Loyola University Maryland

Campus Ministry

The Jamaican Experience

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The Jamaican Experience is a faith-based immersion that seeks to invite the Loyola Community to respond to the Gospel mandate and to work for peace and justice. The Jamaican Experience allows participants to learn about the lives of and to be in solidarity with people who have been socially, economically, and/or politically marginalized.

Jamaican Experience 2015       Jamaican Experience 2015

Immersion travel dates: January 11-17, 2016

Interested in the Jamaican Experience? Click here to apply.

If you would like to donate to the Jamaican Experience, please click here.

Jamaican Experience Video

Goals and Objectives

The Jamaican Experience seeks to offer the opportunity to:

  • Encounter the economically poor and marginalized of Jamaica through interpersonal dialogue and service.
  • Learn about aspects of Jamaican culture through a series of readings, discussions and speakers.
  • Share individual skills, resources, and gifts for the purpose of creating a more just society and world.
  • Nurture and challenge faith lives through worship and daily encounters with Jamaicans in an ecumenical setting.
  • Reflect critically on issues of faith and justice in the world.

Trip Destination: Mandeville, Jamaica

A Typical Day/Week

We depart BWI airport via Southwest Airlines for a non-stop flight to Montego Bay; where we are met by our driver and guide. After perhaps a quick swim in the crystal blue Caribbean, we begin the long drive to the mountains and Mandeville; where we are treated to a home-style Welcome Dinner. Our daily routine begins with a self-prepared breakfast followed by a short Morning Prayer. Our group will then be transported to work/visitation sites in the greater Mandeville area. These could include sites such as a home for the sick and elderly, a community center for at-risk youth, a school tutoring program for children, or working at the Bishop Boyle Distribution Center operated by the Diocese of Mandeville. Loyola groups often perform manual labor, such as building basic shelter for those who are most in need. Days are usually quite full, with little time for a nap or relaxation. However, the team is encouraged to relax and enjoy the quiet evenings afforded by the mountain top retreat where we live for the week. Some evenings will consist of lectures on Jamaican culture and contemporary concerns. Most evenings conclude with reflection on the day’s activities, sharing, and a short prayer. All members of the Team are expected to participate fully in the daily reflections. Although each year varies a bit, there is always one day set aside when we head to the beach or the river falls to experience the natural wonders of Jamaica, meet native Jamaicans, and enjoy the countryside and Jamaican cuisine. If our stay includes a Sunday, we go to Mass at one of the local parishes and usually spend the day visiting friends or Community agencies. On our final morning we return to Montego Bay for a last stop at a Craft Fair before heading home to BWI.

Eligibility

This application process is open to all Loyola undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and friends of the Loyola community. We wish to take a diverse group of students and staff. We are limited to 10 participants: 2 professional team members and 8 student team members. This makes the application process is very important.

Time Commitment

Participants will be expected to attend regular weekly team meetings (Mondays: 5-7pm), fundraising efforts, individual preparation, and participation in the annual Fall Clothing Drive.

How to Apply/Important Dates & Deadlines:

To apply, click here to complete the online application.

  • JE '16 is limited to 10 participants (8 students and 2 professional leaders).
  • All applications must be completed online.
  • You will need one personal reference in order to complete the process
  • Information sessions: September 8 & 9 at 7pm in Campus Ministry (Cohn Hall 100). 
  • Completed applications due no later than 5pm on September 16, 2015.
  • Interviews: September 17, 21, 22, and 23 in Campus Ministry (Cohn Hall 100).
  • Team Decision Letters will be emailed on Thursday, September 24, 2015
  • Immersion travel dates: January 11-17, 2016

Jamaican Experience 2015

Program Costs/Fundraising

  • The JE '16 Program Fee of $225 is due upon acceptance to the team. 
  • Your program fee covers only about 20% of the total cost of this experience. Each team must work to raise enough money to cover airfare and land expenses and also to bring funds (largely for construction projects, education and development initiatives).
  • Each participant is expected to raise an additional $500 — $700
  • We fundraise primarily through individual letter-writing solicitations. 
  • Do not let financial concerns discourage you from applying. 
  • We are able to assist with some limited scholarship funding. 

Expectations/Requirements if you are chosen for JE '16

  • Please download and view the JE Student Commitment Form to see the full expectations for members of this year's team - (exactly what you are getting yourself into).

For more information please contact George P. Miller, Associate Director of Campus Ministry at gmiller@loyola.edu or (410) 617-2449.

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