St. Thomas, Jamaica

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The Carleva Center for Global Understanding is the natural extension to the basic philosophy of Edu-tourism.   At the core of the Center’s operation is the practice of service learning  (community research and exchange)—a form of international education regime appropriate to the realities of the global village by which our world is now defined.  We foster self-reliance and reciprocal learning; we do not to promote charity and ‘do good-ism,’ as these are unintended enemies to the principle of social justice to which service learning is attached.

The Center is housed in a charming, architecturally-designed, villa on Carleva Bay in the historic township of Yallahs, St. Thomas. This bustling township is the second largest in the parish (some 9,000 population) and comes with such amenities as banks, a branch library, sidewalk restaurants serving Jamaica’s best jerk delicacies, a police post, basic, primary, and high schools, a medical clinic, a pharmacy, and postal services.  It lies on Jamaica’s South Coast, about 17 miles due east of Kingston, Jamaica’s main city and only cultural center.  So, a 50-minute drive by car takes you from a quiet Carleva to a city of museums, fancy restaurants, art galleries, collections, colonial architecture, theater companies, universities, and memorable sights. Morant Bay, the main town of St. Thomas, lies an additional 6 miles farther eastward of Yallahs.

Carleva Bay is ideally situated on lands flanked to the north by the famous Yallahs salt ponds, shrouded in scientific mystery and local folklore, and washed on the south by the warn Caribbean.  These lands flow gently from our villa down to the sea, to the warm, turquoise-colored waters for which this region of Jamaica is well known.  Overlooking this site, further to the north, is the majestic Blue Mountains renowned for its picturesque hiking trails and splendid coffee beans.  Carleva Bay, which enjoys a yearly climate ranging between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and moderated by an ever-present Northeasterly wind, lies along a very extensive bay of several curving miles, where, in addition to learning and discovering more about the world through direct interaction with the local people, one can enjoy the magnificent sunsets for sheer aesthetic pleasure or as an inspiration for the next creative work, or jog to keep in shape, or do yoga on our beach, or walk off the stress and strains of metropolitan living, or select treasures from innumerable varieties of sea stones adorning the beach.  If you need a break from any of these pastimes, there is boating or kayaking to do, or snorkeling, or helping local fishermen pull in their nets, enabling you to know that the fish you eat is fresh and self-chosen!    The sea air at 5 a.m. can be quite invigorating.

Yallahs is the site of many international surfing competitions.  For a change of pace, you may take to the nearby Blue Mountains, trekking along well-known trails, picnicking to your heart’s content.  Note also that the famous Bath Botanical Gardens, the first such in the Western Hemisphere, and Bath Fountain & Mineral Spa, with its highly curative qualities, especially for arthritis and certain types of skin ailments, are about 12 miles away.  Remembrances of St. Thomas’ cultural past, surfeited in slavery, are always evident; visit during July through August and become delighted by festivals of all sorts—kumento, crop over, breadfruit, among others.

The Center, located in a residential facility, provides double occupancy accommodations, with private bathrooms.  We are committed to providing the environment in which high-quality, academically-sound, and experientially-rich, learning occurs.  We make every effort to bring the best available instruction to the experience, working with groups to structure experiences suited to their needs.
In context, we offer:

What our programs include:
Note that we do not discriminate.  The Center may appear to cater only to students and the academic crowd.  This is not so: it is a multi-purpose facility.  Our facilities are open to those who find the hustle and bustle of traditional tourism (Negril, Ocho Rios, or Montego Bay) too much to take and to those, the younger set and the senior citizens, prepared to experience the fellowship offered by a fascinating culture.  Come here to enjoy a delightful and satisfying alternative.

Direct your queries to our email address or contact Kingsley Keith, Center director, Edu-tourism, Carleva Bay, P.O. Box 93 Yallahs, St. Thomas, Jamaica, West Indies.  The telephone numbers are (876) 706-1130; (876) 805-8014 (cell); (876) 925-9725; email

Carleva Center for Global Understanding