The Jamaica Experience

Monday, May 11 to Wednesday, May 20 2015

Ten to twelve Loyola students are selected each year to participate in The Jamaica Experience in Kingston, Jamaica. (Recruitment is now closed for this program.) NOTE: Recruitment for the May 2015 program is now over.


  • TO SERVE: Participants will work with those of the greatest need -- the impoverished & challenged, the disadvantaged young and the elderly.
  • TO LEARN: Participants will have an opportunity to explore the political, sociological, and economic issues that have created the environment and situation in which they will find themselves.

HISTORY OF LOCATION: Contrary to its advertising to lure tourists, Jamaica is an island nation of scarce resources and intense poverty. The city of Kingston is a crowded urban area where hundreds of thousands are living in the deepest poverty. It is a city where there are very limited social services and where many people live seeking the basic necessities of life.

EXPLANATION OF TRIP: The type of work on The Jamaica Experience will vary at each site, and include helping serve meals, washing/shaving, entertaining or writing letters, tutoring or sports & games, painting/ cleaning/ fixing up. The volunteer work sites can vary, but most likely will be:

  • Riverton City Early Education Centre,  a school located at a shanty town settlement built on the old Kingston garbage dump.
  • Calaloo Mews Basic School, a primary school located across from Riverton City.
  • The Home for the Destitute and Dying, a home for the elderly run by Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity.
  • Missionaries of the Poor Bethlehem Home, an orphanage for physically and mentally challenged children and young adults.
  • Bustamante Children's Hospital, the only children's hospital on the island of Jamaica.

COST:  Fundraising with a goal $1500. This covers air transportation (New Orleans /Kingston) local transportation, housing and meals for the entire week. Participants will be asked to fund-raise as a group and individually and assistance in such will be given. A $100 non-refundable deposit is required upon acceptance. 

OTHER REQUIREMENTS: (Recruitment for 2016 program begins in October 2015)

  • Applications Due: October 17, 2014
  • Interviews: October 20 - 31, 2014
  • Post-Selection Meeting: Late November 2014
  • Overnight Retreat: Jan 23 to  Jan 24, 2015
  • Pre-Trip: Participants will gather weekly in the Spring Semester
  • Post-Trip: Final & Joint Reflection in Fall 2015 Semester
  • Hepatitis A & Hepatitis B Vaccination
  • U.S. Passport Required or Jamaican Visa for Non-U.S. citizens
  • $100 non-refundable deposit upon acceptance

    For further information, write 



Give Now