region...

 and Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

. Jamaicans in the United Kingdom number an estimated 800,000 making them by far the country's largest African-Caribbean group
British African-Caribbean community
The British African Caribbean communities are residents of the United Kingdom who are of West Indian background and whose ancestors were primarily indigenous to Africa...

. Large scale migration from Jamaica to the UK occurred primarily in the 1950s and 1960s (when the country was still under British rule), nowadays Jamaican communities exist in most large UK cities. In Canada, the Jamaican population is centred in Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, and there are smaller communities in cities such as Hamilton
Hamilton, Ontario
Hamilton is a port city in the Canadian province of Ontario. Conceived by George Hamilton when he purchased the Durand farm shortly after the War of 1812, Hamilton has become the centre of a densely populated and industrialized region at the west end of Lake Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe...

, Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

 and Ottawa
Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

.

Crime


See also: Prisons in Jamaica
Prisons in Jamaica
Twelve correctional institutions in Jamaica are operated by the Department of Correctional Services for the Ministry of National Security.-Adult:Centres for men and women:* The South Camp Adult Correctional Centre Centres for men:...

 and LGBT rights in Jamaica
LGBT rights in Jamaica
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights in Jamaica are dominated by the prohibition of sexual acts between men. Sexual acts between women are legal, by virtue of the absence of any reference to them in law...



Jamaica has had one of the highest murder rates in the world for many years, according to UN
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 estimates. Some areas of Jamaica, particularly cities such as Kingston, experience high levels of crime and violence. Many Jamaicans are hostile toward LGBT
LGBT
LGBT is an initialism that collectively refers to "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender" people. In use since the 1990s, the term "LGBT" is an adaptation of the initialism "LGB", which itself started replacing the phrase "gay community" beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s, which many within the...

 and intersex people. Various mob attacks against gay people have been reported, prompting human-rights groups to call Jamaica "the most homophobic place on earth."

Religion


Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 is the largest religion practised in Jamaica. According to the 2001 census, the country's largest denominations are the Church of God of Prophecy
Church of God of Prophecy
The Church of God of Prophecy is a Christian denomination with beliefs and principles similar to Pentecostal Holiness Christian faith. It is one of five Church of God bodies headquartered in Cleveland, Tennessee that descended from a small meeting of believers who gathered at the Barney Creek...

 (24% of the population), Seventh-day Adventist Church
Seventh-day Adventist Church
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week, as the Sabbath, and by its emphasis on the imminent second coming of Jesus Christ...

 (11%), Pentecostal (10%), Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 (7%), Anglican (4%), Roman Catholic (2%), United Church (2%), Methodist (2%), Moravian (1%) and Plymouth Brethren
Plymouth Brethren
The Plymouth Brethren is a conservative, Evangelical Christian movement, whose history can be traced to Dublin, Ireland, in the late 1820s. Although the group is notable for not taking any official "church name" to itself, and not having an official clergy or liturgy, the title "The Brethren," is...

 (1%) The Christian faith gained credibility as British Christian abolitionists and Baptist missionaries joined educated former slaves in the struggle against slavery.

The Rastafari movement
Rastafari movement
The Rastafari movement or Rasta is a new religious movement that arose in the 1930s in Jamaica, which at the time was a country with a predominantly Christian culture where 98% of the people were the black descendants of slaves. Its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia , as God...

 had 24,020 adherents, according to the 2001 census.
Other religions in Jamaica include Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

 (2% population), the Bahá'í faith
Bahá'í Faith in Jamaica
The Bahá'í Faith in Jamaica begins with a mention by `Abdu'l-Bahá, then head of the religion, in 1916 as Latin America being among the places Bahá'ís should take the religion to. The community of the Bahá'ís begins in 1942 with the arrival of Dr. Malcolm King. The first Bahá'í Local Spiritual...

, which counts perhaps 8,000 adherents and 21 Local Spiritual Assemblies, Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

,
and Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

. There is a small population of Jews
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, about 200, who describe themselves as Liberal-Conservative. The first Jews in Jamaica trace their roots back to early 15th century Spain and Portugal. Muslim
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 groups in Jamaica claim 5,000 adherents.

Culture



Though a small nation, Jamaican culture has a strong global presence. The musical genres reggae
Reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

, ska
Ska
Ska |Jamaican]] ) is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s, and was the precursor to rocksteady and reggae. Ska combined elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues...

, mento
Mento
Mento is a style of Jamaican folk music that predates and has greatly influenced ska and reggae music. It has its roots in calypso and other Jamaican folk music. Mento typically features acoustic instruments, such as acoustic guitar, banjo, hand drums, and the rhumba box — a large mbira in the...

, rocksteady
Rocksteady
Rocksteady is a music genre that originated in Jamaica around 1966. A successor to ska and a precursor to reggae, rocksteady was performed by Jamaican vocal harmony groups such as The Gaylads, The Maytals and The Paragons. The term rocksteady comes from a dance style that was mentioned in the Alton...

, dub
Dub music
Dub is a genre of music which grew out of reggae music in the 1960s, and is commonly considered a subgenre, though it has developed to extend beyond the scope of reggae...

, and, more recently, dancehall
Dancehall
Dancehall is a genre of Jamaican popular music that originated in the late 1970s. Initially dancehall was a more sparse version of reggae than the roots style, which had dominated much of the 1970s. In the mid-1980s, digital instrumentation became more prevalent, changing the sound considerably,...

 and ragga
Ragga
-Origins:Ragga originated in Jamaica during the 1980s, at the same time that electronic dance music's popularity was increasing globally. One of the reasons for ragga's swift propagation is that it is generally easier and less expensive to produce than reggae performed on traditional musical...

 all originated in the island's vibrant, popular urban recording industry. Jamaica also played an important role in the development of punk rock
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

, through reggae and ska. Reggae has also influenced American rap
Hip hop music
Hip hop music, also called hip-hop, rap music or hip-hop music, is a musical genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted...

 music, as they both share their roots as rhythmic, African styles of music. Some rappers, such as The Notorious B.I.G.
The Notorious B.I.G.
Christopher George Latore Wallace , best known as The Notorious B.I.G., was an American rapper. He was also known as Biggie Smalls , Big Poppa, and The Black Frank White .Wallace was raised in the Brooklyn borough...

 and Heavy D, are of Jamaican descent. Internationally known reggae musician Bob Marley
Bob Marley
Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, OM was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the ska, rocksteady and reggae band Bob Marley & The Wailers...

 was also Jamaican.

Many other internationally known artists were born in Jamaica including Millie Small, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Peter Tosh
Peter Tosh
Peter Tosh, born Winston Hubert McIntosh , was a Jamaican reggae musician who was a core member of the band The Wailers , and who afterward had a successful solo career as well as being a promoter of Rastafari.Peter Tosh was born in Grange Hill, Jamaica, an illegitimate child to a mother too young...

