Jamaica is formerly a Spanish possession known as Santiago, it later became the British West Indies Crown colony of Jamaica. It is the third most populous English-speaking country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada. Jamaica slowly gained independence from the United Kingdom and in 1958.
Jamaica’s prosperity has dimished since the 1980s as major alimina companies have closed or left the country and unemploymnet remins moderately high.The economy is now heavily dependent on services, which now account for more than 60% of GDP. The country continues to derive most of its foreign exchange from tourism, remittances sent home from Jamaicans living abroad, and some bauxite/alumina mining. The economy faces serious long-term problems especiallly as recurrent violence from rival gangs affiliated with the major political parties have evolved into powerful organized crime networks involved in international drug smuggling and money laundering. Violent crime, drug trafficking, and poverty pose significant challenges to the government today. Nonetheless, many rural and resort areas remain relatively safe and contribute substantially to the economy.

Montego Bay is the tourism capital on the north shore. Numerous resorts offer a sun-filled havens for Europeans and north Americans. With about 120,000 people. The city has recently suffered negative publicity due to the extremely high crime rate, with more than 176 murders in 2006 (up from 144 in 2005) and a murder rate approximately 28 times higher than that of New York City



Along with being a very homophobic country with several gay murders and assaults in the past few years, Jamaica has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Every year since 2000 Jamaica has reached over 1000 murders, in which 2005 murder count was 1,674 the highest ever recorded. Almost 46% of murders that occur in Jamaica happen within Kingston, which 95% almost always occur in the depressed garrison neighborhoods of downtown Kingston.

Away from the troubles and violence, along the north shore, is the home of Noel Coward.

Read the story about gay Jamaica

Rose Hall former plantation
Rose Hall former plantation...
Lawn bowling by the sea
Lawn bowling by the sea...
Local version of Meals on Wheels
Local version of Meals on Wheels...
North shore upscale seaside resort
North shore upscale seaside resort...
North shore downscale seaside resort
North shore downscale seaside resort...
Sea front fishing
Sea front fishing...
North Shore street
North Shore street...
Local shop selling jerk (pork)
Local shop selling jerk (pork)...
James Bond beach
James Bond beach...
Local rest stop
Local rest stop...
Gravel and sand mill
Gravel and sand mill...
North shore scene with old ruins
North shore scene with old ruins...
Afro-Jamaican heritage symbol
Afro-Jamaican heritage symbol...
Local roadside market (Asian owned)
Local roadside market (Asian owned)...
Decorative metal sculpture pictures
Decorative metal sculpture pictures...
Entry sign to James Bond Beach (near Ian Fleming's house)
Entry sign to James Bond Beach (near Ian Fleming's house)...
Local color and construction
Local color and construction...
Jah (Rastafrian for 'God') Willy (?) Calabash (Drinking place)--closed
Jah (Rastafrian for 'God') Willy (?) Calabash (Drinking plac...
Looking toward James Bond beach
Looking toward James Bond beach...
Shoreline stones and trash
Shoreline stones and trash...
Looking toward Noel Coward's house across Blue Harbor
Looking toward Noel Coward's house across Blue Harbor...
Typical colorful shed
Typical colorful shed...
On the beach
On the beach...
Speaks for itself
Speaks for itself...
Local village life
Local village life...
Local village life
Local village life...