Destination Jamaica

The Beautiful Island of Jamaica in Style…Once You Go, You Know!

Jamaica’s Independence Day August 6, 2011

Filed under: History,Information,Jamaica — carter8613 @ 6:30 am


Birth of Independence

From Savannla-La-Mar to Morant Bay, from Above Rocks to Port Maria, as the clock struck midnight on August 5, 1962, the strains of our national anthem were heard for the first time while Union Jacks were lowered and the Jamaican flag unveiled.

Ceremonies took place in parish capitals across the island. In many cases, fireworks lit up the skies punctuating the August 6 birth of the Dominion of Jamaica. At the National Stadium, then Prime Minister Sir Alexander Bustamante, decked out in formal wear, presided over what was described as a stirring event.

“The entire evening was just tremendous,” says statesman Hector Wynter, enthusiastically recounting the shared excitement and delight that reverberated through the packed Stadium where over 20,000 people proudly joined in the celebration of movement from colonialism to self-government.

Kingston and all other parish capitals were resplendent with flags and bunting, and many civic and social events took place, including dancing in the streets,

maypoles in town squares, jonkonnu, bonfires, float parades overflowing with beauty queens, as well as tree planting and religious ceremonies.

Lola Ramocan, recalls how as a teenager she, like many of the people in her home parish of Clarendon, dressed in the colours of the flag and crowded into the town centre to celebrate. There were treats for the children and the elderly, and commemorative cups and plates were distributed. “What wonderful souvenirs these made,” Ramocan said with a smile, “having one was like holding onto a piece of history.”

Theodore Sealy was appointed Chairman of the Independence Committee which was charged with choosing the island’s national symbols, flag, and anthem. Hector Wynter, who, like all sitting Senators at the time, had the opportunity to serve on this committee, remembers that experience as a smooth process in which all were united by enthusiasm. As it turned out, Wynter recalls, “the colour choice and design for the flag proceeded quite smoothly. The only hitch was that our initial design was apparently very similar to that chosen by Tanganyika. So we made our gold saltire cross broader.” Wynter adds, “it may remind you of the Union Jack in design as both have saltire crosses, but our vibrant colours ­ the gold set against black and green triangles ­ made it our own.”

Our anthem married the words of the Reverend Hugh Sherlock to the music of Hon. Robert Lightbourne, both of which were chosen out of many anonymous entries submitted in a public contest. The 300-year-old coat of arms was retained but a new motto ­ “Out of Many, One People” ­ a reminder that the nation is composed of people of many races who have long lived and worked in harmony, was added.


On August 7, 1962 – which had also been declared a holiday – the first session of Jamaica’s parliament took place. Princess Margaret, wished Jamaica well on behalf of her sister, the Queen, and handed over the constitutional documents to Sir Alexander. She said she was proud to be associated with this event and welcomed the new nation to the Commonwealth Family.


Bustamante, responding to Princess Margaret and addressing Jamaicans at home and abroad as the island’s first Prime Minister, cautioned on that same August 7 morning:
“Independence means the opportunity for us to frame our own destiny and the need for us to rely on ourselves in so doing. It does not mean a license to do as we would like. It means work and law and order-Let us resolve to build a Jamaica which will last and of which we and generations to come will be proud, remembering that especially at this time the eyes of the world are upon us.” Bustamante’s message was also carried in a special supplement in the New York Times commemorating Jamaica’s independence.

Norman Manley, then Leader of the Opposition, also reminded the nation: “We stand here today surrounded by an unseen host of witnesses-who through all our history strove to keep alight the torch of freedom-and what of the future? We have come to Independence prepared and ready to shoulder our new responsibilities and united I believe in one single hope that we may make our small country a safe and happy home for all our people.”

The themes of both of these addresses and those of many others given that day and on countless anniversaries can aptly be summed up in the words of our National Anthem ­ described by Sherlock and Bennett (1998) as “a prayer of a small, newly-independent nation for guidance and protection for themselves and for the island they love.” Today, that prayer is just as relevant as it was 39 years ago ­ an expression of fervent hope, respectful humility and strong commitment:

Eternal Father, bless our land.
Guide us with thy mighty hand
Keep us free from evil powers
Be our guide through countless hours
Through our leaders, great defender
Grant true wisdom from above
Justice, truth be ours forever
Jamaica land we love.
Teach us true respect for all
Stir response to duty’s call
Strengthen us, the weak to cherish
Give us wisdom lest we perish
Knowledege send us, Heavenly Father
Grant true wisdom from above
Justice, truth be ours forever
Jamaica, land we love

  — Rebecca Tort


Oven Baked Jerk Chicken March 3, 2011

Filed under: Information,Jamaica,Recipes — carter8613 @ 5:30 am
Tags: ,

Oven Baked Jerk Chicken



6 lbs Chicken cut into serving pieces
4 ounces escallion finely chopped
1 large onion finely chopped
12 pimento (allspice) seeds crushed
6 large cloves of garlic crushed and finely chopped
1 small Scotch Bonnet (or Jalapeno) pepper
2 tsp brown sugar
½ tsp fresh ginger finely chopped
2 ounces of fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme
½ Tsp. Black pepper (or white pepper if desired)
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

Clean and dry chicken.
Mix all spices and other ingredients together.
Coat chicken with spice mix.
Cover and leave to marinate for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place marinated chicken in shallow baking dish.
Bake 45 minutes or until cooked through (180°F).

