Travel Memories: Portland, Jamaica
I think that Portland is one of Jamaica’s most picturesque parishes. It certainly is very lush. It’s been some time since I visited — *sniffle* — but looking through my pictures soothes the longing to go back. It really is a mellow, calming, soul-refreshing experience to be in Portland. I think that Portland and St. Elizabeth are Jamaica’s most untouched parishes and I think that they should remain that way. No, I don’t mean that there should not be improvements to infrastructure and services; I do not mean that those parishes should be condemned to backwardness. I mean that for environmental and tourism purposes, it shouldn’t be overbuilt and overcrowded as Negril, Ocho Rios, and Montego Bay have become. I hope that whenever next I go home, I’ll be able to visit Blue Lagoon having heard so much about it…
So why is Blue Lagoon in Portland – apparently one of Jamaica’s (some say the Caribbean’s) most beautiful and well-known spots – being destroyed? An artificial beach? Garbage galore? Why?
Sadly this degradation isn’t unique (see above references to Negril, Ocho Rios, and Montego Bay), Hellshire, Portmore, Long Mountain, Jack’s Hill… I mean, the monstrosities that are the RIU hotels along the north coast of Jamaica make me wonder if anyone at the responsible government agencies realize that as a bare, practical matter everything must be done to preserve Jamaica’s environment since (at present) we put so much emphasis on tourism. Heck do private citizens, the private sector and the nonprofits realize how much we’re asking and expecting of the environment? The sand and sea won’t be there to attract vistors if you destroy them with artificial beaches and massive structure built so close to the shoreline. Look at what some visitors have to sayabout visiting Blue Lagoon. Heh. Beyond the scope of tourism there’s also the matter that Jamaica is an island that is home to almost 3 million people who need a clean, healthy place to live.