, Bunny Wailer
Bunny Wailer
Bunny Wailer, , also known as Bunny Livingston and affectionately as Jah B, is a singer songwriter and percussionist and was an original member of reggae group The Wailers along with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh...

, Big Youth
Big Youth
Manley Augustus Buchanan , better known as Big Youth , is a Jamaican deejay, mostly known for his work during the 1970s....

, Jimmy Cliff
Jimmy Cliff
Jimmy Cliff, OM is a Jamaican musician, singer and actor. He is the only currently living musician to hold the Order of Merit, the highest honour that can be granted by the Jamaican government for achievement in the arts and sciences...

, Dennis Brown
Dennis Brown
Dennis Emmanuel Brown was a Jamaican reggae singer. During his prolific career, which began in the late 1960s when he was aged eleven, he recorded more than 75 albums and was one of the major stars of lovers rock, a sub-genre of reggae...

, Desmond Dekker
Desmond Dekker
Desmond Dekker was a Jamaican ska, rocksteady and reggae singer-songwriter and musician. Together with his backing group, The Aces , he had one of the first international Jamaican hits with "Israelites". Other hits include "007 " and "It Miek"...

, Beres Hammond
Beres Hammond
Beres Hammond is a reggae singer known in particular for his romantic lovers rock and soulful voice...

, Beenie Man
Beenie Man
Anthony Moses Davis , better known by his stage name Beenie Man, is a Grammy award winning Jamaican reggae artist. He is the self-proclaimed "King of the Dancehall".-Biography:...

, Shaggy
Shaggy (musician)
Orville Richard Burrell , better known by his stage name Shaggy, is a Jamaican-American reggae singer and rapper. He is perhaps best known for his 1995 single "Boombastic" and 2000 single "It Wasn't Me"...

, Grace Jones
Grace Jones
Grace Jones is a Jamaican-American singer, model and actress.Jones secured a record deal with Island Records in 1977, which resulted in a string of dance-club hits. In the late 1970s, she adapted the emerging electronic music style and adopted a severe, androgynous look with square-cut hair and...

, Shabba Ranks
Shabba Ranks
Shabba Ranks is a Jamaican dancehall musician.He was one of the most popular dancehall artists of his generation. He was also one of the first Jamaican deejays to gain worldwide acceptance, and recognition for his 'slack' lyrical expressions and content, when "ridin' di riddim"...

, Super Cat
Super Cat
Super Cat is a deejay most popular during the late 1980s and early 1990s dancehall movement. Super Cat was born in Jamaica and was nicknamed Wild Apache. His nickname, the "Wild Apache" was given to him by his mentor Early B...

, Buju Banton
Buju Banton
Buju Banton is a Jamaican dancehall, ragga, and reggae musician.Banton has recorded pop and dance songs, as well as songs dealing with sociopolitical topics....

, Sean Paul
Sean Paul
Sean Paul Ryan Francis Henriques , who performs under stage name Sean Paul, is a Jamaican pop rap and reggae singer.-1973–1996: Early life:...

, I Wayne
I Wayne
I Wayne , is a roots reggae singer. He is known for his hit singles "Living In Love" and "Can't Satisfy Her" from his debut album, Lava Ground.-Biography:...

, Bounty Killer
Bounty Killer
Bounty Killer is a Grammy nominated Jamaican reggae and dancehall deejay. He is the founder of a dancehall collective known as The Alliance.-Early life and career:...

 and many others. Band artist groups that came from Jamaica include Black Uhuru
Black Uhuru
Black Uhuru are a Jamaican reggae group formed in 1972, initially as Uhuru . The group has undergone several line-up changes over the years, with Duckie Simpson always maintaining group control and ownership...

, Third World Band, Inner Circle, Chalice Reggae Band
Chalice Reggae Band
Chalice is a Jamaican reggae band formed in 1980. Chalice is probably best known for their performances at the Reggae Sunsplash music festival.-Biography:...

, Culture
Culture (band)
Culture was a Jamaican roots reggae group founded in 1976. Originally they were known as the African Disciples.The members of the trio were Joseph Hill , Albert Walker and Kenneth Dayes ....

, Fab Five and Morgan Heritage
Morgan Heritage
Morgan Heritage is a reggae band formed in 1994 by five children of reggae artist Denroy Morgan, namely Peter Morgan, Una Morgan, Roy "Gramps" Morgan, Nakhamyah "Lukes" Morgan and Memmalatel "Mr. Mojo" Morgan. In two decades, they have had a number of successful reggae albums.-Career:Morgan...

. The genre jungle
Oldschool jungle
Jungle is a genre of electronic music that incorporates influences from genres including breakbeat hardcore, and reggae/dub/dancehall. There is debate as to whether jungle is a separate genre from drum and bass as many use the terms interchangeably...

 emerged from London's Jamaican diaspora. The birth of hip-hop
Hip hop music
Hip hop music, also called hip-hop, rap music or hip-hop music, is a musical genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted...

 in New York City, New York also owed much to the city's Jamaican community.

Ian Fleming
Ian Fleming
Ian Lancaster Fleming was a British author, journalist and Naval Intelligence Officer.Fleming is best known for creating the fictional British spy James Bond and for a series of twelve novels and nine short stories about the character, one of the biggest-selling series of fictional books of...

, who lived in Jamaica, repeatedly used the island as a setting in the James Bond
James Bond
James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

 novels, including Live and Let Die
Live and Let Die (novel)
Live and Let Die is the second novel in Ian Fleming's James Bond series, first published in the UK by Jonathan Cape on 5 April 1954, where the initial print run of 7,500 copies quickly sold out. As with Fleming's first novel, Casino Royale, Live and Let Die was broadly well received by the critics...

, Doctor No, For Your Eyes Only, The Man with the Golden Gun
The Man with the Golden Gun (novel)
The Man with the Golden Gun is the twelfth novel of Ian Fleming's James Bond series of books. It was first published by Jonathan Cape in the UK on 1 April 1965, eight months after the author's death. The novel was not as detailed or polished as the others in the series, leading to poor but polite...

and Octopussy and The Living Daylights
Octopussy and The Living Daylights
Octopussy and The Living Daylights is the fourteenth and final James Bond book written by Ian Fleming in the Bond series...

. In addition, James Bond uses a Jamaica-based cover in Casino Royale
Casino Royale (novel)
Casino Royale is Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel. It paved the way for a further eleven novels by Fleming himself, in addition to two short story collections, followed by many "continuation" Bond novels by other authors....

. So far, the only James Bond film adaptation to have been set in Jamaica is Doctor No
Dr. No (film)
Dr. No is a 1962 spy film, starring Sean Connery; it is the first James Bond film. Based on the 1958 Ian Fleming novel of the same name, it was adapted by Richard Maibaum, Johanna Harwood, and Berkely Mather and was directed by Terence Young. The film was produced by Harry Saltzman and Albert R...

