The long lines at money transfer outlets don’t lie. Many Jamaicans are heavily dependent on relatives and friends overseas for economic support. In fact, Jamaicans have been travelling abroad to support themselves and their families for well in excess of 100 years.
They and other Caribbean people went to Panama in the late 19th and early 20th century for what was a monumental project — the building of the Panama Canal. Back then, Jamaicans also travelled in large numbers to Cuba, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Colombia to work on large agricultural estates.
To this day, there are descendants in those countries who take great pride in their heritage, including fluency in Jamaican Patois. Find out more here: