Situated on the highest hilltop overlooking an overgrown plantation and structures is an unforgettable view. Bethann Carbone’s photos of the Goddess Retreat in Jamaica November 2008 conceives as a door or gateway to a hidden dimension. Despite Jamaica’s virulent violence and ever-present poverty, the contrasts surge in Tsunami proportions when viewing Jamica’s beauty.

Jamaican scenery by Bethann Carbone

Indeed, Jamaica is a paradox in terms.

As I was driving home this particular evening – also to a beautiful sanctuary nestled in the hills of St. Andrew – while listening to the news on the radio, the reporter stated that some regulatory body had concurred that as a result of Jamaica’s abhorrently violent track record that foreign investors are reluctant to invest in this magical land.

A wry smile crossed my face because while I know that there is ‘merit’ to statistics, for me, the reality on the ground feels somewhat different. Photographer Carbone prior to her recent visit to Jamaica inquired from me about the level of ‘danger’ raging across the land. I found this question difficult to answer because in spite of the global perception of Jamaica, there is an immense sense of liberation that I feel here. Her beautiful photo above captures precisely this essence.

Perhaps the greatest danger I encounter where Jamaica is concerned is ALL the fear that surrounds its people and the land as a whole. For me the pressing question remains, how do we break this stereotype such that we are able to attract responsible investors? By this I mean people, governments and companies who are prepared to give back to Jamaica while reaping the magical benefits that this island nation has to offer in its beauty, its people, its music, its complexities, its magic.

Only then will we be able to break the vicious cycle of ‘virulent violence and ever-present poverty.’

Nadine McNeil

Categories: Opinion

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