By: Monique Powell, Greenheart Exchange Work and Travel participant

On August 6, 1962, Jamaica gained its independence, and every year there is a big celebration across Jamaica to commemorate the event. Since I am not in Jamaica, my friends and I decided to bring Jamaica to Branson, Missouri!

A lot of planning went into this event to make sure my co-workers and friends could experience a slice of Jamaica! We really wanted to bring our celebration and some of the biggest parts of our culture to our new friends. Together we prepared some traditional dishes, like jerk chicken. My friends really enjoyed it! Jamaica is also known for its music and dance, so there was no better way to celebrate than by teaching my friends how to dance… Jamaican style!

Overall, I would say the event was definitely a success! My friends were really appreciative and some of them even brought food home for their family members that couldn’t attend. I’m so glad we were able to bring a piece of Jamaica to the United States!

Monique brought a delicious and lively piece of Jamaica to Missouri. Are you interested in participating in a cultural exchange like hers? Check out Greenheart Exchange’s Work and Travel program.