. Filming for the fictional island of San Monique in Live and Let Die
Live and Let Die (film)
Live and Let Die is the eighth spy film in the James Bond series, and the first to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film was produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman...

took place in Jamaica.

Journalist and author H. G. de Lisser
H. G. de Lisser
Herbert George de Lisser CMG was a Jamaican journalist and author.De Lisser was born in Falmouth, Jamaica, and started work at the Jamaica Institute at the age of 14...

 (1878–1944) used his native country as the setting for his many novels. Born at Falmouth, de Lisser worked as a reporter for the Jamaica Times
Jamaica Times
The Jamaica Times was a literary newspaper for literature from Jamaica and the Caribbean. The author Thomas MacDermot was the editor from 1900–1920 and was an assistant before that, and the author Herbert George de Lisser was an editor for several years starting in 1889...

 at a young age and in 1920 began publishing the magazine Planters' Punch. The White Witch of Rosehall is one of his better known novels. He was named Honourary President of the Jamaican Press Association, and worked throughout his professional career to promote the Jamaican sugar industry.

The American film Cocktail, starring Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise
Thomas Cruise Mapother IV , better known as Tom Cruise, is an American film actor and producer. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and he has won three Golden Globe Awards....

, is one of the more popular films to depict Jamaica. A look at delinquent youth in Jamaica is presented in the 1970s musical crime film The Harder They Come
The Harder They Come
The Harder They Come is a 1972 Jamaican crime film directed by Perry Henzell.The film stars reggae singer Jimmy Cliff, who plays Ivanhoe Martin, a character based on Rhyging, a real-life Jamaican criminal who achieved fame in the 1940s...

, starring Jimmy Cliff
Jimmy Cliff
Jimmy Cliff, OM is a Jamaican musician, singer and actor. He is the only currently living musician to hold the Order of Merit, the highest honour that can be granted by the Jamaican government for achievement in the arts and sciences...

 as a frustrated (and psychopathic) reggae musician who descends into a murderous crime spree. Another popular Jamaican-based film is the 1993 comedy Cool Runnings
Cool Runnings
Cool Runnings is a 1993 comedy film directed by Jon Turteltaub. It is loosely based on the true story of the Jamaica national bobsled team's debut in the bobsleigh competition of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta. It stars Leon Robinson, Doug E. Doug, Malik Yoba, and Rawle D...

which is loosely based on the true story of Jamaica's first bobsled team trying to make it in the Winter Olympics.

Errol Flynn
Errol Flynn
Errol Leslie Flynn was an Australian-born actor. He was known for his romantic swashbuckler roles in Hollywood films, being a legend and his flamboyant lifestyle.-Early life:...

 lived with his third wife Patrice Wymore in Port Antonio
Port Antonio
Port Antonio is the capital of the parish of Portland on the northeastern coast of Jamaica, about 60 miles from Kingston. It had a population of 12,285 in 1982 and 13,246 in 1991...

 in the 1950s. He was responsible for developing tourism to this area, popularising raft trips down rivers on bamboo rafts.

The island is famous for its Jamaican jerk spice
Jamaican jerk spice
Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. Jerk seasoning is traditionally applied to pork and chicken. Modern recipes also apply jerk spice mixes to fish, shrimp, shellfish, beef, sausage,...

 which forms a popular part of Jamaican cuisine. Jamaica is also home to Red Stripe
Red Stripe
Red Stripe is a Jamaican lager beer whose logo is a bold, diagonal red stripe. It is brewed by Desnoes & Geddes Limited, originally a soft drink manufacturer incorporated on July 31, 1918, by Kingston, Jamaica natives Eugene Peter Desnoes and Thomas Hargreaves Geddes...

 beer and Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee or Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee is a classification of coffee grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. The best lots of Blue Mountain coffee are noted for their mild flavour and lack of bitterness...

.

National symbols


(From the Jamaica Information Service)
  • National Bird — Red-billed Streamertail (aka Doctor Bird) (a Hummingbird
    Hummingbird
    Hummingbirds are birds that comprise the family Trochilidae. They are among the smallest of birds, most species measuring in the 7.5–13 cm range. Indeed, the smallest extant bird species is a hummingbird, the 5-cm Bee Hummingbird. They can hover in mid-air by rapidly flapping their wings...

    , Trochilus polytmus)
  • National Flower – Lignum vitae
    Lignum vitae
    Lignum vitae is a trade wood, also called guayacan or guaiacum, and in parts of Europe known as pockenholz, from trees of the genus Guaiacum. This wood was once very important for applications requiring a material with its extraordinary combination of strength, toughness and density...

     (Guiacum officinale)
  • National Tree — Blue Mahoe
    Blue Mahoe
    The Blue Mahoe, Talipariti elatum, is a species of flowering tree in the mallow family, Malvaceae.-Distribution:Talipariti elatum is native to the islands of Cuba and Jamaica in the Caribbean. In wetter areas it will grow in a wide range of elevations, up to and is often used in reforestation...

     (Hibiscus talipariti elatum)
  • National Fruit — Ackee
    Ackee
    The ackee, also known as the vegetable brain, achee, akee apple or akee is a member of the Sapindaceae , native to tropical West Africa in Cameroon, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.It is...

     (Blighia sapida)
  • National Motto — "Out of Many, One People."

Sport


Sport is an integral part of national life in Jamaica and the island's athletes tend to perform to a standard well above what might ordinarily be expected of such a small country. While the most popular local sport is cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

, on the international stage Jamaicans have tended to do particularly well at Track and Field.

The country was one the venues of 2007 Cricket World Cup
2007 Cricket World Cup
The 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup was the ninth edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup tournament that took place in the West Indies from 13 March to 28 April 2007, using the sport's One Day International format...

 and West Indies cricket team is one of the only 10 ICC
International Cricket Council
The International Cricket Council is the international governing body of cricket. It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from England, Australia and South Africa, renamed the International Cricket Conference in 1965, and took up its current name in 1989.The...

 full member teams who participate in international Test Cricket
Test cricket
Test cricket is the longest form of the sport of cricket. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined by the International Cricket Council , with four innings played between two teams of 11 players over a period of up to a maximum five days...

. The Jamaica national cricket team
Jamaica national cricket team
The Jamaica national cricket team is the representative first-class cricket team of Jamaica.-History:The team's history lasts back to 1895, when they played three matches against a touring side from England led by Slade Lucas, but because of the distance to the other cricketing countries, Jamaica...

 competes regionally, and also provides players for the West Indies. Sabina Park
Sabina Park
Sabina Park is the home of the Kingston Cricket Club, and is the only Test cricket ground in Kingston, Jamaica and is often referred to as "The Holiday Home of Cricket"....

 is the only test venue in the island, but the Greenfield Stadium (Trelawny)
Greenfield Stadium (Trelawny)
Greenfield Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Trelawny, Jamaica that was completed in 2007. It has a capacity of 25,000 people. It was built under an agreement between Jamaica and the People's Republic of China, that saw the PRC Government put up at least US$30-million needed for the project.It...

 is also used for cricket.

