Winnifred Beach, Portland

Winnifred Beach in Portland, Jamaica is a success story of what can happen when a community works together and fights for a worthy cause. Majority of Jamaica’s best coastline is in the hands of private owners, auctioned off and sold by the Jamaican government to large hotels and investors who rather keep the beaches of their beachfront hotels and resorts exclusive for paying guests. This practice prevents citizens from enjoying most of the country’s best beaches. It’s a prevailing notion in Jamaica that only tourists get to see and enjoy Jamaica’s finest attractions since the prices charged for us to visit these places, even with cheaper rates for locals, still make them inaccessible to many. This wasn’t something I thought much of until visiting another Caribbean island last December and realizing that not a single one of their beaches had an admission fee, and for the other attractions which did, both locals and tourists were charged the same. In fact, many Jamaican businesses which cater for tourists often ignore locals when we enter their establishments so it’s an interesting turn of events that many of these places are now trying to attract and capture support from locals since tourist arrivals are at an all-time low for obvious reason.

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