Best Place To Live In Jamaica For A Returning Resident
QUESTION about: Where is the best place to live in Jamaica for a returning resident?
ANSWER: by W. Gayle
I’m smiling right now… it is funny that you are asking me this question when I’m getting others about the limited state of emergency (now called ESM, Enhanced Security Measures) which is on now in St. James parish, until May I heard.
SiteNote: A limited state of emergency allows law enforcers special powers to deal with an outbreak of violence or disruption in the parish.
The irony my friend, is that, even though we have crime concentrated in some areas, perpetuated by state negligence (if you ask me), I am encouraged that many well thinking persons still believe in, and have high hopes for Jamaica Land We Love.
By the way, I did some research after getting your question and got some insightful education for myself.
A few months ago, according to top social scientist Dr. Herbert Gayle (my name sake), the safest places (parishes) in Jamaica are Portland, St Elizabeth, Manchester, St Mary, St Ann, and St Thomas, in that order.
According to him, in all of these parishes males of the combatant age (15-34 years) are heavily employed in agriculture and/or fishing. In many of these rural parishes or communities, young men own houses or at least a 'shed' (small dwelling) and/or own small businesses and farms.
But those parishes don’t necessarily provide all that you might be looking for as a retiree. To answer your question, it depends somewhat on preferences.
Kingston, for example, has most, if not all, access to the amenities you might be looking for, from top hospitals, health care, shopping, proximity, transportation and entertainment. But it is bustling and might not be the place for serenity (generally speaking), unless that is your preference.
The place I find that most returning residents seems to heading to is Mandeville, the capital of Manchester – and for good reason. It is in the coolest part (literally) in Jamaica and also the middle of the inland, but still have adequate amentias in relatively close proximity, including hospitals. By the way, a few years ago a survey by local media suggested that Manchester, the parish of Mandeville, was said to be the happiest parish on the island! So there you go.
If you have kids, Mandeville is also home to several top quality private schools.
That said, there are a host of other great places to live here, including well developed housing schemes (in every parish). I live in Montego Bay in a scheme house and feels relatively safe, for example, and my friends June and Maura (returnees) both live in Whitehouse, Westmoreland (albeit in high end scheme homes) but never had crime problems either.
As a start, I’d suggest you speak to a knowledgeable real estate agent to ascertain some of the best schemes in you preferred parish to consider a home.
Remember, most of the major crimes you hear about in Jamaica is confined to the depressed areas or is linked to gang activity –some of which is tied to the unfortunate scamming situation (sad to say, but true). I’d suggest you also read my article on is Jamaica safe for more information.
I hope this was helpful.