Since independence Jamaica has consistently produced world class athletes in track and field. In Jamaica involvement in athletics begins at a very young age and most high schools maintain rigorous athletics programs with their top athletes competing in national competitions (most notably the VMBS Girls and Boys Athletics Championships) and international meets (most notably the Penn Relays
Penn Relays
The Penn Relays is the oldest and largest track and field competition in the United States, hosted annually since April 21, 1895 by the University of Pennsylvania at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania...

). In Jamaica it is not uncommon for young athletes to attain press coverage and national fame long before they arrive on the international athletics stage.

Over the past six decades Jamaica has produced dozens of world class sprinters including Olympic and World Champion Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt
The Honourable Usain St. Leo Bolt, OJ, C.D. , is a Jamaican sprinter and a five-time World and three-time Olympic gold medalist. He is the world record and Olympic record holder in the 100 metres, the 200 metres and the 4×100 metres relay...

, world record holder in the 100m for men at 9.58s, and 200m for men at 19.19s. Other noteworthy Jamaican sprinters include Arthur Wint
Arthur Wint
Competitor for JamaicaArthur Stanley Wint was the first Jamaican Olympic gold medalist, winning the 400 m at 1948 Summer Olympics....

 – the first Jamaican Olympic Gold Medalist, Donald Quarrie – Olympic Champion and former 200m world record holder, Merlene Ottey
Merlene Ottey
Merlene Joyce Ottey , is a Jamaican-born Slovenian track athlete. Ottey began her career representing Jamaica, but since 2002, has represented Slovenia, where she now resides...

, Delloreen Ennis-London
Delloreen Ennis-London
Delloreen Ennis-London is a Jamaican hurdling athlete who won the silver medal in the 100 metre hurdles at the 2005 World Championships....

, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
Shelly-Ann Fraser
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, OD is a Jamaican sprinter, who specializes in the 100 m. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Fraser is the reigning Olympic champion over 100 m, clocking a time of 10.78...

 – the current World and Olympic 100m Champion, Kerron Stewart
Kerron Stewart
Kerron Stewart is a Jamaican sprinter who specializes in the 100 metres and 200 metres. She is the 2008 Jamaican national champion in the 100 m clocking 10.80s. She defeated World Champion Veronica Campbell-Brown in the process and now is the 2008 Summer Olympics silver medalist after she...

, Aleen Bailey
Aleen Bailey
Aleen Bailey is a track and field sprint specialist, competing internationally for Jamaica. She competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics and won the gold medal as a member of the 4 x 100 m relay team...

, Juliet Cuthbert
Juliet Cuthbert
Juliet Cuthbert is a Jamaican athlete who competed mainly in the sprints ....

, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Sherone Simpson
Sherone Simpson
Sherone Simpson is a track and field sprint athlete, competing internationally for Jamaica. She is a gold medalist in the 4 x 100 meter relay from the 2004 Olympics and silver medalist in 2005 World Championships and now is the silver medalist in the individual event at the 2008 Summer Olympics...

, Brigitte Foster-Hylton
Brigitte Foster-Hylton
Brigitte Foster-Hylton O.D is a Jamaican 100m hurdler. She was the World Champion over 100m hurdles in 2009....

, Yohan Blake
Yohan Blake
Yohan Blake is a Jamaican sprinter and the current 100 metre World Champion. He holds the national junior record for the 100 metres, and tied Seun Ogunkoya as the youngest sprinter to have broken the 10-second barrier...

, Herb McKenley
Herb McKenley
Competitor for JamaicaHerbert Henry "Herb" McKenley OM was a Jamaican athlete, winner of a gold medal in the 4x400 m relay at the 1952 Summer Olympics....

, George Rhoden
George Rhoden
Competitor for JamaicaVincent George Rhoden is a former Jamaican athlete, winner of two Olympic gold medals in 1952....

--Olympic Gold Medalist, Deon Hemmings
Deon Hemmings
Deon Hemmings is a former female 400 metres hurdler.Hemmings was the first ever Jamaican woman to win an Olympic Gold when she won the 400m Hurdles at the 1996 Olympics breaking the Olympic record which stood to 2004...

 – Olympic Gold Medalist as well as former 100m world record holder and 2x 100m Olympic finalist and Gold medal winner in the mens 2008 Olympic 4x100m Asafa Powell
Asafa Powell
Asafa Powell C.D is a Jamaican sprinter who specialises in the 100 metres. He held the 100 m world record between June 2005 and May 2008, with times of 9.77 and 9.74 seconds respectively. Powell has consistently broken the 10-second barrier in competition, with his personal best of...

.

Jamaica has also produced several world class amateur and professional boxers including Trevor Berbick
Trevor Berbick
Trevor Berbick was a Jamaican-Canadian heavyweight boxer who fought as a professional from 1976 until 2000. Berbick briefly held the WBC heavyweight championship in 1986 , before losing it to 20-year old Mike Tyson, via 2nd-round TKO...

 and Mike McCallum
Mike McCallum
Mike McCallum is a retired boxer. Nicknamed "The Body Snatcher" for his fierce body punching. McCallum won world titles in three weight classes.-Amateur career:Claimed an amateur record of 240-10...

. First generation Jamaican athletes have continued to make a significant impact on the sport internationally, especially in the United Kingdom where the list of top British boxers born in Jamaica or of Jamaican parents includes Lloyd Honeyghan
Lloyd Honeyghan
Lloyd Honeyghan is a retired British boxer. Born in Jamaica, he was WBC/WBA & IBF welterweight champion from 1986 to 1987. and WBC welterweight champion from 1988 to 1989....

, Chris Eubank
Chris Eubank
Chris Eubank, Lord of the Manor of Brighton is a retired British boxer who held world titles at middleweight and super middleweight...

, Audley Harrison
Audley Harrison
Audley Harrison is a British professional boxer from Harlesden, England who fights in the heavyweight division. At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney he became the first British fighter to win an Olympic gold medal in the superheavyweight division. He stands and usually weighs around .Harrison turned...

, David Haye
David Haye
David Deron Haye is a retired English professional boxer,Haye is the former WBA heavyweight champion. He is also the former unified world cruiserweight champion, holding the WBA, WBC, WBO, and The Ring cruiserweight titles, and also the former European cruiserweight champion.- Amateur :Haye...

, Lennox Lewis
Lennox Lewis
Lennox Claudius Lewis, CM, CBE is a retired boxer and the most recent British undisputed world heavyweight champion. He holds dual British and Canadian citizenship...

 and Frank Bruno
Frank Bruno
Franklin Roy Bruno MBE is an English former boxer whose career highlight was winning the WBC Heavyweight championship in 1995. Altogether, he won 40 of his 45 contests...

.

