About Jamaica

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Jamaica is one of the three islands in the Northern Caribbean forming the Greater Antilles. It is the largest English-speaking country in the Caribbean Sea, stretching 235 km from east to west. Jamaica is well placed on the world’s major shipping and airline routes. Jamaica has the seventh largest natural harbour in the world, Kingston Harbour. The country’s name is derived from an Arawak word “Xaymaca”, meaning “land of wood and water”.

Official Name: Jamaica
Official Language: English
Capital: Kingston
Independence Day: August 6, 1962.
Form of Government: Parliamentary Monarchy
Total Population: 2,83 million
Currency: Jamaica Dollar (JMD)
Time Zone: UTC – 5 hours
Major cities: Kingston , Negril, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, PortAntonio, Mandeville
Religion: Protestant (about 2/3 of the population)
Climate: Tropical, approximately 25 – 27 °C
Rainy season: May – June and September – November
Jamaica is populated by largely descendents of the freed African slaves brought over to the island by the Spanish and British. Tourism and mining are the two most profitable economic sectors along with agriculture and manufacturing. Jamaica has been an independent country since 1962 when it ceased to be a British colony but remains part of the British Commonwealth.
Jamaica’s lush colourful landscapes act as muse for its people. These vibrant colours are reflected in the visual arts. Jamaicans have produced some of the best paintings, sculptures, and pottery in the Caribbean. Jamaican artists draw influences from their diverse culture. These colourful works of art include precious treasures produced by unconventional artists ranging from the academic to the self-taught artisan.
The official language of Jamaica is English. However, most likely you will hear traces of what sounds like a foreign tongue. The language on the streets is called Patois. Patois is a combination of English, Spanish, Portuguese and African phrases which sounds more rhythmic then traditional English.
Jamaica’s climate is tropical and is one of the few nations that enjoy a somewhat consistent low and high temperature throughout the year.