Discover Beautiful Jamaica, Accompanied by Kundai Chirindo, Associate Professor of Rhetoric & Media Studies.

Sponsored by the Lewis & Clark Black Alumni Association.

Dates: May 8 - 15, 2024

  • There are early flights from East Coast airports that will arrive by 10:00 am on 5/8. Travel from West Coast airports will require an overnight flight leaving on 5/7 or an earlier flight with a hotel stay in Charlotte or Miami overnight on 5/7.

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Please Register here

  • An initial deposit of $500 per person is due now to secure your spot. 
  • Registration will remain open until February 1st or until the trip has reached capacity.
  • Group Size 10 to 20 participants 

Group of People Waving Flag of Jamaica in Back Lit

Come experience the African Diaspora in the birthplace of reggae, Bob Marley, the world’s fastest sprinters, Blue Mountain coffee, Jamaican rum, and breathtaking geographic vistas. Jamaica, the tiny dot on a map that is known around the world, is the ideal place to witness the strength and creativity that have defined the Afro-diaspora in slavery’s wake. On this trip you will learn about the history of enslaved Africans on rum plantations, the Maroon freedom colonies, and Rastafarian culture, and have an opportunity to take in all Jamaica has to offer. “JamRock,” as the locals call it, is the third largest island in the Caribbean. It played a significant role in the Middle Passage, resistance to slavery and colonization in the past, and occupies a prominent place in cultural and culinary affairs in today’s world.

Program Highlights

  • Delve into the history of the island and important Jamaicans at Greenwood Great house, and the Bob Marley and the Marcus Garvey museums.
  • Immerse yourself in the culture of Maroon Town and a special Rastafarian experience.
  • Taste local products at Blue Mountain Coffee, the Appleton Estate, and a rage of delectable meals that will expose you to a wide range of Jamaican cuisine.
  • Explore Nigril’s beautiful seven-mile beach and breathtaking cliffs.
  • Learn about the African experience in Jamaica during and after slavery together with Professor Kundai Chirindo.
  • Share this adventure with curious-minded Lewis & Clark friends.

Map of Jamaica Itinerary


  • $3,995 per person in a double ($500 deposit + $3,495 balance payment); $4,195 per person in a single ($500 deposit + $3,695 balance payment).
  • $500 non-refundable deposit per person. The deposit is due by February 1st, 2024 or before.
  • Balance payment of $3,495 per person in a double, $3,695 in a single, is due by by February 1st, 2024 or before.
  • Price does not include International airfare, optional tips, most beverages at meals, or some small incidental fees like video or photo charges at specific sites, restrooms, etc…
  • In registration please indicate if you need a single room or a double room (and if a double, one bed or two).
  • Participants are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • Click here to register.


Man relaxing

Negril Treehouse (2)

Negril Treehouse is a family business and has become a landmark over the last 30 years. Treehouse maintains strong relationships in the community, providing free tablets for locals who will help clean the beach, continuing to purchase produce from local farmers and giving the food to employees who were furloughed during the pandemic; when employees need medical assistance, room sales will be promoted with all proceeds going to employees. This has resulted in loyalty amongst employees for over 25 years.

Lashings Hotel (1)

Lashings is a family-run hotel located on the southern part of the island. It offers great views of the country-side and ocean atop a hill.

Courtleigh Hotel - Kingston (2)

Opened in 1997, the Courtleigh Hotel & Suites in New Kingston is an impressive property featuring elegant furniture and state-of-the-art facilities. The building, which had once served as the residence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, took just over 11 months to complete and saw the total transformation of this office building into one of the leading hotels in Kingston today.

 RoundHill Hotel and Villas (2)

A true icon among Jamaica Montego Bay Bay hotels and resorts, Round Hill’s roots are rich with history. Originally, the 100-acre peninsula was part of Lord Monson’s Round Hill Estate, which grew sugarcane, coconuts, and pimento. The peninsula’s fertile soil and ideal climate was also home to pineapple groves, which became forever prominent in the Round Hill logo and can be found sprinkled throughout the property.


Faculty Leader

Faculty Leader: Kundai Chirindo, Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies and Director of General Education

Kundai earned his PhD in Communication Studies with an emphasis on African Kundai Chirindo  and African-American Studies from the University of Kansas in 2012. He joined the Rhetoric and Media Studies department at Lewis & Clark that same year. Kundai’s work focuses on discursive practices that contest, contribute to, and ultimately constitute ideas of Africa in American public life. Through exploring these themes, he contributes to scholarly conversations in rhetorical studies, environmental communication, African and African American Studies, and war and peace studies. At Lewis & Clark, Dr. Chirindo teaches courses on Race, Rhetoric, and Resistance; Rhetorical Theory; Rhetorical Criticism, and; Communication and the Environment. In addition, he has been director of Ethnic Studies (2018-2021), and General Education (2020-present). In 2022, Dr. Chirindo published a co-edited book titled Communication, Race, and Outdoor Spaces.

