JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Over 60 students from Corporate Area high schools will benefit from a heritage project being undertaken by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s (JCDC) 2015 Festival Queen for Kingston and St. Andrew, Michelle Thomas.
  • Dubbed ‘#TOURSBJCM,’ the project focuses on creating awareness and appreciation of Jamaica’s first World Heritage Site, the Blue and John Crow Mountains, through educational tours.
  • The students, from St. Andrew High School for Girls, Vauxhall, Pembroke Hall, Denham Town, Edith Dalton High, among others, will tour the area free of cost on October 20 and 22, as part of National Heritage Week celebrations.

Over 60 students from Corporate Area high schools will benefit from a heritage project being undertaken by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s (JCDC) 2015 Festival Queen for Kingston and St. Andrew, Michelle Thomas.

Dubbed ‘#TOURSBJCM,’ the project focuses on creating awareness and appreciation of Jamaica’s first World Heritage Site, the Blue and John Crow Mountains, through educational tours.

The students, from St. Andrew High School for Girls, Vauxhall, Pembroke Hall, Denham Town, Edith Dalton High, among others, will tour the area free of cost on October 20 and 22, as part of National Heritage Week celebrations.

“I intend to expose students to the tangible and intangible aspects of our rich cultural and natural heritage,” Miss Thomas said, at the media launch of the project at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre in St. Andrew on October 13.

She noted that the inscription of the Blue and John Crow Mountains on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Prestigious World Heritage List “is something we ought to be proud and celebrative of. The youth should be a part of the process of championing the cause of ensuring that every Jamaican knows about this heritage site.”

Through the educational tours, conducted by EducaTours Jamaica, the students will benefit from innovations, which aim to make their experience youth-friendly, exciting and memorable.

“Upon entering the Blue and John Crow Mountains, students will be divided into teams and will work together to conduct flora and fauna discovery, quiz and team building activities, treasure and scavenger hunts,” Miss Thomas said.

Winning teams will receive culture passports courtesy of the Ministry of Youth and Culture, among other gifts and awards.

Custos Rotulorum of Kingston, Hon. Steadman Fuller, in endorsing ‘#TOURSBJCM’, said it “will invigorate the minds of Jamaicans. I wish to congratulate Michelle on a great programme.”

Principal Director, Culture and Creative Industries in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Dr. Janice Lindsay, noted that the project could provide a boost for other initiatives being undertaken by the Ministry.

“It is evident it could ricochet into other areas of the Ministry’s portfolio such as encouraging more schools to form culture clubs and the pushing of the culture passport as well,” she noted.

The Blue and John Crow Mountains, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in July this year, joins a list of iconic sites such as the Great Wall of China, The Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, The Taj Mahal of India, Acropolis of Athens, Great Barrier Reef in Australia, as well as the Pitons in St. Lucia.

The National Park spans sections of the parishes of St. Andrew, St. Thomas, and Portland. It is the largest contiguous area of natural forest in Jamaica, protecting 193 acres of forest on mountain slopes, comprising 10 watershed management units spanning four parishes.

The area is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, being home to the Maroons, whose traditions are recognised by UNESCO as masterpieces of world culture.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, is expected to launch the World Heritage Site on October 30.