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Jamaica Gap Year Programme

Community, environment and adventure


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Jamaica Travel and Contribution

Community, Culture and Environment

Currently on hold.

Spend your gap year in Jamaica - on a perfectly formed Caribbean Island, in the West Indies – home to the famous Blue Mountains, rolling plantations of bananas and coffee, glorious beaches, waterfalls, coral reefs, the blue lagoon, creole food and of course reggae music – the heartbeat of the people. The capital Kingston has a lively night life with bars, clubs, and restaurants, and has been declared a "Creative City of Music" by UNESCO.

This 4-week gap year programme in Jamaica aims for you to explore the contrasting elements of the island, deep dive into their fascinating history, and embrace Jamaican life whilst contributing to community and environment.

Welcome to Jamaica, this is what we have in store for you...

Jamaica Gap Year Programme

This 4-week gap year programme in Jamaica explores the contrasting elements of the island, deep dives into their fascinating history, and embraces Jamaican life whilst contributing to community and environment.

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Jamaica's Program Itinerary

You will all be picked up from Kingston airport and taken to ‘Smokey Manor’ - your home from home for the next 4 weeks.

Smokey Manor is an old colonial house nestled on top of the picturesque hill of Smokey Vale, in the district of St. Andrew. Prepare yourself for breath taking views of the Blue Mountains to the East and Kingston to the South. You will love it here – green, lush with ferns, towering fruit trees, a cool breeze, and panoramic mountains. Heaven.

Your 4 week itinerary will include the following elements all interwoven together to create a fascinating and diverse mix of activities.


Community Development Renovation

Jamaica has become synonymous with crystal clear waters and stunning beaches. However, there is so much more to it than that and like all shiny things there is always another side, and we want to show you just that.

Inland especially you will find lots of off-grid communities who struggle with daily practicalities, and this is where we want you to focus your attention.

The plan here is for you to contribute to a local community centre and give it a full make over – typical jobs: painting, cleaning, and tidying. Gestures like this have a profound effect on community life as they feel your energy and respect to them – instilling pride back into their community. While you will be doing this you will meet lots of incredible characters of all ages and clearly be working to the backdrop of Bob Marley.

You will also help with the weekly local soup kitchen.


Smokey Manor,dorm style accommodation.


2 meals a day provided.
Packed lunches can be made on site or a snack bought when out and about.

Jamaica Gap Year Programme

Environment and Conservation Reforestation and Plastic Pollution

Here you will focus on reforestation projects managed by the National Zoo, getting involved with replanting and caring for their nurseries. Plus beach clean ups with the local kids, teaching them the importance of recycling especially when it comes to plastic.


Smokey Manor, dorm style accommodation.


2 meals a day provided.
Packed lunches can be made on site or a snack bought when out and about.

Jamaica Gap Year Programme

Cultural Immersion Cooking and Culture

Interwoven into your itinerary you will have the chance to experience:

Jamaican Cooking Class
Join a Jamaican chef prepare some mouth-watering dishes - uncover local cooking secrets and learn the secret spices used by their ancestors.

Jamaican Dance Class
Ok, everyone must join in to learn the local moves, like "Lebih Lebih", "Genna Bounce", "Lowi mi nuh" and "Good things Dem".

Sundays: Church Service Tour
Must be experienced as the Jamaicans know how to sing and worship with a vibrancy that is hard to find anywhere else in the world. Their church services are alive with music and dancing. Utter joy.


Smokey Manor, dorm style accommodation.


2 meals a day provided.
Packed lunches can be made on site or a snack bought when out and about.

Jamaica Gap Year Programme
Jamaica Gap Year Programme

Add on Independent Travel

Combine with Costa Rica and Guatemala

What we are finding is that our teams never want to come home post program and choose to add on a phase of independent travel with their new found friends - certainly making the most of their gap year. We can easily support this through our Leap VIP travel resource which every leaper has access to.

Jamaica is the perfect spring board for travelling on to Guatemala or Mexico with flights being reasonable and readily available. If you fancy heading slightly further afield you can head on down to South America to complete your gap year in Peru, Ecuador or Colombia to name a few. Please give us a shout and we can tell you more.

Jamaica Gap Year Programme
Jamaica Gap Year Programme
Jamaica Gap Year Programme
Jamaica Gap Year Programme
Jamaica Gap Year Programme

Options and costs

Whats included?


From hiking Dunn's River Falls to swimming in the crystal clear waters of Clarence Beach, there is so much to do


From learning the local dance moves, cooking like a Jamaican pro, to meeting the locals this is real cultural immersion

Beach Life

Enjoy the tropical beaches for some down time

Social Life

The programme can accommodate up to 12 volunteers, who come from all over the world, so it's busy and fun.

