Appreciloving The Harmony at Rastafari Indigenous Village

Rastafari is the second-largest faith in Jamaica and has been practiced since 1930. Across the island, people coexist in Rastafari villages with horizontal societies and equitable exchange. Near Montego Bay, Rastafari Indigenous Village welcomes visitors to its experiential cultural capsule.

To reach the peaceful enclave, we traverse barefoot through the shallow cool stream of the Montego River, where nature baptizes us for the forthcoming experience. Once we reach the far side of the bank, we’re transported to another world — one where respect for all living beings is of utmost importance.

Rastas are always expressing gratitude for the blessings of nature. Our guide, Nyerere, is no exception. He’s incredibly knowledgeable about indigenous plants and points out various medicinal fruits, seeds, and leaves as we continue barefoot along the path’s edge. We walk towards the village through a lush forest exposing an abundance of coconut palms, bamboo, banana, bay leaf, noni, coca, calabash, and blue mahoe trees.

To enter the discreet 2.5-acre village, we pass through a foyer adorned in vibrant red, yellow, and green stripes — the colors of Ethiopia. Yellow for the sun, red for the blood of all living things, and green for nature. Rastafari is founded upon the principle of living in harmony with all species and equal rights and justice for all. One love, one heart.

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Lola Méndez is an Uruguayan-American freelance journalist. She writes about sustainability, travel, culture, and wellness for many print and digital publications such as CNN Travel, Lonely Planet, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, SELF, and more.