On November 30, 2011 volunteers and staff made the two hours journey from Mandeville in the parish of Manchester to Montego Bay in the parish of St. James to visit the unique and enchanting set up of the Rasta Village. We were met by the Empress, Arlene who gave us a brief introduction about the Rasta Village and the property where it is located. The Montego Bay Gardens hosts the Rasta Village which is situated in a sacred eco-preserved environment. We then met Eddy, who informed us that we would soon cross the river to get across to the village.
Eddie firstly explained that the Rastafarians who enjoy this space has evolved from a few of the traditional Rasta groups; he explained that they are free from oppressing certain persons within the group such as women; also the youth have a voice. He further explained that they have committed to having a plastic free space, in a bid to preserve the natural state of the village.
Having crossed the river and entered the village we were refreshed by coconut water sipped from calabash/gourde containers. Kanaka then went on to speak to about the principles and philosophies of Rastafari, also we looked at a few of their symbol and food preparation techniques. After we were taken on a walk through the labyrinth, as a form of a cleansing journey, after the walk through the labyrinth we were introduced to herbs and plants the Rastafarians used for medicinal purposes as well as general holistic development, as it relates to health.
Later we enjoyed drumming from the group; a few volunteers even tried their hand at the drumming. The last stop was the gift shop where original and natural pieces were on display. The experience was truly enchanting.