Makes: 12 servings


The Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort, Rose Hall, Jamaica Certified Green Globe February 23, 2011

The Ritz Carlton in Jamaica

Green Globe Certification announces The Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort, Rose Hall, Jamaica has been certified for its sustainable operations and management as well as its continued environmental conservation efforts. Green Globe is the leading certification program for environmental stewardship and corporate social responsibility in the travel and tourism industry worldwide.

The Ladies and Gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort have displayed an incredible dedication in embracing environmentally-conscious practices and continually searching for new sustainable initiatives to be implemented on property,’ said General Manager, Mr Tony Mira.

‘This achievement would not be possible without t heir extraordinary commitment and enthusiasm for creating a greener environment for our guests and Jamaica. This certification further exemplifies the hotel’s commitment of working towards a more sustainable future by protecting and preserving our island’s natural resources,’ added Mr Mira.

To be awarded Green Globe certification, the resort implemented a variety of green practices in their daily operations, such as reusing linens, waste reduction, increasing energy efficiency, environmental education and community outreach. Over the course of two years, sufficient data was provided demonstrating consistent and ongoing green initiatives, from utilizing recycled paper to planting an herb garden for use by the culinary department. Sustainable efforts were overseen by The Ritz-Carlton Environmental Action Conservation Team (REACT), who educates all departments on environmental practices designed to minimize the hotel’s carbon footprint.

Mr Guido Bauer, CEO Green Globe Certification said, ‘We welcome The Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort, Rose Hall, into the elite community of Green Globe certified resorts. And especially, we wish to congratulate our local Caribbean representatives and consultants, particularly Ms Wendy Walker-Drakes, for diligently working on the ground to complete the significant work of documenting the resorts sustainability achievements.’

About The Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort, Rose Hall, Jamaica

Located on 5,000 picture-perfect acres in Jamaica’s exclusive Rose Hall, the 427-room AAA Five Diamond Resort offers the seclusion of a beachfront hideaway, complete with an 18-hole championship golf course, and an additional 36 holes of Championship Golf within the Rose Hall Resort Area. Complemented by a full service Spa, a variety of water s ports and recreational activities, the resort boasts five dining outlets and more than 25,000 square feet of meeting and reception space. Conveniently located just 15 minutes from Sangster International Airport, The Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort has brought luxury to the island nation and established itself as one of the Caribbean’s best values.

Contact: Verona Carter  Area Director of Public Relations, Caribbean

The Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort, Rose Hall, Jamaica
Miami Office 2700 Tigertail Avenue  Coconut Grove, FL 33327 USA
Phone: (786) 470-3400, ext 3434 Fax: (786) 470-3409

About Green Globe Certification

Green Globe Certification is the worldwide sustainability system based on internationally accepted criteria for sustainable operation and management of travel and tourism businesses. Operating under a worldwide license, Green Globe Certification is based in California, USA and is represented in over 83 countries. Green Globe is the only certification brand to be an affiliate member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), is partly owned by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and a member of the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) governing council. For information visit

Contact: Green Globe Certification +1-310-337-3000 tel +1-310-626-9982 fax


Jamaica’s Falmouth Cruise Port Debut Rescheduled January 5, 2011

Jamaica Sunset

The first cruise ship call at Jamaica’s historic Falmouth cruise port, which had originally been planned for Jan. 7, 2011, has been rescheduled for Feb. 17, according to a statement from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Royal Caribbean International’s Voyager of the Seas will be the first ship to call at the $220 million port, followed by the Royal Caribbean ships Freedom of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas. In January and early February, the ships will each visit their established Jamaican ports of call.

While the Falmouth cruise port project is “on schedule,” according to a statement from Royal Caribbean, the Jamaican government, a partner in the project, and Royal Caribbean “jointly decided to postpone the arrival of passenger ships arriving into Falmouth until February.”

Royal Caribbean and Jamaican officials opted to delay Falmouth’s premiere after touring the site this past weekend and finding “it is not quite ready to deliver the high standards we are striving for. … Construction of the new thematic village continues at a fast pace and numerous administrative agencies of the Jamaican Cabinet Ministries of Culture, Tourism and Transportation have initiated enhancements to the town.”

