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The VolunTourist™ is a premium Newsletter for the Travel Trade. For those interested in discovering what is happening in the world of VolunTourism and seeking emerging practices, general information, and case studies, this is your Source.

Volume 5 Issue 2 Highlights

 

Supply Chain

Jamaica Adventure Secrets

What happens when a 12-year old girl is benefited by the kindness of travelers from another country? Do we ever hear stories like this? Well, Maureen Wright-Evans has decided to take the generosity of two tourists from Canada and "pay-it-forward." Jamaica Adventure Secrets is her vision of how to combine her love for Jamaica's majestic landscape and munificent culture and share both with those who are also willing to give of their time, talent, and treasure - what she once received years ago, dramatically changing her life.

Background & History Of Jamaica Adventure Secrets

Jamaica Adventure Secrets was born from Maureen Wright-Evans' desire to make her passion become her work. Here, the story of how the company began:

With over 25 years in sales and marketing, Maureen was known in Jamaica as a top insurance advisor. She worked for the leading life insurance company, Life of Jamaica (now Sagicor Life Jamaica) for 22 years and was named, Rookie of the Year, super woman producer, and member of the Million Dollar Table, reaching the  ‘Court of the Table’ several times.

In 2001, Maureen became restless and wanted to do something different but exciting. “I struggled with how I could combine my interests in my daily living with my work," she has said. "I had fears that life would pass me by and that I wouldn’t get to do the things I always wanted to do. I soon began to search for new product lines for my company, Summer Isle Event Marketing.” Through this company she had pioneered several initiatives in Jamaican overseas communities on behalf of local banks and insurance companies.

Apart from selling the more traditional travel offering, Maureen wanted to find a way to inject her other passions into the company and asked herself "What can I give to help the people of Jamaica?" and "How can I make a difference using my love of travel and adventure?" The answer to these questions came with one word "Volunteering". Maureen then decided to create Volunteer Adventure Packages which would give volunteers a chance to share their skills and talents while getting back through the cultural enrichment of the island.

In her mind’s eye she saw adventurers exploring the famous Blue Mountains, Port Royal, Dunn's River Falls, and all the exotic and beautiful sights of Jamaica while giving back and making a difference in local communities. With an experienced team, which includes, Maureen’s husband and two sons, Summer Isle ventured in the VolunTourism market targeting Jamaica in overseas communities.

In 2008, Jamaica Adventure Secrets was launched and is now the lead company providing tours and packages for travelers seeking thrilling Adventure Getaways. For others who would like to make a difference by volunteering, there are packages that offer a "Taste of Volunteering" and others that give a longer experience combined with exciting day tours and cultural visits.

A Philosophy Based Upon Personal Experience

"How a Gift Changed My Life…and Started Me on the Journey of VolunTourism"

Someone gave me a life changing gift.

Here’s my true story of how that gift charted the course of my life to become a volunteer adventurer:

At the age of twelve, I lived with my three brothers and mother, a single parent. My mother was a housekeeper/cook who worked in a villa in the hills of the resort town San-San, Jamaica. Since my mother was poor and could not afford supervision for me during her work hours, she would hide me after school each day in the staff quarters. Unknown to my mother, I would wander on the beach and talk to the guests about Jamaica.

One day, as I was wandering on the beach, I met a couple from Windsor, Canada, who were so impressed with my love for Jamaica that they found my mother and offered to be my sponsor. They paid for my education through college and this opened opportunities for me that I had never dreamt of.

My life’s journey has taken me over many careers and through several business enterprises.  I have enjoyed them all. But the kindness the Canadian tourists showed me and my love for Jamaica stayed with me over the years. This seed blossomed into my company, Jamaica Adventure Secrets.

I now feel that my life is more complete as I am providing a new travel experience where travelers have a quick and easy way to discover authentic Jamaica with the option to volunteer.

Travelers who have experienced a tour through Jamaica Adventure Secrets are often so moved by the experience that they write about it. They touched lives and made a difference in several communities. They have inspired me by their dedication and commitment. Each day I feel that I am not just earning an income in my work, but helping many other little girls and boys find that special “Tourist” who may give him/her a life changing gift.

