- Saint Mary Parish, Jamaica
Saint Mary is a
parishlocated in the northeast section of Jamaica. It is one of Jamaica's smallest parishes, located in the countyof Middlesex. Its chief town and capitalis Port Maria, located on the coast. It is also the birthplace of established dancehall reggae artists, such as Capleton, Lady Saw, Ninja Man, Sizzlaand Tanya Stephens.
There are a few traces of
Taíno/ Arawakpresence in the parish. Saint Mary was also one of the first sections of the islandto be occupied by the Spaniards. Puerto Santa Maria, later Port Maria, was the second town the Spaniards built on the island. In 1655, after the English captured Jamaica from the Spanish, the area around the north coast town of Santa Maria became known as St. Mary, with the chief town called Port Maria.
There are indications of strong resistance to
slaveryin the parish. The Easter Rebellionled by Tacky in 1760and the existence of the Maroons at Scotts Hall showed that the parish was one of the most active in the fights for freedom. Its present size was determined in 1867, when the parish of Metcalfe was merged with St Mary.
St. Mary is located at
latitude18°09'N, longitude77°03'W. It is bordered by Portland in the east, St. Ann in the west, and parts of St. Catherine and St. Andrew in the south.The parish covers an area of 610 km², making it Jamaica's fifth smallest parish. The terrainis mountainous, rising up to almost 4000 feet at the highest point, but there are no distinctive mountain ranges. The climateis varied, like most parishes on the island. The eastern section of the parish has shalerock and an intricate surface draining pattern, while the western section is limestonewith predominantly underground rivers. There are three main rivers in Saint Mary; the ofsurrounding area.damion williams
The parish has a good variety of agricultural resources. The principal products are
bananas, sugar, citrus, pimento, cocoa, coconuts, coffee, vegetables, breadfruitand anatto. Pastoralismis also practised. In recent years, however, agriculturehas been on the decline, which may be due to the problems that Jamaican banana exporthas been facing. There is also a lack of investmentand praedial larcenyat varying levels.
The parish, for several years, has been listed as one of the poorest in Jamaica, althouth there is potential for vast development. It boasts what is thought by some to be one of the best secondary level
schools in the nation, St. Mary High, from which several outstanding people have come. They occupy several reputable positions in varying sectors both at home and overseas.
Essential services includes
bankingand postal services. Tourismis a relatively small sector in the parish.
* [http://www.jamlib.org.jm/stmary_history.htm Parish Information]
* [http://www.statinja.com/ The Statistical Institute of Jamaica]
* [http://www.discoverjamaica.com/gleaner/discover/geography/polgol.htm Political Geography]
* [http://reference.allrefer.com/gazetteer/S/S01038-saint-mary.html St Mary info]
* [http://www.leedsinitiative.org/WorkArea/showcontent.aspx?id=5428 St Mary Strategic Plan]
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