22 The Daly News. Friday. Auuat 14. 196
Jamaica has a lot to offer with historical sites, eco-tourism
This fourth column on Jamaica
focuses on the continuation of the
economical development of the
island specifically with historical
sites and eco-tomi. Bmtdes iaen-
ti6fic papes presented o agriculture
and the environment at the 34th
annual Caribbean Food Crops Soci-
ety meetings that I attended a few
weeks ago in Jamaica, we also got a
chance to see some of the island's
farms, historical sites and eco-
One of our scenic tours in
Jamaica was the south coast of the
island, which took over four hours
including stops along the way.
Aong to amone local pon til I
telkd to on the tour, the south coast
is te last hostir of plamed tourism
developlons. Thib isa in the ceana
of a new experiment to a tourist-
hoast relationuhip called "CDmuity
tomism." it appeals to ecrveler.
The area includes the Black
River, Mandcvilie, measuree Beach
and Crtisliase to Milk River in the
east region, which is40squammiles
It offers some of Jamaica's best eco-
logical contrasts and environmental
In this areas. we visited a hitorical
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site called "Lover's Leap." Legend
has it that two slaves fell in love. The
slave woman was a mulatto who
loved another slave on the plantation.
The brother of the mulatto slave
woman rattede" on bis sister to the
slave master about the love affair
between his sister and the other
slave. The slave master also loved
the slave woman and wanted her for
himself. Both slaves were warned
not to ee each other or they will be
dealt with. The two slaves continued
to soe each other despite warnings
from their slave master.
To make a long story story short, the
two slaves saw their slave master
coming towards them from afar on a
white bhoe. Without thinking proba-
bly, the two slaves jumped off the
cliff and killed themselves. This hap-
pened in the 1700s. Thus, the name
"Lovers Leap' became a popular
tourist historical site attraction in
This is just one of many historical
sites locals and visitors alike can see
on the island. What I am trying to say
is the economy of Jamaica center's
around the history and the natural
environment of the island. Believe
me, when you see a Jamaican. you
see yourself because we all are one
C bean pes.
Jamaica's culue, history and nat-
urali beauty me extremely rich, and
they selail their island a tourmi cdest-
nation to the wordd. Such eoo-touist
attaction is the road that climbs up
In the clouds of Blue Mountain
which is 7,402 feet above sea leved.
Other high peaks in Jamaica are John
Crow, 5,750 feet, St. John Peak
6,334 feet and Mossman's Peak
6.703 feet above sea level.
As you drive or hike through the
mountains, you will see large bam-
boo forest sharing the rain forest
environment with tropical vines,
banana plants, ferns and coconut
trees. About 3,000 feet elevation in
the mountains, you will enter Blue
Mountain coffee region. Her, you
can stop and stretch your legs and
enjoy a cup of Blue Mountain coffee
as you continue driving or hiking the
There is about 250 species of
birds living in these mountains. The
mountains are also home to the six-
inch swallowtail butterfly the largest
butterfly in the Western Hemisphere.
Horseback riding is also a popular
tourist attraction. There are trails that
lead for miles hfom the coast, forest
to historical sites throughout the
island. Such trails on feet are the
Clydesdale Forest Reserve and the
Otinchona Botanical Gardens.
You can visit the Maroons in the
island's center, but rugged regions.
Like St. Croix's geological make up
of limestone or coral reefs, two-
thirds of Jamaica is limestones or
what we call on St. Croix -white
marls. This area of Jamaica's
Maroon country gives you a sense of
almost pre-historic time. You can
feel the spirit of the once enslaved
Tourists also feel the history of
Jamaica and appreciate it whenever
they visit this part of the island. The
heartbeat of the late Bob Marley's
spirit can also be felt in this region,
In fact, Jamaica is nothing, but a Bob
Marley tourist industry in Itself.
Jamaica has many rivers and
waterfalls. Some of the most devel-
oped tourist attraction are waterfalls
- in the parish of Portland and thr
Y.S. Falls that I visited in St. Eliza.
beth. Black River is also a tourist
attraction. It is almost 43 miles long
Here you can see several species ol
birds and Jamaican crocodile as you
sail up the river.
Then, there is river rafting at
Ocho Rios and many caves around
the island to visit. From marine life
to historical sites, bird watching,
cacti to orchids, adventures, the natu.
ral environment of the island is a glo-
rious sight to those that visit its
shores. From what I saw in Jamaica,
eco-tourist is the heart beat of the
Next week's column will focus
on Bob Marley as a major tourist
industry in Jamaica and worldwide.
This article reflects the view o/
Olasee Davis, a St. Croix ecologur,
activist and writer who has a master
of science degree in range manage
men andforestry ecology.