This trip is sponsored by the Lewis & Clark Black Alumni Association.




Andrew McPheeters, Associate Vice President of Community Education & Travel Programs at or 503-768-7936.


Jamaica cooking


A Taste of Jamaica
Food For The Palate; Food For The Soul

Reproduced with permission from Visit

Jamaica is known for white sandy beaches and reggae music but it’s our food that draws us together. Gather round our table and taste our most beloved dishes.

Jerk: Jamaica’s signature flavour is one of a kind! Earthy spices, aromatics and a burst of heat from fiery Scotch Bonnet peppers make jerk a must-eat dish on your visit. Try it in any of its varieties whether on meat or seafood, even in unusual desserts!

Patty: Eaten by everyone and at any time of day, the Jamaican patty is a favourite of our culinary scene. Try a hot one with a fresh cocoa bread and a cold Ting for the ultimate relief on a hot summer’s day.

Ting: This carbonated beverage packs the tartness and sweetness of grapefruit into a bottle, a delicious and refreshing taste of Jamaica.

Steamed Fish: As an island it’s no surprise we love seafood. Be sure to try steamed fish, cooked in a savoury coconut milk sauce with herbs, spices, and vegetables.

Oxtail: Seasoned oxtail cooked till tender in an array of spices and broad beans and served with our traditional rice and peas is a dish that Jamaica knows and loves. Try it and you may find that you’ll fall in love as well.

Curried Goat: Taking cues from the Indian elements of Jamaica’s heritage, this succulent dish where the goat meat (mutton) is immersed in spices and curry, is typically served with steamed white rice.

Rice and peas: Rice and peas is the combination of red kidney beans and rice cooked to perfection in coconut milk, fresh herbs like scallion and thyme, and spicy Scotch Bonnet peppers. The result is a delightful side dish that serves as the ideal accompaniment to many of Jamaica’s popular meat dishes.

Run down: Salted mackerel reduced in coconut milk with fresh local herbs and spices, an unlikely but delicious combination that must be had to be appreciated.

Escoveitch Fish: Julienne peppers, carrots and, onions are pickled in a vinegar and salt combination that creates a light sauce typically served with freshly fried fish.

Ackee and Saltfish: Jamaica’s national dish is a must-try dish on any visit to the island. Ackee, Jamaica’s national fruit, is sautéed with salt fish (cod) fish, onions, tomato, sweet pepper, and other seasonings after being boiled. This colourful combination is often mistaken for scrambled eggs but is most assuredly a far more savory and delicious dish. It is often served with fried or boiled dumplings, ground provisions and fried sweet plantains.


Jamaica, Land of Wood and Water

Our History
Reproduced with permission from Visit

Jamaica will captivate you with its rich tapestry of history and vibrant culture. Embark on a journey through time as you explore the island’s intriguing colonial past to Jamaica’s vibrant present. Discover the roots of our culture as you stroll through the cobbled streets of historic towns, lose yourself in the ancestral beats of our music and taste the melding of cultural influences in the flavours of our mouthwatering cuisine.

The Tainos

Jamaica’s first people were the Taínos, who came to the island from the northern coast of South America and settled in Jamaica around 600 AD. They spoke a dialect of Arawakan and named the island, “Xaymaca”, meaning “land of wood and water”. This gentle tribe eventually succumbed to disease and harsh living conditions imposed by the Spanish soon after their arrival in 1494 with the introduction of slavery and sugar plantations. Be sure to visit Konoko Falls, home to an extensive museum dedicated to the Tainos, or the mystical underground caverns of the Green Grotto Caves where multiple fragments of pottery and artifacts that have been unearthed show evidence that the Tainos first inhabited the caves.

The Spanish

Having heard Cubans describe Xaymaca as “the land of blessed gold”, the Spanish sailed to the island in search of riches but soon discovered there was none. The beauty of the island, however, captivated Spanish explorer, Christopher Columbus, who noted in his logs, “the fairest island that eyes have beheld: mountains and the land seems to touch the sky … all full of valleys and fields and plains.” Today, the beauty of our island still captivates all who come to our shores with lush rainforests, verdant mountains, scenic rivers and beautiful beaches.

