Life Yard

Top choice in Kingston

An innovative art and permaculture scheme, Life Yard is regenerating an area of downtown Kingston once beset with gang problems. The program is centered on an urban farming project, and its Rastafari organizers have also worked with the community and visiting artists to cover the whole street with beautiful and uplifting murals. It's not just pretty pictures though – youth projects include breakfast and homework clubs, workshops, educational support and media training, so the community can tell its own stories.

There's a cafe selling vegan food (8am to 6pm), with much of the produce coming from the permaculture garden. Several of the residents are registered tour guides – contact them in advance to set up a full day's tour. It's essential to introduce yourself when you arrive – this is a residential area, so don't just snap photos of the walls without asking permission (it is readily given). Inquiries from long-term volunteers with transferable skills are welcomed.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kingston attractions

1. Institute of Jamaica

0.37 MILES

The Institute of Jamaica is the nation’s small-scale equivalent of the British Museum or Smithsonian, housed in three separate buildings – the National…

2. National Library

0.38 MILES

Adjacent to the Institute of Jamaica, the National Library incorporates the Caribbean’s largest repository of books, maps, charts and archival documents…

3. Trinity Cathedral

0.42 MILES

Open only for services, this cathedral, built in 1908, is the seat of the Roman Catholic church in Jamaica. It is noted for having been the site of Norman…

4. St Andrew’s Scots Kirk

0.44 MILES

This octagonal Georgian brick structure (entrance on Mark Lane) was built from 1813 to 1819 by Scottish merchants and is surrounded by a gallery supported…

5. Coke Memorial Hall


The crenelated redbrick building facing East Parade is the 1840 Coke Memorial Hall, named after the founder of the Methodist churches in the Caribbean,…

7. Secret Garden Memorial

0.52 MILES

Consisting of a stylized dark head with silver tears running down its cheeks, this 2008 memorial is an official acknowledgement of the impact of the…

8. Statue of Queen Victoria

0.53 MILES

An imperious statue of Queen Victoria stands unamused at the eastern side of Parade, erected in 1897 for her diamond jubilee. As well as noting her role…