JAMPRO Chairman calls for greater investment in local Jamaican heritage sites

Montego Bay, Jamaica – JAMPRO chairman Milton Samuda has emphasized the importance of investing and protecting local heritage sites at a recent visit to the Croydon in the Mountains Plantation tour – the birthplace of national hero Sam Sharpe, in Catadupa St. James.

The 132-acre farm is in the midst of expanding their plantation tour to include a heritage tour for locals and tourists alike. The heritage tour, which will be officially opened to the public on December 15, will feature the ‘Sam Sharpe Originals’ by celebrated Jamaican artist Kay Sullivan. Etchings of the Sam Sharpe Originals were commissioned by the Jamaican Government to create the five bronze statues that now stand in Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay.

Speaking at a private ceremony at Croydon in the Mountains on National Heroes Day, Monday October 15th, Samuda spoke to the reasons trade and investment agency, JAMPRO, has expressed an interest in the project.

JAMPRO Chairman Milton Samuda makes a salient point on investing in Jamaica’s heritage sites during a recent visit to the Croydon in the Mountains Plantation tour on Monday, October 15th in Catadupa, St James.

He said, “first and foremost investment must be in our people. You make that investment and everything else will come. Whereas our primary mandate is to make sure that foreign direct investment and local direct investment and export trade takes place. You can’t do that without laying some of the foundations and very important to that investment in people is reminding them who it is they are. To point to those who have gone before who best represent what it is that we are.”

According to Samuda he believes one of the major reasons a number of heritage tours have not survived over the years is because the country and its people has not placed sufficient value to Jamaican heritage. “We have to own the heritage, learn how to package that heritage ourselves, be unashamed of monetizing that heritage and sharing it with the rest of the world,” Samuda reiterated.

Samuda spoke to the need to earn from these heritage sites so that they can be kept in the condition befitting of Jamaican history. He explained, “If you don’t earn from it, you can’t sustain it. We have to accumulate funds in an ongoing basis. Starting here is what I hope will be a pattern and template for how we treat the birthplaces and other important places of those who went before us and earned the title right excellent.”

The Sam Sharpe Originals will bring a new dimension to the original plantation tour, which provides a breathtaking and panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. Croydon Estate is a prize winning working plantation that has won the National Champion Plantation trophy on numerous occasions.

The Sam Sharpe originals find a new home at the Croydon in the Mountain Plantation tours in Catadupa, St. James.

National hero Samuel Sharpe was the main instigator of the 1831 Slave Rebellion, which began on the Kensington Estate in St. James and which was largely instrumental in bringing about the abolition of slavery and created a global reach far beyond his years and time.

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