Association football and horse-racing are other popular sports in Jamaica. The national football team
Jamaica national football team
The Jamaica national football team is the national team of Jamaica and is controlled by the Jamaica Football Federation. After decades in CONCACAF obscurity, they gained many fans throughout the world after they qualified for the 1998 FIFA World Cup...

 qualified for the 1998 FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup, often simply the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association , the sport's global governing body...

.

The Jamaica national bobsled team
Jamaica national bobsled team
The Jamaican national bobsleigh team represents Jamaica in international bobsledding competitions. The team first gained fame during their debut in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where they gained international fame as the ultimate underdogs, representing a tropical...

 was once a serious contender in the Winter Olympics, beating many well-established teams. Chess, and Basketball are widely played in Jamaica which are supported by the Jamaica Chess Federation (JCF), and the Jamaica Basketball Federation (JBF). Netball
Netball
Netball is a ball sport played between two teams of seven players. Its development, derived from early versions of basketball, began in England in the 1890s. By 1960 international playing rules had been standardised for the game, and the International Federation of Netball and Women's Basketball ...

 is also very popular on the island, with the Jamaica national netball team called The Sunshine Girls consistently ranking in the top five in the world.

The Jamaica national rugby league team
Jamaica national rugby league team
-See also:* Rugby League in the West Indies* West Indies National Team-External links:*...

 is made up of players who play in Jamaica, and UK-players from professional and semi professional teams in the UK. Their first international was a 37–22 loss to the USA Tomahawks in November 2009. Rugby league in Jamaica is growing with universities and high schools taking up the sport. The JRLA Championship is the main rugby league competition in the country. The Hurricanes Rugby League
Hurricanes Rugby League
The Hurricanes Rugby League are a Jamaican rugby league football team. Formed in 2011 with the intention of becoming Jamaica's first professional rugby league team, they hope to play in one of the domestic competitions in the United States by 2013.-History:...

 are a professional rugby league team who are hoping to compete in either the USA Rugby League
USA Rugby League
The USA Rugby League is a semi-professional rugby league football competition based in the United States. The league was founded in 2011 by clubs that had broken with the established American National Rugby League , plus expansion franchises...

 or the AMNRL by 2013 during that time they will be training young players aged 14–19 who will be part of the Hurricanes RL Academy in the hope of developing into full time professional players.

Education


The emancipation of the slaves heralded in the establishment of the Jamaican education system for the masses. Prior to emancipation there were few schools for educating locals. Many sent their children off to England to access quality education.

After emancipation the West Indian Commission granted a sum of money to establish Elementary Schools, now known as All Age Schools. Most of these schools were established by the churches. This was the genesis of the modern Jamaican school system.

Presently the following categories of schools exist:
  • Early childhood – Basic, Infant and privately operated pre- school. Age cohort – 2 – 5 years.

  • Primary – Publicly and privately owned (Privately owned being called Preparatory Schools). Ages 3 – 12 years.

  • Secondary – Publicly and privately owned. Ages 10 – 19 years. The high schools in Jamaica may be either single-sex or co-educational institutions, and many schools follow the traditional English grammar school model
    Sixth form
    In the education systems of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and of Commonwealth West Indian countries such as Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Jamaica and Malta, the sixth form is the final two years of secondary education, where students, usually sixteen to eighteen years of age,...

     used throughout the British West Indies.

  • Tertiary – Community Colleges, Teachers’ Colleges with The Mico Teachers' College(now The MICO University College) being the oldest founded in 1836,The Shortwood Teachers' College (which was once an all female teacher training institution), Vocational Training Centres, Colleges and Universities – Publicly and privately owned. There are five local universities namely: The University of the West Indies
    University of the West Indies
    The University of the West Indies , is an autonomous regional institution supported by and serving 17 English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica,...

     (Mona Campus); the University of Technology, Jamaica formerly The College of Art Science and Technology (CAST); the Northern Caribbean University
    Northern Caribbean University
    The Northern Caribbean University is a tertiary level academic facility in Mandeville, Manchester, west-central Jamaica run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church...

     formerly West Indies College; the University College of The Caribbean
    University College of The Caribbean
    The University College of The Caribbean , is Jamaica’s largest privately-held tertiary education consortium. UCC was established in January 2004 from an amalgamation of the Institute of Management Sciences and the Institute of Management and Production...

     and the International University of the Caribbean.


Additionally, there are many community and teacher training colleges.

Education is free from the early childhood to secondary levels. There are also opportunities for those who cannot afford further education in the vocational arena through the Human Employment and Resource Training-National Training Agency (HEART Trust-NTA) programme and through an extensive scholarship network for the various universities.

Students are taught Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 in school from the primary level upwards; about 40–45% of educated people in Jamaica knows some form of Spanish.

Economy


Jamaica is a mixed economy
Mixed economy
Mixed economy is an economic system in which both the state and private sector direct the economy, reflecting characteristics of both market economies and planned economies. Most mixed economies can be described as market economies with strong regulatory oversight, in addition to having a variety...

 with both state enterprises and private sector businesses. Major sectors of the Jamaican economy include agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, mining
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

, manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

, tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

, and financial
FINANCIAL
FINANCIAL is the weekly English-language newspaper with offices in Tbilisi, Georgia and Kiev, Ukraine. Published by Intelligence Group LLC, FINANCIAL is focused on opinion leaders and top business decision-makers; It's about world’s largest companies, investing, careers, and small business. It is...

 and insurance
Insurance
In law and economics, insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment. An insurer is a company selling the...

 services. Tourism and mining are the leading earners of foreign exchange
Foreign exchange market
The foreign exchange market is a global, worldwide decentralized financial market for trading currencies. Financial centers around the world function as anchors of trading between a wide range of different types of buyers and sellers around the clock, with the exception of weekends...

. Half the Jamaican economy relies on services, with half of its income coming from services such as tourism. An estimated 1.3 million foreign tourists visit Jamaica every year.

Supported by multilateral financial institutions, Jamaica has, since the early 1980s, sought to implement structural reforms aimed at fostering private sector activity and increasing the role of market forces in resource allocation. Since 1991, the government has followed a programme of economic liberalization and stabilization by removing exchange controls, floating the exchange rate, cutting tariff
Tariff
A tariff may be either tax on imports or exports , or a list or schedule of prices for such things as rail service, bus routes, and electrical usage ....

s, stabilising the Jamaican currency, reducing inflation
Inflation
In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a...

 and removing restrictions on foreign investment. Emphasis has been placed on maintaining strict fiscal discipline, greater openness to trade and financial flows, market liberalisation and reduction in the size of government. During this period, a large share of the economy was returned to private sector ownership through divestment
Divestment
In finance and economics, divestment or divestiture is the reduction of some kind of asset for either financial or ethical objectives or sale of an existing business by a firm...

 and privatisation programmes.

