Jamaica

In 1887 The Salvation Army started working in Kingston, where after they spread throughout the island of Jamaica. The country is part of the Caribbean Territory. Within the territory, there are 130 corps and 45 outposts where 998 employees, 324 salvation officers and 11,812 salvation soldiers are employed. (source: Salvation Army yearbook 2019)

General

Capital: Kingston
Surface area: 10.991 km²`
Number of inhabitants: 2.881.000
Language: English
Religion: Protestant and Rastafari
Currency: Jamaican dollar
Form of Government: parliamentary monarchy 

Development

Jamaica has a score of 0.720 on the Human Development Index (HDI). This is a composite number that includes numbers pertaining to life expectancy, education and income per capita. This number is used to rank countries in four levels of human development. The higher these factors, the higher the index number. According to the HDI, Jamaica is ranked 94 out of 186 countries. The life expectancy at birth is 76 years. Primary school is mandatory in Jamaica and the average time people receive education is almost 12 years. However, the quality of education is a major challenge. Children under the age of six go to so-called basic schools, after which they go to primary school (in cities) or all-age schools (in the countryside). In the countryside, the classes are often big, with more than 50 students. About 50% of the children go on to receive secondary education after graduating from primary school. (Sources: UNDP, country web, CIA factbook

History

The name of Jamaica comes from the Arawak Indian language. It means ‘the land of forest and water’. Around 700 A.C., the Arawak Indians landed in Jamaica by travelling from the South American continent through the Little and Great Antilles. At the beginning of the 16th century, Spanish colonists arrived in Jamaica and built the first settlement, Sevilla Nueva. Later they built the first capital of Jamaica, Villa de la Vega. In 1655, 38 ships of Englishmen arrived in the harbor of the capital. Because the Spanish had left to travel north, the English could take over the island easily. The English government continued to rule Jamaica, with slavery of the local population as a result, which was common in the other colonies as well. In 1838 slavery was abolished and Jamaica became a crown colony. Jamaica’s peace and prosperity during independence quickly came to an end when World War I started and a global crisis took over in the thirties. (source: landenweb

Politics and Economy

Jamaica is an independent parliamentary democracy whose queen is the English queen Elizabeth II. She is represented by a governor-general.In 1938, the first unions and political parties were established. Since independence, Jamaican politics has been dominated by two parties: the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP), founded by Sir Alexander Bustamente, and the People's National Party (PNP) by Norman Manley. These two parties were in power during the twentieth century, alternating periods of reign. New parties were not formed until the beginning of the 1990s when the JLP experienced unrest in its party, resulting in the creation of a new political party in 1995, the National Democratic Movement (NDM). In 2001, a new party was set up, the United People's Party (UPP). Since March 2016, Andrew Holness is the prime minister of the PNP. (source: landenweb

Culture

Jamaica is known for its music, especially reggae which is famous through the legendary Bob Marley. He was the lead singer of the The Wailers in 1964. The lyrics of their songs were mostly inspired by politics and by the Rastafari religion. Next to music, theater and dance are also important parts of the Jamaican culture.