Blue Mountain Project
In an effort to promote sustainable community development, the Blue Mountain Project is committed to enriching the lives of rural Jamaican communities by providing assistance with basic healthcare, educational resources, and training opportunities.
The Blue Mountains are located 10 miles from Kingston, Jamaica. Here you will find Jamaica's highest mountain peeks, over 7,000 feet above sea level. A small number of adventurous travelers take the challenge of hiking to the peak, where one can see Cuba on a clear morning. However, most of the time you will find a community of positive, hardworking people.
The mountains are covered with coffee farms and mango trees. Unfortunately, these coffee farmers take detrimental losses on their crops each year due to erosion and lack of equipment. Although this Jamaican java sells for over $35 per pound, these farmers only earn $10-$20 per day. There is no fair trade coffee from Jamaica.
The people walk almost everywhere as the infrastructure and access to transportation barely exists. Roads are not paved and are extremely narrow and dangerous. The roads become worse during the hurricane season. as a result of landslides and flooding. Sometimes the roads are completely impassable, leaving entire villages cut off from food and other necessities.
The Blue Mountain Project clinic opened in February of 2006, which provides basic health services for free. The Blue Mountain Project is engaged in a Capital Campaign to raise $25,00 to add dorms and a clean water system for visiting medical professionals. This improvement will expand the services that are offered to the community.
Programs that the BMP offers include: Hagley Gap Health Clinic: A free basic clinic offering services such as basic health checks, wound cleanings, blood pressure checks, blood sugar testing, mental health counseling and public health education.
Fun Camp: Free educational day camp that expands the minds of the children in Blue Mountains. A free hot lunch is provided. L.I.G.H.T - Adult training program designed to give young men and women job skills and educational opportunities.
Ambassadors: Non-Jamaican volunteers who live and work in the Blue Mountains for 12 months in exchange for room and board.
Service Learning Training Program: A training program giving locals the opportunities to learn about tourism industry first hand by coordinating the various aspects of the Service Learning Program for the foreign volunteers. Despite the hardships that the people face every day, one is sure to witness smiles on faces and hear the positive vibrations of reggae music echoing throughout the Blue Mountains.
Here's Hagley Gap at a Glance: The People Hagley Gap, a small village of approximately 1,000 residents, is nestled in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. The town square consists of one streetlight and about ten little shops, varying from bars to grocery stores to fast food stands. Its residents reside in the surrounding mountainsides between the square and the Negro River. The people are generally happy and peaceful. Its demographics are diverse in age, yet homogenous in race.