The rescheduling follows local press reports highlighting the incomplete status of several projects at the 32-acre port. RCCL’s largest ship, the 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas, is scheduled to make its inaugural Falmouth call on March 22. For more information, visit


Jamaica’s National Hero’s Day – Third Monday in October October 18, 2010

Jamaica's National Flag


In Kingston, Jamaica, National Heroes Park contains a series of statues devoted to key figures in the country’s history, including independence leader Alexander Bustamente and pan-African crusader Marcus Garvey. As a way to honor the figures commemorated in this park, the Jamaican government has established National Heroes Day. The holiday officially replaced the celebration for Queen Elizabeth’s birthday, although she still receives military honors during ceremonies.

Kingston National Herors Park

The first group of national heroes was designated in 1965, the year of the centenary celebration of the 1865 Morant Bay Rebellion, a pivotal moment in the quest for independence from Great Britain. The first commemoration took place in 1968. As more heroes were added to the official list over subsequent years, National Heroes Day expanded to become National Heritage Week .

Monument for the Nanny of the Maroons

A typical ceremony held on the Monday that concludes Heritage Week is the National Heroes Day salute. Local parishes all over the island hold award ceremonies to honor community figures, while at National Heroes Park a main ceremony takes place that features a speech by a national leader, typically the prime minister.

Monument in honour of Samuel Sharpe

Jamaica Cultural Development Commission
3 Phoenix Ave.
Kingston, 10 Jamaica


Getting Married in Jamaica October 4, 2010

Seaside Wedding at Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay

A marriage in Jamaica is easy and legally recognized in the United States.

We will share some of the legal guidelines for getting married in Jamaica – be sure to give yourself plenty of time to prepare all of your documents, and work closely with not just me (your travel professional) but also the resort’s wedding coordinator to make sure everything is in order before the big day. We don’t want anything to disrupt your extra special day.

These requirements apply to American citizens;  if you are a citizen of another country, be sure to check with your country’s embassy for any special requirements you may need to get married in Jamaica.

Marriage License

Visitors can be married just 24 hours after arriving in Jamaica, providing prior arrangements has been made for a marriage license. The cost of a license if 4,000 Jamaican dollars (approximately US $60 – US $65).  To apply for your marriage license, call the Jamaican Ministry of Justice at 876-906-4923 ext 31 or email:

Required Documents

In order to get legally married by an officer recognized by the Jamaican government, the following documents should be sent via courier (example: FedEx) to your wedding coordinator at least four (4) weeks prior to your arrival in Jamaica:

* Proof of citizenship – certified copy of birth certificate, which includes father’s name

* Notarized copies of the bride and groom’s official ID (Passports)

* Proof of divorce if applicable (original certificate of divorce)

* Notarized copy of death certificate for widow or widower

* Parent’s written consent if under 18 years of age

When you are ready to plan your Wedding in Paradise on the beautiful island of Jamaica, give us a call at 310-722-3099 or email us at

Congratulations to you both


Mangoes in Jamaica September 8, 2010

Filed under: Information,Jamaica — carter8613 @ 5:30 am
Tags: ,


Brought to the West Indies from Southeast Asia, the mango is Jamaica’s most popular fruit. My own personal belief is that no other mango in the world taste as good as a Jamaican mango, and I love me some mangos. Growing up I had mango tree right outside my bedroom window, so it was very easy for me to enjoy them when they were in season.

Each year, both children and adults eagerly anticipate mango season in Jamaica. Colorful, sweet and juicy, the mango usually ripens sometime in May and spreads its fruity flavors around the island until July. Enjoy as many of the different varieties of mangoes as you can during your visit to Jamaica during the months of May until July, they just seem to taste sweeter in Jamaica!

Now during mango season, roadside vendors offering the juicy fruits in attractively arranged baskets or conveniently packed in bags are a customary sight and the island’s supermarkets offer variety of the pretty red, yellow or green fruit. It is not uncommon to spot mango trees along the roadside, overloaded with one of the many different types that grow on the island.

Some of the various types you will find on the island are:

1) East Indian

2) St. Julian

3) Black Mango

4) Number 11

5) Robin

6) Longy

7) Stringy

8) Common Mango

In Jamaica, mangoes grow in every parish, but St. Elizabeth, St. Mary, Clarendon and St. Thomas are known to have crops available in abundance. While St. Elizabeth is said to be the “land of Black Mangoes”, St. Mary produces a profusion of “East Indian”, St. Thomas both “East Indian” and “St. Julian” and Clarendon has a plentiful quantity of the more common “Stringy”.

The love of mango is expressed in an old Jamaican folk song:

Mi nuh drink coffee tea mango time

Care how nice it may be mango time

In the heat of the mango crop

When di fruit dem a ripe an drop

Wash your pot turn dem down mango time

De terperntine large an fine, mango time

Robin mango so sweet, mango time

Number eleven an hairy skin

Pack dibankraan ram dem in

For dibankramus’ full, mango time

Mekwi do a mango walk, mango time

For is only di talk mango time

Mekwi jump pondi big jackass

Ride im dung an no tap a pass

Mekdi best a de crop, mango time