Monday to Friday

This is a whirl wind tour where you are going to be busy everyday but we promise you some down time to experience some backpacker favourites, such as:

Clarence Beach Tour

Dunn's River Falls Tour

Portland Highlights Tour

Jamaica Gap Year Programme

It's time to reveal Jamaica's hidden gems

Jamaica is open and ready for you. Enjoy our 4 week programme to get you seeing the highlights of Jamaica and volunteering to make a real difference.

Each day the itinerary will be different but expect to carry out projects 5 days per week.

Project hours: 8-12am and 2-5pm, but this may vary from time to time depending on the activity.

Weekends are free to explore and make the most of Jamaica's highlights which your host Maureen will help arrange for you.

There is so much to see and do… hurry-on-over.
Jamaica Gap Year Programme

"How fantastic you all are"

We really can’t thank you enough for everything you have done to make this amazing adventure happen, and for all the hand holding for Mimi and us along the way! It’s incredible that they have managed to have as close to normal a gap year as it must be possible to have right now and we are enormously enormously grateful to you and everyone at The Leap who has helped make this happen. Thank you. We have been spreading the good word about how fantastic you all are!

- Selina ( mum )

"Hand on my heart it's been the experience of a life time"

I've just been having THE best time here! It's gone so quickly, but I feel like I've been here forever at the same time.

We've done a lot of work already, so I feel like we've made a big difference. Through this work we've all learnt a lot, but it's mostly given us a good sense of liberation and generally put a lot of things in perspective. And of course, we now understand how difficult it is for these communities to get just essential amenities!

But the main thing is that I am very happy with the programme, and I can put my hand on my heart when I say it's been the experience of a life time, and I can't wait to continue for the 2nd half of it!

- Peter Blake

"An unforgettable experience"

I received so much support and positive energy from the team at The Leap; nothing was too much trouble, and contact was maintained by e-mail while I was in Nepal. I started to teach within a couple of days of my arrival, supporting a member of staff. However, within a couple of days I was asked if I wanted to teach on my own. My core subjects were English and maths, but I taught basic hygiene too since there is a lack of understanding amongst the children about germs, hand washing and personal care.

If you want to give your time, skills and energy to a welcoming community, please contact The Leap and opt for a project in Nepal. Like me, you will have an unforgettable experience.

- Keith Donald

"Best food!"

The best food I have ever eaten in my life

- Jack

"So reliable"

In one of the most complicated spaces in time, Milly and team stresslessly organised the trip to Costa Rica and Guatemala giving our son a wonderful opportunity and set of memories he would otherwise not have had. And when the regs changed again while they were out there the well oiled machine that is the Leap just reconfigured and continued!

I simply can't recommend them more highly!

- Henry

" I felt really enriched by the end of it"

I just wanted to let you know that I'm safely back in the UK, and missing Costa Rica already! A huge thank you to you though, as I had an absolutely wonderful time - everything was so well organised, and so comprehensive. All the volunteering was great, and I felt really enriched by the end of it, and well prepared for the little bit of solo travelling I did. I'm so so glad that I went and I will really treasure the time I spent there (especially in the months until lockdown ends!).

- Rose

"How on earth you have managed to pull this off I don't know!"

But you have all been absolutely incredible. I never could have imagined Charlie being able to take part in such a fantastic project in this, the strangest of years! I have huge admiration in your professionalism and ability to deliver in the toughest of times. Thank you so much, I'm sure the presence of the team will do wonders for the project and wonders for the Team Members... what a fantastic opportunity for them all!!

- Andrew Fairs


Hi to all at The Leap,

This is a bit late but a huge thank you to everyone who was involved in organising Herbie Purces Costa Rica trip. In his own words “it was insane”.

So wonderful they had a “normal” experience in abnormal times.

Our thanks again

- Gwen Purce

"Awesome, reliable, trustworthy, caring people "

An excellent, very caring group of people who go out of their way to find a solution that works for you. My situation was a little unusual, as my son has Aspergers Syndrome and ADHD and I needed a company who could really listen, understand the situation and find a solution that would work for him.

This fantastic group of people were always there with quick responses and well thought out solutions. Not to mention, it was something that was very last minute. I've had to explain Aspergers to many who have been a part of my son's life over the years - many don't get it, or don't want to get it, or they will only provide a "one sized fits all" solution (which doesn't work) and no options (they don't want to deal with it). This company embraced it and went above and beyond (that's you Jenny).

My son is on his placement now and is loving it - successful because this company listened, responded, and was happy to provide out of the box solutions that worked. Thank you so much for your part in what will be one of, what will be greatest, learning and development opportunities my son has experienced.

- Denise

"This experience was life changing."

Although this is from a personal point of view, I wanted to share the great personal development this trip gave me. I believe travel and unknown/unusual environments affect and shape any individual.

It altered my being in a way i find hard to articulate, it changes you and challenges you that no 9-5 working existence ever could.

- Olivia

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