History of Jamaica
History of Jamaica is said to be some of the friendliest in the world. Although we are well known for our amazing mountains and beautiful beaches, they are good and friendly people who make our island home away from home. Your most special moments will be when you meet the people of Jamaica.
Jamaica’s slogan “One of many” summarizes the melting pot of our island’s cultures.
The voyage began when Christopher Columbus discovered the island in 1494 and claimed it in Spain. In 1655, Admiral William Penn fought the Spanish and occupied the island for England.
The British quickly realized that the island was ideal for Chinese development. In order to grow sugar profitably, cheap labor was needed, and English makers mainly fulfilled this requirement by importing slaves from West Africa. By the end of the sixteenth century Jamaica was established as a major producer of sugar.
In 1834, slavery was officially abolished, but the need for cheap labor still exists. As a result, plantation owners found indentured laborers, now known as “contract workers.” Most of these races were English, Jewish, Chinese, Indian, Lebanese, German and French Creole. They settled in different parts of the island and introduced their customs, religion and food.
The descendants of slaves now make up the majority of Jamaica’s population, and Chinese farming continues to affect our culture and lives today. Most of the other nationalities introduced here today are either married or mixed-race children.
As you wander around the island on your tour, find African, African roots as well as people of many races who have impacted this land and understand that our mission is “to outdo many people”