The island remained under Spanish rule until an English attack on May 10, 1655 forced the Spanish to flee to Cuba after freeing their slaves, who later came to be known as the Maroons. Relics of Spanish rule remain, including place names such as Oracabessa, named after the magnificent sunsets viewed from the cliffs meaning “Golden Head” (the home of Golden Eye, where Ian Flemming wrote all James Bond novels and the James Bond Beach Club); and Ocho Rios, meaning “Eight Rivers” which refers to the number of rivers in the resort town area.

The English

During the early days of English colonization in Jamaica, lawless buccaneers plundered ships along the Spanish Main and transported their wealth from their ill-gotten gains to Port Royal, originally a Taíno fishing camp. Under their rule, the town grew rapidly, in little over a decade, to become known as one of the “richest and wickedest cities in the world”.

Port Royal remains steeped in rich history, and what’s left of Port Royal today stands proudly as a relic of its colored past. Explore the museum, fort or old naval base or the “Giddy House”, the remains of the old Royal Artillery Store for the Victoria Battery. Today, Port Royal offers some of the best seafood, a modern cruise ship port, and is home to the famous underwater city ruins of old Port Royal, destroyed in the great earthquake of June 7, 1692, a diver’s dream.

The Africans

Under the English, sugarcane became the main crop for the island and the industry rapidly grew, with over 400 sugar estates established by 1739. To fill the need for cheap labour, colonialists entered into the slave trade to ship West Africans to the West Indies to be sold to planters who forced them to work on these sugar plantations as slaves under inhumane conditions until the abolishment of slavery. Our storied past is filled with stories of the resilience of our people as they fought for their freedom through rebellion, fighting against the British.

The Maroons

When the English arrived, the Spaniards fled to the neighboring islands and their freed slaves escaped into the mountains and formed their own independent groups, called the Maroons. The Maroons were in time joined by other slaves who escaped from the English. For a long time, they fought against the English who sought to re-enslave them. So successful were the Maroons, fighting from their fortresses, that the English were forced to sign peace treaties granting the Maroons self-government and ceding to them the mountain lands that they inhabited.

The runaways periodically staged rebellions until the treaty in 1739 that gave them a measure of local autonomy that they still retain today. Every year on January 6, the Maroons celebrate the signing of this treaty and visitors are welcomed to partake in the lively celebrations.

Abolishment of Slavery

Slavery was abolished in 1834. In the economic chaos that followed emancipation, one event stood out: the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865. The uprising was led by a black Baptist deacon named Paul Bogle and was supported by a wealthy Kingston businessman, George William Gordon. Both were executed and are now among Jamaica’s national heroes.

Our National Heroes

Jamaica’s freedom fighters, black nationalists and civil rights activists, who fought for our freedom and civil liberties, helped to pave the way for our national development. They are celebrated on National Heroes Day, every third Monday in October. Monuments to all Jamaican heroes can be viewed in the National Heroes Park in Kingston where the Jamaica Defence Force performs the ceremonial Changing of the Guards each day at noon.

The People That Came

In the years that followed, much of modern Jamaica was forged. Migrants from India and China came as indentured workers for sugar estates and rapidly moved to become merchants and shopkeepers. Soon Jewish settlers came to Jamaica, followed by migrant traders from the Middle East. All together these groups created the diverse people of Jamaica today, to which we owe the national motto “Out of Many, One People.’

In the 1930s, politics in Jamaica was born. Two very dissimilar men, Norman Manley and Alexander Bustamante—who, in a uniquely Jamaican coincidence, happened to be cousins—founded Jamaica’s two major political parties, the People’s National Party and the Jamaica Labour Party, respectively.

Emancipation & Independence

After almost 250 years of rebellion and resistance, emancipation from slavery was finally won on August 1, 1838. Today, Jamaicans continue to celebrate Emancipation Day every August 1st. After more than 300 years of British colonial rule, Jamaica became a sovereign nation on August 6, 1962 which saw the unfurling of the national flag of Jamaica in the colours of black, green and gold. The colours represent, “hardships there are (black), but the land is green (green) and the sun shineth (gold)” which gives testimony to the will, resilience and determination of our people. These words have played a strong role in encouraging the spirit of Jamaicans to succeed and overcome adversity.

Whether you are looking for your ancestral roots through generational search, to explore all things Jamaican, or go on a journey of self-discovery, you will thrive here. We are waiting to welcome you to your home away from home, and back to feeling free to be your best self.

It’s time to explore all Jamaica has to offer.