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Living with the locals

quebec canada
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Living with the locals

Would like to return to Jamaica for 3-4 wks and live in rural Jamaica with a local family. Any advice on how to set this up.. Who to contact...Thanks for you advice

Los Angeles...
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1. Re: Living with the locals

One way would be if you happen to know someone on island who could help you with that; direct you to a friend or family they know.

I haven't heard that the "Meet the people" program is up and running lately and am not aware of other similar programs.

There are a lot of things to consider going this route; among other things accommodations or lack thereof - plumbing, mosquitos, weather;- your safety, security of your belongings and cash, who the neighbors are, cost to the family hosting you, etc.

Perhaps you could arrange to stay in a hostel type situation where you know for sure you have a decent place to stay then and take day trips to more rural areas for your adventure and experiences?

Just one thought....

Kingston, Jamaica
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2. Re: Living with the locals

The Meet the People program was copied, by the Jamaica Tourist Board, from a community tourism scheme started in Mandeville by Diana McIntyre-Pike. She is still, as far as I'm aware, actively promoting and organising this type of tourism. Most people report negative feed-back regarding the JTB venture so I would suggest contacting the original scheme.

Diana McIntyre-Pike/Barry Bonitto/Mark Pike

Countrystyle International Ltd.

Countrystyle Community Tourism Network

Mandeville, Jamaica

Tel: (876) 962-7758/488-7207 Fax: (876) 962-1461

email: Countrystyle@mail.infochan.com or Countrystyletourism@yahoo.com

quebec canada
13 posts
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3. Re: Living with the locals

Thank you for your suggestion. I appreciate it

Boston
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4. Re: Living with the locals

I've lived with locals for a week or so a few times....it has it's rewards and challenges... If you want extremely rustic living I have a great connection in the cockpits (middle of the island) and if you want to live in a rental in a rural community outside of Negril I have another connection. Yaman has some good points but for some that sense of adventure rules!

quebec canada
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5. Re: Living with the locals

My first experience in Jamaica was so positive that I wanted to return and do a homestay where I could really get to learn about Jamaican culture, the food,the language and at the same time help a Jamaican family instead of giving my money to a hotel. I'm a bit surprised to hear from the comments that my idea might bring a negative rather than a positive experience. Many countries today offer tourists a chance to bond with the locals . That's all I was looking for... another positive experience . Thank you for your insight

Bodega, California
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6. Re: Living with the locals

I suggest renting a cottage or home in a neighborhood as opposed to actually staying with a local family. Things are tough there, you wouldn't want to burden someone unless it is set up with a facilitating agency. I live in Negril part time, in a neighborhood on the west end and have been doing that for the past 10 years. It certainly has enhanced my knowledge of the culture, food and runnings but at the same time I preserve my autonomy there.

Los Angeles...
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7. Re: Living with the locals

Curieuseami:

If it was my post that surprised you I will say I didn't mean to be off-putting.

Knowledge is power when traveling and has everything to do with how wonderful your vacation experience can be.

Not knowing you or your travel experience,it is hard to gauge on a travel forum your level of travel experience to a developing country.

There are some who have in the past (NOT saying you fit this category) on this forum, have gone to Jamaica once, fallen in love and jumped full force into "going local" if you will, without doing any research at all and have ended up, shall we say, not enjoying their time on the island, to put it mildly.

All of us here in this forum have fallen in love with Jamaica too, and that is why we return year after year, sometimes a few times EACH year.

What you must know is that there are two sides to see in Jamaica, that is all I am saying. What you see in glossy brochures and experience from beachside hotels will be vastly different from living out in rural areas or even local homes close to the tourist areas.

All that said, yes, you CAN have a wonderful rewarding experience amongst the locals. I would simply encourage you to do lots of research beforehand. We are all individuals and what works for you will surely be different than others and that shouldn't stop you from exploring.

My personal experience and years of traveling to Jamaica, including going rural, have opened my eyes to more things than I wanted to see. Being a happy beach tourist is just fine by me!

Bodega, California
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8. Re: Living with the locals

Yamangurl makes a good point. You really need to know yourself, know your comfort zone and how far out of it you are willing to go...research is fine but its never going to prepare you 100% for anything. I've been "living among locals" for the past 10 years in Negril and I still learn something new each stay. Yard living is not for everyone....but it is the way I personally prefer to visit my various travel destinations whenever I can, seeking out the unusual, walking the road less traveled. Not everyone is into that and that's fine. I'm here now and there are many tourists on the beach, chilling with a cocktail and huge gaping grins.

The object of the game - the huge gaping grin, lol. Good luck.

9. Re: Living with the locals

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