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Volunteer as an Assistant Teacher In Jamaica

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    8

A life changing experience that I will never forget

This is a trip that I never expected to be so impacted by. Everything was well run and carried out smoothly. I will never forget these amazing experiences, that I was so lucky to encounter.


Love Cara

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

A life-altering, new experience that changed me for the better

From the moment I stepped on the grounds of Mt. Olivet Primary School, it felt like I had known them for years and watched them grow up even though I had only just met them. The school administration board was extremely helpful and all the JVE advisers were supportive. This opportunity instilled a new passion for education reforms and world travel. I would not change the aspects of the teaching portion at all, perhaps working there longer!

I am unbelievably blessed to have been given the chance to experience this opportunity thanks to JVE. This trip taught me many key factors to life: service, gratitude, cultural immersion, love, being an inspiration to others and, most importantly, I found my true, genuine self along the way. Thank you JVE.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A mother/daughter life changing experience

I can't say enough about our experience. Our host family are now life long friends. They shared their home with my 15 yr old daughter and I for one week. We cooked together, enjoyed local cuisine and went on incredibly fun excursions together. They are an amazing couple and know how to make you feel comfortable while living like a local. Every morning we got up and walked to work. We were often greeted by goats along the way which only added to the beauty of our day. When we arrived, we were welcomed each morning by beautiful little children who were eager to learn and play with us. They are truly appreciative of all that you have to offer. The staff are amazing woman who work tirelessly at creating a good happy learning environment for these children. It's not easy given that they don't have much to work with but they still do a fantastic job! We brought books for the children, games, coloring books, crayons, etc. all of which were happily used and everyone was beyond grateful for. Our days were full. We left giving what we had and a feeling of although it was only a short time, it was enough to make a small difference in the lives of some pretty amazing children. We had some time at the end of our day to visit the gorgeous sites of Ochi and relax by the brilliant blue ocean. From start to finish, our volunteer trip was well organized by the Program Director Rhoje who is clearly passionate about what he does. Rhoje only added to the greatness of what my daughter Sydnie and I will forever remember as a "life changing experience"!! Ocho Rios is a fun little town and a great place to enjoy on the weekends. From the beaches, waterfalls, local markets and great restaurants, it's definitely the perfect spot to be!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Jamaica Volunteer Expeditions Went Above and Beyond

I'm an older person (in my 40's) an American and have traveled to Jamaica extensively. I have already seen most of what I wanted to see in Jamaica as far as sight seeing is concerned. I consider myself a visitor, not a tourist because I have a little more experience than the average person that goes to Dunn's River Falls or Rick's Cafe. On this visit, I decided that I wanted a different experience. One that would give me more insight into Jamaican culture, more than staying in a guest house or hotel could offer. Alone, I signed up for 3 weeks to volunteer as an Assistant Teacher. I worked 2 weeks in Good Hope, a neighborhood near Negril and 1 week in Eltham which is located in Ocho Rios. From the beginning of my inquiring about the whole process my assigned counselor Rhoja had been excellent. He has a wealth of knowledge about the program and was able to answer my every question no matter how complex or minor. I arrived in the community a few days before so I could get acquainted with my surroundings. When I arrived on my first day in Good Hope, I was greeted by my host of the residence where I stayed, Patsy. Patsy, is very outgoing and friendly. She made sure everyone in the community knew who I was, which made me feel welcome and safe. I was contacted by Rhoja to make sure I had arrived safely and in addition he wanted to know if I found my accommodations to be acceptable. I was satisfied with where I was staying but soon discovered that I had no phone service or wifi access which wasn't an issue but I was expecting an important email from the States. On my 1st day at Risen Messiah Basic School, I was met by Shawna of J V Exp. She introduced me to the staff and showed me around. The teachers and the principal were very nice and I felt welcomed. Shawna was so helpful. At one point I mentioned to her that I had no wifi and was waiting to receive an important email. She had bought this to the attention of Rhoja and her supervisor Omar. They contacted me and were ready to remedy the situation which was reassuring to me. Shawna recommended an internet cafe in Negril which was a 2 minute taxi ride away, where I could retrieve my mail. That internet cafe was awesome. I went there almost every night because the owner, Delroy always had a good movie playing on a 70 inch Flatscreen. It was like being at the movies. I had a blast. I walked to the school every morning and soon started hearing" Good Morning teacher" from the people in the community. I felt like I was a real Jamaican. The children in the school were a handful. They were very loving and wanted attention. Those teachers do a lot with very little resources. There were 30 small children to 1 teacher per class. I felt like just my presence alone made an impact. The teachers taught the lesson while I assisted the students that needed more attention. I take my hat off to those teachers because they are working with almost nothing. I bought a suitcase full of black and white marble notebooks, spiral notebooks, crayons, pencils and folders and donated them to the school, which was greatly appreciated. On my last day the children were sad to see me go. One little girl said to me "why are you leaving, I love you,"and she hugged my around my neck so tight. I was choked up and almost cried. You don't think you're making a difference but you are. I left with a feeling of being grateful for what I have and wanting to help more.
In addition to being my counselor Rhoja and his lovely wife Tawana are hosts in Ocho Rios. The stay at their home was comfortable and the accommodations were clean. Rhoja is an excellent cook too. I ate some of the most delicious authentic Jamaican meals (that Rhoja prepared) and even got a cooking lesson, from Rhoja on how to make Callaloo, which is one of my favorite Jamaican dishes. The neighborhood of Eltham has a nice residential feel and is a short taxi ride away from town, so I was able to go shopping and to the beach with no problem. The Eltham Basic school is a much smaller school with maybe 40 student total, so thats about 10 children per class, which is much easier to manage. My experience here was very different. At Eltham Basic I was able to interact on a cultural level. The lessons at Eltham included learning about different foods and how they grow. I was learning just as much as the children were, because I had never seen or heard of some of the fruits and vegetables that we went and picked right from the yard. I never knew there were so many different kinds of Mangos and even got to taste 4 different kinds. It was exciting. I fully enjoyed my Jamaican adventure and am glad that I used Jamaica Volunteer Expeditions. This company went above and beyond to accommodate me and made sure I was satisfied every step of the way. Thank you Rhoja, Tawana, Shawna, and Omar. I would definitely recommend this company.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Awesome school, teachers, and staff