The macroeconomic stabilisation programme introduced in 1991, which focused on tight fiscal and monetary policies, has contributed to a controlled reduction in the rate of inflation. The annual inflation
Inflation
In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a...

 rate decreased from a high of 80.2% in 1991 to 7.9% in 1998. Inflation for FY1998/99 was 6.2% compared to 7.2% in the corresponding period in CUU1997/98. The Government of Jamaica remains committed to lowering inflation, with a long-term objective of bringing it in line with that of its major trading partners.

After a period of steady growth from 1985 to 1995, real GDP
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 decreased by 1.8% and 2.4% in 1996 and 1997, respectively. The decrease in GDP in 1996 and 1997 was largely due to significant problems in the financial sector and, in 1997, a severe island-wide drought (the worst in 70 years) that drastically reduced agricultural production. In 1997, nominal GDP was approximately J$220,556.2 million (US$6,198.9 million based on the average annual exchange rate of the period).

The economy in 1997 was marked by low levels of import
Import
The term import is derived from the conceptual meaning as to bring in the goods and services into the port of a country. The buyer of such goods and services is referred to an "importer" who is based in the country of import whereas the overseas based seller is referred to as an "exporter". Thus...

 growth, high levels of private capital inflows and relative stability in the foreign exchange market
Foreign exchange market
The foreign exchange market is a global, worldwide decentralized financial market for trading currencies. Financial centers around the world function as anchors of trading between a wide range of different types of buyers and sellers around the clock, with the exception of weekends...

.

Recent economic performance shows the Jamaican economy is recovering. Agricultural production, an important engine of growth increased 15.3% in third quarter of 1998 compared to the corresponding period in 1997, signaling the first positive growth rate in the sector since January 1997. Bauxite
Bauxite
Bauxite is an aluminium ore and is the main source of aluminium. This form of rock consists mostly of the minerals gibbsite Al3, boehmite γ-AlO, and diaspore α-AlO, in a mixture with the two iron oxides goethite and hematite, the clay mineral kaolinite, and small amounts of anatase TiO2...

 and alumina production increased 5.5% from January to December, 1998 compared to the corresponding period in 1997. January's bauxite production recorded a 7.1% increase relative to January 1998 and continued expansion of alumina production through 2009 is planned by Alcoa
Alcoa
Alcoa Inc. is the world's third largest producer of aluminum, behind Rio Tinto Alcan and Rusal. From its operational headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Alcoa conducts operations in 31 countries...

. Tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

, which is the largest foreign exchange earner, showed improvement as well. In the third quarter of 1998, growth in tourist arrivals accelerated with an overall increase of 8.5% in tourism earnings in 1998 when compared to the corresponding period in 1997. Jamaica's agricultural exports are sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

, bananas, coffee
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

, rum
Rum
Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane by-products such as molasses, or directly from sugarcane juice, by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak barrels...

,and yams
Yam (vegetable)
Yam is the common name for some species in the genus Dioscorea . These are perennial herbaceous vines cultivated for the consumption of their starchy tubers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania...

.

Jamaica is the fifth largest exporter of bauxite
Bauxite
Bauxite is an aluminium ore and is the main source of aluminium. This form of rock consists mostly of the minerals gibbsite Al3, boehmite γ-AlO, and diaspore α-AlO, in a mixture with the two iron oxides goethite and hematite, the clay mineral kaolinite, and small amounts of anatase TiO2...

 in the world, after Australia, China, Brazil and Guinea.

Jamaica has a wide variety of industrial and commercial activities. The aviation
Aviation
Aviation is the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft, especially heavier-than-air aircraft. Aviation is derived from avis, the Latin word for bird.-History:...

 industry is able to perform most routine aircraft maintenance, except for heavy structural repairs. There is a considerable amount of technical support for transport and agricultural aviation. Jamaica has a considerable amount of industrial engineering
Industrial engineering
Industrial engineering is a branch of engineering dealing with the optimization of complex processes or systems. It is concerned with the development, improvement, implementation and evaluation of integrated systems of people, money, knowledge, information, equipment, energy, materials, analysis...

, light manufacturing, including metal fabrication, metal roofing, and furniture manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

. Food and beverage processing, glassware
Glassware
This list of glassware includes drinking vessels , tableware, such as dishes, and flatware used to set a table for eating a meal, general glass items such as vases, and glasses used in the catering industry whether made of glass or plastics such as polystyrene and...

 manufacturing, computer software
Computer software
Computer software, or just software, is a collection of computer programs and related data that provide the instructions for telling a computer what to do and how to do it....

 and data processing
Data processing
Computer data processing is any process that a computer program does to enter data and summarise, analyse or otherwise convert data into usable information. The process may be automated and run on a computer. It involves recording, analysing, sorting, summarising, calculating, disseminating and...

, printing
Printing
Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing....

 and publishing
Publishing
Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information—the activity of making information available to the general public...

, insurance
Insurance
In law and economics, insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment. An insurer is a company selling the...

 underwriting, music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

 and recording, and advanced education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 activities can be found in the larger urban areas. The Jamaican construction industry is entirely self-sufficient, with professional technical standards and guidance.

Since the first quarter of 2006, the economy of Jamaica has undergone a period of staunch growth. With inflation for the 2006 calendar year down to 6.0% and unemployment down to 8.9%, the nominal GDP grew by an unprecedented 2.9%. An investment programme in island transportation and utility infrastructure and gains in the tourism, mining, and service sectors all contributed this figure. All projections for 2007 show an even higher potential for economic growth with all estimates over 3.0% and hampered only by urban crime and public policies.

In 2006, Jamaica became part of the CARICOM
Caribbean Community
The Caribbean Community is an organisation of 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies. CARICOM's main purposes are to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy...

 Single Market and Economy (CSME)
CARICOM Single Market and Economy
The CARICOM Single Market and Economy, also known as the Caribbean Single Market and Economy , is an integrated development strategy envisioned at the 10th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community which took place in July 1989 in Grand Anse, Grenada...

 as one of the pioneering members.

The global economic downturn had a significant impact on the Jamaican economy for the years 2007 to 2009, resulting in negative economic growth. The government implemented a new Debt Management Initiative, the Jamaica Debt Exchange (JDX) on January 14, 2010. The initiative would see holders of Government of Jamaica (GOJ) bonds returning the high interest earning instruments for bonds with lower yields and longer maturities.The offer was taken up by over 95% of local financial institutions and was deemed a success by the government.
Owing to the success of the JDX program, the Bruce Golding-led government was successful in entering into a borrowing arrangement with the IMF on Ferbruary 4,2010 for the amount of US$1.27b. The loan agreement is for a period of three years.

Transport


The transport infrastructure in Jamaica consists of roadways, railways and air transport
Aviation
Aviation is the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft, especially heavier-than-air aircraft. Aviation is derived from avis, the Latin word for bird.-History:...

, with roadways forming the backbone of the island's internal transport system.

