Exploring Jamaica & Haiti

The first thing that struck me was the local colloquialism of French, Spanish, and African dialects into one wonderful Caribbean dialect. “In Jamaica we don’t relax, we Chillax” is the Jamaican motto as told by our guide, Saskia.

The unique Caribbean accents take your breath away, while you take in the gorgeous landscapes, tropical breezes and colorful fashions.

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Jamaica is the island responsible for the creation of music genres we all listen to while relaxing with friends and sipping Red Stripes. Important genres such as ska (a combination of Caribbean Mento, jazz and R&B) gave birth to infamous reggae music as well as rock-steady & two-tone (which are danced similar to Uma Thurman and John Travolta’s Pulp Fiction diner scene).

The island was discovered by Columbus and his crew during the late 13th Century. The island has preserved some classical European traditions such as Roman-Catholic inspired churches.

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Haiti is no different from Jamaica with its mountainous landscapes that meet the cool palette of its marine life. The beaches hit perfect temperatures. You won’t get cold when coming out of the water!

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Since Haiti was the first island of the Caribbean to emancipate and declare independence from Europe (in its case it was Napoleon’s French army); their incredible victory over weapons like gunpowder with primitive weapons like spears and swords make them a brave and smart society. Thanks to this liberation, Haiti is now responsible for its own production and natural resource management.

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Haitian art is worth the investment! Gorgeous hand-made collectives and jersey fashions that will keep you cool while exploring the stunning tropical terrain and sparking talks with vendors and friendly faces. English will get you by! However you can always go further in conversation if you know how to speak French.

Voodoo dolls that can be used for good or evil (depending on the spell) can be purchased in the streets next to wooden figurines and unique kitchen instruments. Get your wallet ready because Haiti is indeed a fulfilling vacation if you get the chance to explore it.

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