I really enjoyed working at Ocho Rios Basic school during my visit to Jamaica. Though my visit to the school was for only one day, the teacher and principal welcomed me with open arms and were open to any recommendations that I could provide. The children were also very sweet and seemed to love seeing new people in the classroom to help them. I spent the day going over the teacher's lesson with each student and helping them with their individual work. I also helped supervise the lunch activities, playground time, and sports time. Overall, I felt very supported on the trip to the school by the program advisor at volunteer expeditions. He walked with me to the school, introduced me to the staff and even picked me up to ensure that I found my way back to my hotel safely. I really look forward to working with the school again during my next visit to Ocho Rios.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Helped at basic school in Ochi

Right upon my arrival at Eltham Basic School the teachers were so welcoming and friendly. They continued to be kind throughout my entire stay. None of them were ever rude or anything but helpful and positive toward me. They fed me lunch everyday and the cook even gave me some lessons in the kitchen to cook Jamaican food! I will be staying in touch with all of these great ladies. The children were just such a joy to work with. They're so loving and have so much energy. The kids are very sweet and excited to have a volunteer. They are very smart and love to learn.
I stayed in a home stay through Jamaica volenteer expeditions that was about a three minute walk from the school. A lovely couple welcomed me into their home. I have not one complaint to say about my stay here. These people were so good to me and made me feel at home. They cooked me breakfast and dinner everyday so I also got to try all the traditional Jamaican dishes. The house was also very secure and safe. I never felt unsafe my whole time here. It was the most amazing experience I've ever had!!!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Transformational experience!

I am a administrator at an all-girls Catholic high school and just took 18 students to Jamaica on a spring break service trip through JVE. It was an amazing, life-changing experience for all of us! JVE is a wonderful organization dedicated to helping the local community of Jamaica while transforming the lives of young people from other parts of the world. They developed a close relationship with me and our school and were always available and supportive throughout the process. We felt well taken care of and safe the entire time we were there. The service itself was truly impactful. The girls worked with children at a very under-resourced primary school in a rural part of Jamaica that has a lot of need. The students at the primary school were a joy to work with and the girls were so sad to leave them at the end of the week. There of course were unexpected challenges that come with any service experience but with the help of JVE we overcame them all. We were also able to have a bit of fun and cultural immersion on one of the final days of our trip. It was a well balanced experience and something I would do again in a heartbeat! Thanks JVE!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Impacting youth

This trip impacted me in an extremely positive way. It was amazing to be able to work with children at a school since I want to major in education in college. Children in Jamaica are so loving and open. This trip was unforgettable!