Roadways


The Jamaican road network consists of almost 13 049 miles (21,000 kilometres) of roads, of which over 9 321 miles (15,000 kilometres) is paved. The Jamaican Government has, since the late 1990s and in cooperation with private investors, embarked on a campaign of infrastructural improvement projects, one of which includes the creation of a system of freeways, the first such access-controlled roadways of their kind on the island, connecting the main population centres of the island. This project has so far seen the completion of 21 miles (33 kilometres) of freeway.

Railways


Railways in Jamaica no longer enjoy the prominent position they once did, having been largely replaced by roadways as the primary means of transport. Of the 169 miles (272 kilometres) of railway found in Jamaica, only 35 miles (57 kilometres) remain in operation, currently used to transport bauxite
Bauxite
Bauxite is an aluminium ore and is the main source of aluminium. This form of rock consists mostly of the minerals gibbsite Al3, boehmite γ-AlO, and diaspore α-AlO, in a mixture with the two iron oxides goethite and hematite, the clay mineral kaolinite, and small amounts of anatase TiO2...

.

On April 13, 2011, limited passenger service was resumed between May Pen, Spanish Town and Linstead.

Air transport



There are three international airports in Jamaica with modern terminals
Airport terminal
An airport terminal is a building at an airport where passengers transfer between ground transportation and the facilities that allow them to board and disembark from aircraft....

, long runway
Runway
According to ICAO a runway is a "defined rectangular area on a land aerodrome prepared for the landing and take-off of aircraft." Runways may be a man-made surface or a natural surface .- Orientation and dimensions :Runways are named by a number between 01 and 36, which is generally one tenth...

s, and the navigational equipment required to accommodate the large jet aircraft
Jet aircraft
A jet aircraft is an aircraft propelled by jet engines. Jet aircraft generally fly much faster than propeller-powered aircraft and at higher altitudes – as high as . At these altitudes, jet engines achieve maximum efficiency over long distances. The engines in propeller-powered aircraft...

 used in modern and air travel
Air travel
Air travel is a form of travel in vehicles such as airplanes, helicopters, hot air balloons, blimps, gliders, hang gliding, parachuting or anything else that can sustain flight.-Domestic and international flights:...

: Norman Manley International Airport
Norman Manley International Airport
-Cargo :The following Cargo/Courier serve Norman Manley International Airport:-Accidents and incidents:*On 17 July 1960, the captain of a Vickers Viscount of Cubana de Aviación hijacked the aircraft on a flight from José Martí International Airport, Havana to Miami International Airport, Florida...

 in Kingston
Kingston, Jamaica
Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica, located on the southeastern coast of the island. It faces a natural harbour protected by the Palisadoes, a long sand spit which connects the town of Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport to the rest of the island...

, Ian Fleming International Airport in Boscobel
Boscobel, Jamaica
Boscobel is located in St. Mary Parish on the north shore of Jamaica, ten miles east of Ocho Rios. It is home to Ian Fleming International Airport and is located approximately half-way between Montego Bay and Kingston.-References:...

, Saint Mary Parish
Saint Mary Parish, Jamaica
Saint Mary is a parish located in the northeast section of Jamaica. With a population of 115,000 it is one of Jamaica's smallest parishes, located in the county of Middlesex. Its chief town and capital is Port Maria, located on the coast. It is also the birthplace of established dancehall reggae...

, and the island's largest and busiest airport, Sir Donald Sangster International Airport
Sir Donald Sangster International Airport
Sangster International Airport is an international airport located east of Montego Bay, Jamaica. It is one of the largest, busiest and most ultra-modern airports in the Caribbean capable of handling nine million passengers per annum. Sangster is often referred to as the gateway to the Caribbean,...

 in the resort
Resort
A resort is a place used for relaxation or recreation, attracting visitors for holidays or vacations. Resorts are places, towns or sometimes commercial establishment operated by a single company....

 city of Montego Bay
Montego Bay
Montego Bay is the capital of St. James Parish and the second largest city in Jamaica by area and the fourth by population .It is a tourist destination with duty free shopping, cruise line terminal and the beaches...

. Norman Manley and Sangster International airports are home to the country's national airline, Air Jamaica
Air Jamaica
Air Jamaica is the current national airline of Jamaica. It is has been owned and operated by Caribbean Airlines since 26 May 2011. The airline, headquartered in Piarco, Trinidad and Tobago also has administrative offices located in Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica...

. In addition there are local commuter airports at Tinson Pen (Kingston)
Tinson Pen Aerodrome
Tinson Pen Aerodrome in Kingston, Jamaica is the largest of Jamaica's three domestic airports. It is located on Marcus Garvey Drive, a major highway that links Kingston to the nearby residential community of Portmore. The airport is also located near the Kingston Free Zone, a transshipment port....

, Port Antonio
Port Antonio
Port Antonio is the capital of the parish of Portland on the northeastern coast of Jamaica, about 60 miles from Kingston. It had a population of 12,285 in 1982 and 13,246 in 1991...

, and Negril
Negril
Negril is a small but widely dispersed beach resort town located across parts of two Jamaican parishes of Westmoreland and Hanover. Westmoreland is the westernmost parish in Jamaica, located on the south side of the island...

 which cater to internal flights only. Many other small, rural centres are served by private fields on sugar estates or bauxite mines.

Ports, shipping and lighthouses


Owing to its location in the Caribbean Sea in the shipping lane
Sea lane
A sea lane or shipping lane is a regularly used route for ocean-going and Great Lakes vessels. In the time of sailing ships they were not only determined by the distribution of land masses but also the prevailing winds, whose discovery was crucial for the success of long voyages...

 to the Panama Canal
Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Built from 1904 to 1914, the canal has seen annual traffic rise from about 1,000 ships early on to 14,702 vessels measuring a total of 309.6...

 and relative proximity to large markets in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 and emerging markets in Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

, Jamaica receives high container
Containerization
Containerization is a system of freight transport based on a range of steel intermodal containers...

 traffic. The container terminal
Container terminal
A container terminal is a facility where cargo containers are transshipped between different transport vehicles, for onward transportation. The transshipment may be between container ships and land vehicles, for example trains or trucks, in which case the terminal is described as a maritime...

 at the Port of Kingston has undergone large expansion in capacity in recent years to handle growth both already realised as well as that which is projected in coming years. Montego Freeport in Montego Bay
Montego Bay
Montego Bay is the capital of St. James Parish and the second largest city in Jamaica by area and the fourth by population .It is a tourist destination with duty free shopping, cruise line terminal and the beaches...

 also handles a variety of cargo like (though more limited than) the Port of Kingston, mainly agricultural products.

There are several other ports positioned around the island, including Port Esquivel in St. Catherine
Saint Catherine Parish, Jamaica
St Catherine is a parish located in the south east of Jamaica. It is located in the county of Middlesex, and is one of the island's largest and most economically valued parish because of its many resources. It includes the first capital of Jamaica, Spanish Town, originally known as San Jago de la...

