Things You Need to Know
Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that can help you to better prepare for your volunteer vacation.
1. Are there any visa requirements or need to apply for a work permit?
You will not need a work permit to participate in voluntary work on the island however, depending on your nationality or country of residence you may need a visa. Some Commonwealth countries, as well as citizens of the United States of America, Canada and The United Kingdom, do not require visas for entry into Jamaica. All other passport holders, however, are required to either obtain a Jamaican visa prior to or upon entry into the island. For more details visit: http://www.jhcottawa.ca/ and for information specific to your country visit:
2. Is there an age limit for volunteering?
While the average volunteer falls between 14 – 50 years of age, there is no specific age limit set for volunteering. To be certain you will have to get this information from the project manager, however, there are volunteering programs for families that are generally inclusive of both young and old.
3. Will you need any special vaccinations or immunizations?
No matter the destination it is recommended that all travelers are up to date on routine vaccinations before departing from their country. Vaccinations especially recommended for travel to Jamaica are: Hepatitis A, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis B, Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) and Tetanus-diphtheria. Always consult with your doctor before your trip for the latest immunization recommendations.http://mdtravelhealth.com/destinations/mamerica_carib/jamaica.php
4. Will you need insurance?
Volunteers can secure some form of insurance policy before traveling to Jamaica. If you can choose to have insurance, suggested coverage should include: Major medical cover and loss of personal effects. Visit http://www.volunteercard.com/ and http://www.worldnomads.com/ for more information.
5. What should you pack?
Jamaica’s tropical climate means sunshine all year round with instances of rainfall. We suggest you pack modest shorts, T-shirts, tank tops, sneakers (trainers), flip-flops or sandals and other garments made from light materials. Depending on what time of the year you visit and where you stay you will need a sweater/jacket and long pants as it may get a little chilly during the evening time. Sunglasses, sunblock, reusable water bottle, and swimwear may also come in very handy during your stay. Of course, don’t forget your toiletries, documents, ID, money, and camera. You may take your cellular phone if it is unlocked and purchase a sim card from a local mobile carrier; otherwise, in some places, you may have access to WIFI. Reasonably priced mobile phones are available for purchase on the island.
Consult with your project manager for more details on what to pack.