Jamaica is extremely mountainous, with a central chain of mountains running east to west, forming a backbone through the middle of the island. Nearly half of the island’s area is over 300 m (1000 feet) above sea level. The highest point is Blue Mountain Peak, on the border between Portland and St. Thomas, at 2256 m (7402 feet). The average annual rainfall for the entire island is 195.8cm (77.1 inches). Rainfall peaks in May and October, and is at its lowest levels in March and June. The Blue Mountain range and the northeast coast receive the highest annual rainfall, the average being about 330 cm (130 inches).

Known for its strong sense of self identity expressed through its music, food and rich cultural mix, Jamaica’s influence extends far beyond its shores. The island is also known for its beauty, political stability and plentiful resources in the form of bauxite and sugar. Surrounded by the blue waters of the Caribbean, Jamaica is a popular tourist destination and is home to some of the world’s most remarkable beaches and waterfalls. What most people do not know is that just minutes inland from the beachside resorts exists communities of extreme poverty that are in dire need of help. Many innocent men, women and children who fall victim to such poverty typically live in shacks or are homeless and bare the harshest of living conditions.

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