Important Facts About Jamaica Before Moving to Jamaica

jamaicaflag1 Before moving to Jamaica, it is important that you gather as much information as you can about the country, its society, land, government, economic, education, etc.’
The more you know, the better you are prepared, and the easier you adjust to expatriate living in Jamaica.

Jamaica – Overview

Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles. It is located in the Caribbean Sea, about 145 km, south of Cuba, and 190 km west of the island of Hispaniola, where Haiti and the Dominican Republic are situated.
Capital – Kingston
Political System – A parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy with the monarch being represented by a Governor-General.
Population – Around 2,804,332
Language – Official language is English but many Jamaicans speak Jamaican Patois (Patwa), which is an English–African creole language, and is quite hard to understand.
Time Zones – UTC/GMT -5 hours
Religion – The Majority are Christians. Islam, Bahai faith, Buddhism and Hinduism can also be found in Jamaica.
Ethnic Groups: Black (90.9%), mixed (7.3%), East Indian (1.3%), white (0.2%), Chinese (0.2%)
Driving – Driving in Jamaica is on the left-hand side of the road with steering wheels on the right.
Economy – Jamaica is a mixed economy with state enterprises as well as private sector businesses. Major sectors of the Jamaican economy include agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism and financial and insurance services.
Communication – Jamaica has a fully digital telephone communication system with a mobile penetration of over 95%.
Jamaica Currency – Jamaican Dollar
Electricity – 110 V / 50 Hz
International Dialing Code – 1 876
Internet TLD (top level domain) – .jm
Jamaica Weather – tropical climate: mostly hot and humid, although higher inland regions have a more temperate climate. Jamaica lies in the hurricane belt of the Atlantic Ocean; as a result, the island sometimes experiences significant storm damage. The average temperature is: 82 F (28 C), and the average rainfall is 78 inches annually (1981 mm annually). The wettest months are between May and November, and the hurricane season runs from June to November.


Some Challenges You Might Face When Moving to Jamaica

Crime is one of the largest concerns – Jamaica has a high murder rate, violent crime (armed robbery and car-jacking), and drug trafficking. This can certainly impact your daily life, and restrict your movement in Jamaica. The government is trying to fight crime and to stop illegal cocaine ports, but with no great success till now.
Cost of living in Jamaica – Some things are quite cheap (home help, personal care – like manicure, pedicure and massages), but other things can be pretty expensive like housing, electricity, food (especially if you choose to buy imported brands), clothing, vehicle, school fee (for private schools), and taxes (the GCT is fairly high, and is added to the prices you see in the stores).
Roads – The roads are rough and not well maintained, so it can take a long time to get to places. Also, the drivers are wild, and there are lots of accidents.
Corruption and Bribery – You need to know someone in order to get things done. And bribery is not uncommon – some expats said they had to bribe a traffic policeman in order to get their way out.
Slow-Motion – Things get done very slowly – Later doesn’t really mean later and soon comes doesn’t mean shortly or promptly. Many expats complain about the level of customer service and un-professionalism. For expats who are moving to Jamaica from western countries and are used for a different rhythm it might take a while to adjust if ever.
Poverty and Distribution of Wealth – The poverty is very apparent. There is a lot of begging on the streets, and a high rate of unemployment. Some expats claim that there are huge social prejudices, discrimination and economic divides. And that all those have a big impact on professional opportunities in Jamaica.
Because Jobs are hard to find, it is important that you would be aware of the huge difficulties that your trailing spouse will face when searching for a job n Jamaica. It is therefore wise to look for a job through an international company before moving to Jamaica.

Moving to Jamaica – The Fun Stuff

Many are fond of the weather, and love the beaches and mountains. The best part of it is you don’t have to pay tons of money to go on holiday.
Jamaican culture, food, and music, are a great experience. They are very colorful and unique. It is not uncommon to see Jamaicans dancing and singing in the street and in the supermarket etc.
The Jamaican people are very friendly, caring, easy going, and very helpful.
Some expats might find that Jamaica is lacking cultural life, but others are pleased with the variety of restaurants, coffee shops, night clubs, and bars.
You can find some more fascinating and thrilling facts about Jamaica in the Ebook – Intriguing Facts About Jamaica written by Wellesley Gayle, a proud and patriotic Jamaican.

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