 (WINDALCO), Rocky Point in Clarendon
Clarendon Parish, Jamaica
Clarendon is a parish in Jamaica. It is located on the south of the island, roughly half-way between the island's eastern and western ends...

, Port Kaiser in St. Elizabeth
Saint Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica
St. Elizabeth, one of Jamaica's largest parishes, is located in the southwest of the island, in the county of Cornwall. Its capital, Black River, is located at the mouth of the Black River, the longest on the island.-History:...

, Port Rhoades in Discovery Bay, Reynolds Pier in Ocho Rios
Ocho Rios
Ocho Ríos is a town in the parish of Saint Ann on the north coast of Jamaica. Although he landed in many spots along the Jamaican coast, many believe that Christopher Columbus first set foot on land in Ocho Rios...

, and Boundbrook Port in Port Antonio
Port Antonio
Port Antonio is the capital of the parish of Portland on the northeastern coast of Jamaica, about 60 miles from Kingston. It had a population of 12,285 in 1982 and 13,246 in 1991...

.

To aid the navigation of shipping, Jamaica operates nine lighthouses.

Energy


Jamaica depends on petroleum imports to satisfy its national energy needs. Many test sites have been explored for oil, but no commercially viable quantities have been found. The most convenient sources of imported oil and motor fuels (diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel) are from Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 and Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

.

Jamaica's electrical power is produced by diesel (bunker oil) generators located in Old Harbour. Other smaller power stations (most owned by the Jamaica Public Service Company – the island's electricity provider) support the island's electrical grid including the Hunts Bay Power Station, the Bogue Power Station, the Rockfort Power Station and small hydroelectric plants on the White River, Rio Bueno, Morant River, Black River (Maggotty) and Roaring River. A wind farm, owned by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, was established at Wigton, Manchester.

Jamaica has successfully operated a SLOWPOKE-2 nuclear reactor
SLOWPOKE reactor
The SLOWPOKE is a low-energy, pool-type nuclear research reactor designed by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited in the late 1960s. John W. Hilborn is the scientist most closely associated with its design...

 of 20 kW capacity since the early 80's, but there are no plans to expand nuclear power at present.

Jamaica imports approximately 80000 barrels (12,718,983.6 l) of oil energy products per day, including asphalt and lubrication products. Just 20% of imported fuels are used for road transportation, the rest being used by the bauxite industry, electricity generation, and aviation.

Jamaica produces enormous quantities of hydrous ethanol (5% water content), most of which appears to be consumed as beverages, and none of it used as motor fuel. Facilities exist to refine hydrous ethanol feedstock into anhydrous ethanol (0% water content), but the process appears to be uneconomic at this time and the facility remains idle.

Communication


Jamaica has a fully digital telephone communication system
Digital telephony
Digital telephony is the use of digital electronics in the provision of digital telephone services and systems. Since the 1960s a digital core network has almost entirely replaced the old analog system, and much of the access network has also been digitized...

 with a mobile penetration of over 95%.

The country’s three mobile operators – Cable and Wireless (marketed as LIME – Landline, Internet, Mobile and Entertainment), Digicel
Digicel
Digicel is a mobile phone network provider covering parts of Oceania, Central America, and the Caribbean regions. The company is owned by Irishman Denis O'Brien, is incorporated in Bermuda, and based in Jamaica. It provides mobile services in 26 countries and territories throughout the Caribbean...

, and Oceanic Digital (operating as MiPhone
MiPhone
Claro is a mobile network operator in Jamaica that provide service using the CDMA and GSM technologies. Claro belongs to Oceanic Digital Jamaica and it used the MiPhone brand name as its public trading name and in all customer and media communications.Oceanic reached an agreement in principle to...

 and now known as Claro
Claro (mobile phone network)
Claro is the largest mobile phone network in the Americas. It is part of the Mexican telecom group América Móvil which is one of the four largest mobile phone network operators in the world, with more than 200 million customers...

 since late 2008) – have spent millions in network upgrade and expansion.Both Digicel and Oceanic Digital were granted licences in 2001 to operate mobile services in the newly liberalised telecom market that had once been the sole domain of the incumbent Cable and Wireless monopoly. Digicel opted for the more widely used GSM wireless system, while Oceanic opted for the CDMA standard. Cable and Wireless, which had begun with TDMA
Digital AMPS
IS-54 and IS-136 are second-generation mobile phone systems, known as Digital AMPS . It was once prevalent throughout the Americas, particularly in the United States and Canada. D-AMPS is considered end-of-life, and existing networks have mostly been replaced by GSM/GPRS or CDMA2000...

 standard, subsequently upgraded to GSM, and currently utilises both standards on its network.

With wireless usage increasing, landline
Landline
A landline was originally an overland telegraph wire, as opposed to an undersea cable. Currently, landline refers to a telephone line which travels through a solid medium, either metal wire or optical fibre, as distinguished from a mobile cellular line, where transmission is via radio waves...

s supplied by Cable and Wireless have declined from just over half a million to roughly about three hundred thousand as of 2006. In a bid to grab more market share, Cable and Wireless recently launched a new land line service called HomeFone Prepaid that would allow customers to pay for minutes they use rather than pay a set monthly fee for service, much like prepaid wireless service.

A new entrant to the Jamaican communications market, Flow Jamaica
Columbus Communications
Columbus Communications is a cable television and telecommunications company based in Freeport, Bahamas, serving markets in the Caribbean and Latin America....

, recently laid a new submarine cable
Submarine communications cable
A submarine communications cable is a cable laid on the sea bed between land-based stations to carry telecommunication signals across stretches of ocean....

 connecting Jamaica to the United States. This new cable increases the total number of submarine cables connecting Jamaica to the rest of the world to four.

Two more licences were auctioned by the Jamaican government to provide mobile services on the island, including one that was previously owned by AT&T Wireless
AT&T Wireless
AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., founded in 1987 as McCaw Cellular Communications, Inc., and now legally known as New Cingular Wireless Services, Inc., formerly part of AT&T Corp., is a wireless telephone carrier in the United States, based in Redmond, Washington, and later traded on the New York...

 but never utilised, and one new licence.

See also



Further reading


  • Ammar, N. From Whence they came. The Jamaica Journal.
  • Hall, D. Bounties European Immigration with Special Reference of the German Settlement at Seaford Town, Parts 1 and 2. Jamaica Journal, 8, (4), 48–54 and 9 (1), 2–9.
  • Jacobs, H. P. (2003). Germany in Jamaica. Indian heritage in Jamaica. The Jamaica Journal, 10, (2,3,4), 10–19,
  • Mullally, R. (2003). "One Love' The Black Irish of Jamaica. The Jamaica Journal, 42, pp. 104–116.
  • Parboosingh, I. S. An Indo-Jamaica beginning in The Jamaica Journal, 18, (3), 2–10, 12.
  • The Gleaner. Seaford Town Advertising Feature. August 14, 2003, D7-8,


External links


Governmental Details


General information