Phone : 1-860-263-0048
Also known as: Land of Wood and Water (Root:  Xaymaca (Arawak)) (Source:  Caribbean Islands Handbook (Footprint Handbooks), 8th edition)
Out of Many One People 


In the Caribbean Sea, 145 km (90 miles) south of Cuba and 160 km (100 miles) west of Haiti.


Jamaica was first settled by Amerindians. Columbus visited the island in 1494, and it fell under Spanish possession from 1509-1655, before becoming a British sugar colony. During the social unrest of the 1930s, two major political parties were formed -  the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) by Alexander Bustamante, and the People's National Party (PNP) by Norman Manley. Jamaica joined the West Indies Federation in 1958, but withdrew following a referendum in 1961. The country gained independence in 1962. The PNP instituted a democratic socialist government from 1974-80, and the JLP established free-enterprise government from 1980


Last elections were held in 2007. Next elections due 2012.

Ruling Party:

Jamaica Labour Party (JLP)

Major Political Parties:

Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), People's National Party (PNP)

Economic Summary:
Tourism is the main source of foreign exchange. 
The manufacturing sector is the second largest after distribution.  Activities include the processing of sugar, food, beverages and tobacco, as well as production of chemicals, metals and construction material, and the assembly of electrical appliances and apparel.  Bauxite, however, is the principal industry  and Jamaica ranks as the third largest producer of bauxite, after Australia and Guinea.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing also contribute to Jamaica's foreign exchange earnings.


Norman Manley International; Donald Sangster International


Independent -  6 August 1962
Capital: Kingston 
Head of State: His Excellency The Most Honourable Patrick Linton Allen, ON, CD - Governor General
Head of Government:
Honourable Orette Bruce Golding
Prime Minister

2,644,600 (2004)
Jamaica Dollar
Area: 10,991 km2 (4,243.6 miles2)
Population: 2,644,600 (2004)
GDP: EC$23,909.4 Mn (2004)
GDP per capita:
EC$9.0041 (2004)
Total Exports:
EC$4,324.4 Mn (2004)
Total Imports:
EC$11,086.6 Mn (2004)
Intra-Regional Exports:
EC$137.1 Mn (2003)
Intra-Regional Imports:
EC$1,268.8 Mn (2003)
Business Hours:
Commercial: 09:00-17:00 hrs Monday to Friday
Government: 08:30-17:00 hrs Monday to Thursday; 08:30-16:00 hrs Friday
National Holidays:
New Year's Day (01 January); Ash Wednesday; Good Friday; Easter Monday; Labour Day (23 May); Emancipation Day (1 August); Independence Day (First Monday in August); National Heroes Day (third Monday in October); Christmas Day (25 December); Boxing Day (26 December)
Holidays that fall on a Sunday are observed the following Monday.  In the case of Labour Day only, if this falls on a Saturday or Sunday then the Monday will be a holiday.
Date of CARICOM Membership: 1 August 1973
National Anthem:
Jamaica Land We Love

Eternal Father bless our land,
Guard us with Thy Might Hand
Keep us free from evil powers,
Be our light through countless hours.

To our Leaders Great Defender,
Grant true wisdom from above.
Justice, Truth be ours forever,
Jamaica, Land we love.
Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica land we love.
Teach us true respect for all,
Stir response to duty's call,
Strengthen us the weak to cherish,
Give us vision lest we perish.

Knowledge send us Heavenly Father,
Grant true wisdom from above.
Justice, Truth be ours forever,
Jamaica, Land we love.
Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica land we love

(Words by Hugh Sherlock; music by Robert Lightbourne)
Highest National Award: Order of the National Hero
Favourite Dish: Ackee and Salt Fish
Government web page:
Getting There: Served by Air Canada, Air Jamaica, ALM, American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, and Continental.
Entry Documents: Proof of citizenship for U.S. and Canadian citizens (passport or birth certificate with a photo ID). Passports required for citizens of other countries. All visitors must have an ongoing or return ticket.
Airport : Vacationer's typically fly into Sangster airport in Montego Bay. Kingston's Norman Manley airport is the second most highly used airport mostly for business or resident traffic.
Driving:  On the left - valid driver's license is required




Address:    Address:   
520 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036



Toll free:    Toll free:   



Email:    Email:
Web site:    Web site:

Tourist Board


Caricom Head


64 Knutsford Boulevard
P.O. Box 360
Kingston 5, Jamaica


(876) 920-4924


Toll free:    (800) 233-4JTB Toll free:   


(876) 929-9375


Email: Email:   
Web site: Web site:   


Questions about giving may be directed to Phil Marshall Email

If you wish to earmark your donation for a specific project, please indicate that on your check memo line.


Jamaica Map
    .... Antigua
.... Bahamas
.... Barbados
.... Dominican Republic
.... Grenada
.... Guyana
.... Haiti
.... Jamaica
.... Trinidad /Tobago

Capital: Kingston

Population: 2.6 million

Island Size: 146 miles long and between 22 and 51 miles wide; 4,411 square miles.

Electric Current: Mostly 110 volt. Adapters are supplied by most hotels, but is always a smart travel accessory.

Medical Emergencies: There are numerous hospitals and clinics on the island.

Standard time zone
Daylight Saving Time: No

Climate: Temperatures range from high 70░ to mid-80░ F. Annual rainfall averages 78 inches. Rains and storms frequent Jamaica May through October b

Official Language: English. Patio

Currency: The Jamaican dollar - U.S. dollars widely accepted.

Tipping and Taxes: The government tax is 12.5%

Local area code is 876.