Cave : Where the breeze is fresh and the weed is nice
For decades, the pristine community of Cave Mountain in Westmoreland has attracted tourists who have expressed an interest in living in the stress-free environment.
The mountainous community is one of the most peaceful in Jamaica. It offers a spectacular view of the Caribbean Sea and is home to some of Westmoreland's most alluring springs.
Young farmer Lindel Gooden told WESTERN STAR that the traditional farming community's main crops include pimento, yam, and breadfruit. Due to its climate, altitude, and soil, it is said to produce some of the world's best strains of marijuana.
"Cave is a rural, peaceful farming village with nice people. The tranquillity of the area, which is violence-free the whole peacefulness, has kept me here. The naturalness of the environment lends itself to a lot of recreational activities for persons who want to relax," he said.
"When I was going to primary school, there were a lot of Germans here in the village. They had set up some cabins on the hill where they use to invite their friends in and they used to do their mountain hiking and all of that ... . some of them have left, but the buildings are still there. they even leased the buildings to other persons," he said.
Another resident, Leroy Turner, sang the praises of Cave residents who he said were industrious, peaceful, and always in a state of well-being, which he attributed to the serene environment.
"Cave is a very nice place - peaceful, violence-free. You don't have anybody up yah weh quarrel or fight - nuttn like dat. The only thing, persons might have dem likkle argument, but nuttn violent," he said.
"Cave is a good place to live - very fruitful with kind people. If you come Cave and you want fruits, you get. you don't have to buy. Nobody naw stop you from pick it. That is how the community is. We have a lot of breadfruit, so if people come bout, wi gi dem. otherwise dem drop off," he said.
A LOT OF TOURISTS
Many residents in Cave are tourism workers, farmers, tradesmen, taxi operators, and business people. Turner said that the population has grown substantially over the years as many people, including returning residents who were born there, return to the area due to its serenity.
"You have guest house up here, and a lot of tourist come here. You have a lot of white people living in the hills. If you go inna di bush, you see dem. Lawyer, doctors, they resign and come here," Turner explained.
"They say the place is pleasant, nice, good living area. When you get up in the mornings, the breeze is so fresh and nice. When you come out you feel so relaxed, you feel so good. And anything you want to eat, you have it. And if a man get hurt and cry out, everybody a run come to help because that is how we live up here," he added.