July 8, 2009

Annual Jamaica Independence Essay Competition 2009

Jamaican child with Flag

The Jamaica Information Service in Miami is now accepting entries for the annual Independence Essay Competition, which forms part of the Jamaica Independence celebrations throughout the Florida communities.

The contest now in its ninth year, is open to all Jamaican children, first and second generation, and residing in Florida State, The deadline for participating entries is Friday, July 24th. The winner in each category will be awarded with a plaque from the Jamaica Consulate General.

The merit to this project is to advance community awareness while exposing our youth to their Jamaican culture and heritage. As they research and prepare compositions, applicants are given the opportunity to reflect on the nation’s history and culture; look at the impact of their Jamaican roots on their upbringing; and the positive events that have catapulted Jamaica and its Diaspora in the global arena.

Children in the Diaspora are being encouraged to take interest in the annual Essay Competition realizing that the occasion would inspire young Jamaicans to more seriously consider learning the island of their origin.

Students can choose from a selection of topics related to the island’s cultural heritage some of which include community leadership, entertainment, education, history and culture, geography and national development.

Applicants must be between five and eighteen years of age and resident here in Florida. There are three age categories for the responses five to eight (5-8); nine to twelve (9-12); and thirteen to eighteen (13-18).

For information on entering the contest, interested persons can contact the JIS office at the Jamaica Consulate General in Miami located at 25 Southeast Second Avenue, Suite 609, telephone (305-374-8431 ext. 232) email jismiami@bellsouth.net or the Consulate’s website at www.jamaicacgmiami.org



Essay topics are as follows:

Write about your two favorite places in Jamaica. These could include historic landmarks, places of recreation, cities, or even your family home. Name them and describe why they are your favorite.

How do you think Jamaican youth in the Diaspora can best contribute to Jamaica’s economic development.

Do you know of a Jamaican group or Jamaican individual who has made an outstanding contribution to their community or attained an outstanding achievement? If so, write about their contribution or achievement and its impact on the community in which he or she resides.

What is your opinion of reggae music today, and explain the role that this genre of music has played in Jamaica’s social, cultural, and economic development.

Explain how the process of “Brand Jamaica” can be promoted through the export of our cultural heritage including art, music, folk culture, plays, food, etc.

Briefly describe the significance of Jamaica’s six national symbols.

There are several prominent Jamaican landmarks (e.g. Port Royal, Devon House, Rose Hall Great House, Spanish Town, National Heroes’ Park, etc.). Choose any Jamaican landmark that you know and explain briefly its context to Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage.


Each entrant must choose only one topic. The response must NOT exceed two pages and should be double-spaced.

Essays can be emailed to jismiami@bellsouth.net or mailed to the Jamaica Information Service, 25 SE Second Avenue – Ste 609, Miami, FLA 33131.

Each entry must be accompanied by the contestant’s name, address, telephone number and age. There are three age categories for entrants: five to eight (5-8); nine to twelve (9-12); thirteen to eighteen (13-18).

The deadline for entries is Friday July 24th.


Cheryl Wynter (305-374-8431 ext. 232)

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