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Eduardo's Tale of Two Worlds: Gangs in Jamaica



Eduardo's Tale of Two Worlds: Gangs in Jamaica
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.58

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    ganja, unemployment, warfare, rates, overall, homicide, additional, violent, murder, gangs, unsafe, marijuana, political, education, particularly, england
     content words:    Caribbean Sea, Native American, Montego Bay, National Party, Jamaica Labour Party, Amnesty International, United States


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Eduardo's Tale of Two Worlds: Gangs in Jamaica
By Jennifer Kenny
  

1     Jamaica is an island in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba. Perhaps you have visited this place. Vacationers love the beaches with their beautiful white sand. Jamaica was discovered by Columbus in 1494. The Spanish settled there in the 1500s. England seized the island in 1655. Jamaica became fully independent in 1962. The name Jamaica comes from the Native American term Xaymaca, which means "land of wood and water." Around 2.6 million people live on the island and, in 2005, 1.5 million people visited there. Once you travel away from the vacation spots, though, Jamaica can seem like a completely different world.
 
2     Eduardo considers himself one of the lucky people in Jamaica and yet he's not a tourist. He's a native of Jamaica. He grew up very poor near Kingston, the capital city of Jamaica. With help from his family, Eduardo stayed in school and stayed away from the gangs in the city. He grew up with an education and was offered a marvelous job in the Montego Bay area. The hotel he manages keeps him busy all year. He makes enough to support his family.
 
3     Eduardo is well aware of the life he could be living if things had not gone his way. The unemployment rate is very high in Jamaica. In 2004, the overall unemployment rate was 11.4%. For some areas in the inner-city, that rate can be as high as 57%. Even those who do find work find it only by the season, such as from December through April working where the tourists stay, or during the season when work on sugar plantations can be obtained.

Paragraphs 4 to 10:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable


Extended Activities:

1.  Tourism is a big part of the economy in Jamaica. Create a travel brochure for an imaginary hotel there.

2.  Research government alerts about safe/unsafe parts of Jamaica. What did you discover?

3.  Research gangs. What are some general statements you can make about gangs?



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