Loyola University Maryland

Campus Ministry

The Jamaican Experience


Jamaican Experience 2017 Team Members on Couch in Campus Ministry

Meet the 2017-2018 Jamaican Experience Team!

The Jamaican Experienceis 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.

Immersion travel dates: January 8-14th, 2018
Trip Destination: Mandeville, Jamaica

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.

The 2018 Applications are open to all current Loyola undergraduate/graduate students, faculty, staff, administrators & alumni. 

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.

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

If you would like to donate to the Jamaican Experience, please visit our contributions webpage.