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More Facts About Jamaica

Jamaican Dollar.
The United States dollar is accepted in most places. The value of the Jamaican Dollar floats and at August 31 '00, one United States dollar could buy about forty-one Jamaican dollars.

Many visitors are unable to understand Jamaicans speaking the local patois (pronounced "pat-wah") which is used to varying degrees in daily life. Most Jamaicans are able to understand English-speaking visitors. If you want to know what phrases like "cockroach have no business a fowl dance" mean consult
The Jamaica Dictionary

Jamaican coat of arms 
Jamaica's Coat of Arms

Eastern Standard Time
Jamaica does not observe daylight-saving time.

Tap water is filtered and purified. Most Jamaicans drink the water directly from the tap. Some visitors prefer to drink bottled water.

Annual Holidays
New Year's Day, January 1
Ash Wednesday, date varies
Good Friday, date varies
Easter Monday, date varies
Labour Day, last Monday in May
Emancipation Day, August 1
Independence Day, first Monday in August
National Heroes Day, third Monday in October
Christmas Day, December 25
Boxing Day, December 26

Brief History
Columbus arrived on 4 May 1494 to find the Arawak Indians, a peaceful people inhabiting the coastal areas. The Arawaks did not survive Spanish rule which ended in 1655 when the British invaded. Under British rule, Jamaica prospered with sugar cane becoming the most important industy. African slaves were introduced to work on the estates and their descendants today make up the majority of the population.

Jamaica became independent on 6 August 1962. Jamaica has since been a democracy with a government patterned along the lines of the British, there being an elected parliament and a prime minister.

Tourism is now the most important industry, followed by the mining of bauxite, and then agriculture.


Flag of Jamaica

Gold, Black and Green
Black symbolizes the hardships overcome and to be faced, gold the natural wealth and beauty of sunlight, and green for hope and agricultural resources.

National Bird
Doctor Bird
One of the most outstanding of all species of hummingbirds, the Doctor Bird lives only in Jamaica.

National Fruit
This edible fruit was brought to Jamaica from West Africa in the 18th century. Many eat it for breakfast and, when cooked, it tastes and looks like scrambled eggs. The fruit must not be cooked until they have opened naturally. Until then, they are very poisonous.

National Flower
Lignum Vitae
Indigenous to Jamaica, this plant is considered to have medicinal qualities.

National Tree
This is a local hardwood, very popular for furniture. It's an attractive blue-green wood with yellow intrusions.

Reggae, Dance Hall, Ska, Mento

Famous Jamaicans
Bob Marley
Usain Bolt

Famous Films
The Harder They Come
Cool Runnings

Enjoy Jamaica while staying in Jamaica accommodation rentals.

Map of Jamaica

Map of the Caribbean

More information on Jamaica

Things to do in Jamaica

Source: Various publications including "Destination Jamaica", the Official Visitor Magazine of the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association.