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.