Eight Volunteer Opportunities With Jamaica Adventure Secrets

Teaching
Teachers are needed for reading, math, arts and crafts, sports, IT, counselling, drama, and several other areas. 

Building Maintenance
Working as a building maintenance volunteer involves some carpentry, painting, plumbing, or other general construction work. Many schools and other buildings located in some of the poorest neighbourhoods have leaky roofs and bathrooms, or they may need desks or chairs repaired. Peeling walls also need painting.

Volunteering with Disabled Children
Schools and homes provide services for the blind, the deaf, and those with physical challenges. They need help learning new skills and techniques used by the developed world. Play with them, do drama or craft-making, or just engage them in sports.

Health Care Volunteer 
Opportunities are available in hospitals, cancer hospices, and centers for HIV/AIDS. Many sick or terminally ill persons need help with feeding or just someone to talk to. Just reading to them or holding their hands and showing them that you care is sometimes all that is needed. 

Career Guidance Volunteer 
If you are an entrepreneur or have professional skills, there are many opportunities available to attend a school and hold a discussion on options in your area for career choices. Many students need help in making career choices, especially for non-traditional careers. 

Coaching
Children who live in children’s homes or poor communities are rich in talent but lack the coaching to develop their skills. Be a coach and give them the feeling of being a winner. 

Volunteer by Holding Workshops 
If you are a professional or have a skill, do workshops and pass on your knowledge to others. Many teachers in secondary education and trade training schools can benefit from your knowledge of the latest technological development in their area. 

Help Develop a Computer Department
Many schools in Jamaica need to set up an Internet department or need computer support. If you have expertise in setting up a database or know about software development, there are numerous areas to serve.

Travel Opportunities In Jamaica

Jamaica is an exotic Island with many rivers, waterfalls, and some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. We have a rich and vibrant culture with some of the friendliest people. It is difficult to find a more exciting place for amazing adventures to be combined with volunteering.

Volunteers to Jamaica have the option of staying in guest houses, villas or homes in local communities. Living among Jamaicans provides the perfect opportunity to learn quickly about the culture. Our food is vibrant.  Food in Jamaica is not just a meal but a "Culinary Feast." You’ll also be introduced to our herbs, fruits, festivals and music.

In the evenings, weekends and selected days, you will have the opportunity of discovering Jamaica through day tours. Our aim is to make you fall in love with Jamaica. You’ll have the choice of travelling to Dunn’s River Falls, a cascading waterfall, exploring the awesome Blue Mountains and learning about Jamaica’s reggae king, Bob Marley. And there’s much, much more.

Jamaica’s motto is “Out of many one people” – This means there are many races that make up the island people. This difference offers the traveler many opportunities to learn about our history. You’ll discover how the different races came to Jamaica to work on the sugar plantation and how they stayed and provide today a melting pot of cultures.

Jamaica is a shopper’s paradise. Shopping is one of the surest ways to learn about Jamaica. You’ll have many opportunities to go shopping to take back Jamaican treasures and souvenirs.

A Sample Itinerary

Departures: 8: -8:30 am --Depart Hotel and travel to School/ Children’s Home.
 Welcome and introductions to teachers and students.
 

9:30:- 12:15 pm

Volunteer 2-5 hours (flexible) and spend time with students - share computer skills, athletic activities, give a lecture on what you do for a living.

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm LUNCH

Meet other students and several members of the school community during this time. Have lunch and sample delicious authentic Jamaican foods.

1:30 – 2:30 CULTURAL PRESNTATION BY STUDENTS

Here’s your opportunity to learn more about the culture of Jamaica in one hour than most tourists do in weeks. See children in traditional and contemporary dances. Hear stories, songs and poems.

2:30-3:45 Tour Bob Marley Museum
          
3:45 – 4:15 pm Return hotel/accommodation

Contact information

For additional information about our packages or general inquiries contact us:

From USA
Toll free: USA: 718-878-5588
Other Destinations: 876-969-4158 or Mobile: 876-798-8912

Email: Info@jamaicaadventuresecrets.com
Mailing Address: 11A Cargill Avenue, Kingston 10
Jamaica, W.I.

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