In the late 19th century and early 20th century, many previous Chinese laborers opened their own small shops. Today, many of these shops have grown and remained a part of families.
Their imports of rice, saltfish (codfish), saltmeats, flour, and cornmeal have led to becoming key elements of Jamaica's food.
For instance, foods like dumpling, cornmeal porridge, Jamaican rice & peas, and fritters, need these ingredients!
Did you know that? Saltfish is half of Jamaica's national dish --> "Ackee & Saltfish".
Music is the heart of Jamaica!
In 1979, Vincent "Randy" Chin & his wife Patricia Chin founded the New York reggae recording label, VP Records!
Vincent + Patricia = "VP"
Before, they owned Randy's Records & Studio 17 in Jamaica.
Tastee Patties Bakery
Vincent Chang, a Jamaican of Chinese descent, made the popular Jamaican lunch snack - the patty!
Vincent, has certainly helped boost Jamaica's economy, by supplying jobs for his country!
Panama Canal Laborers
1880 - 1914 [work on the Panama Canal]
"The first large group of 267 Chinese immigrants came from Hong Kong on July 30, 1854 on a ship called Epsom. A few months later another group of Chinese came from Panama, where they had been recruited to help construct the railroad between Panama City and Colon. They arrived in Jamaica on November 1 and 18, 1854 on ships called the Vampire (195 people) and the Theresa Jane (10 people) respectively. Panamanian authorities sent them to nearby Jamaica solely due to its proximity and in exchange for Jamaican labourers. Many of these Chinese workers suffered under the harsh Panama conditions, and arrived in Jamaica ill. Some died shortly after arrival in Jamaica."
"Of these, one, Robert Jackson Chin (Chin Pa-kung), opened a wholesale house on downtown Kingston's Pechon Street (where the Desnoes and Geddes building now stands). In doing so he unknowingly paved the way for many of his countrymen. Two others, Chang Si-Pah and Lyn Sam opened grocery stores nearby. All three men provided guidance to successive batches of immigrants."
Indentured Laborers - The New System of Slavery
In 1834, slavery abolished in Jamaica. Sugar plantation owners searched for new forms of labor. During the first half of the 19th century, the British emigrated a large amount of East Indian laborers. Then, when some of the Indians returned home upon completion, the British emigrated Chinese laborers during the early second half of the 19th century.
"... in the 1860s another set of Chinese arrived from Trinidad and British Guiana. There they had worked as indentured labourers in the canefields until hurricane and insects threatened their job security. Some 200 Chinese workers answered a call for three-year contract labourers in Jamaica to tend to the American-led large scale planting of coconuts, bananas and sugar. When their three-year contracts were up, some continued in the fields even though they were not welcomed with open arms by the newly emancipated slaves who saw them as competition."