Since September 1972
Committee Chair: Dr. Yvonne Smith
Montego Bay is the capital of the parish of St. James and the second largest city in Jamaica by area and the fourth by population. It is a tourist destination with duty free shopping, a cruise line terminal and several beaches.
Today, Montego Bay is known for its large regional hospital (Cornwall Regional Hospital), port facilities, second homes for numerous upper class Jamaicans from Kingston as well as North Americans and Europeans, fine restaurants, and shopping opportunities. The coastland near Montego Bay is occupied by numerous tourist resorts, most newly built, some occupying the grounds of old sugar cane plantations with some of the original buildings and mill-works still standing. The most famous of these are the White Witch's Rose Hall and Tryall, both of which now feature world-class golf courses.
Montego Bay is pivotal to Jamaica's economy. The city holds most of the weight of the country's tourism sector with most of the country's visitors arriving from Montego Bay's Airport or Port. The city is the home to the headquarters of international resort chain, Sandals. Recently, ground was broken to begin construction of a Hard Rock Café in the city, to further bolster the city's entertainment product. The city is also home to a thriving Business Process Outsourcing sector. The city has call centers which cater to many Fortune 500 companies such as Delta Air Lines, Amazon, Netflix, Vistaprint and many others.
The infrastructure of the city is going through a series of explosive modernizations, which once completed, aims to keep Montego Bay as a top destination in the Caribbean and the world. The Montego Bay Convention Centre, built on a large site near to the Rose Hall estate, was opened by Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding on January 7, 2011.
About the Partnership
Jamaica and the city of Montego Bay played a major role in the development of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Civil rights leaders used Montego Bay as a base to plan their strategies on pursuing many of their civil rights goals. As the cradle of this movement and the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it was therefore fitting that in 1972 Atlanta and Montego Bay saw the need to formalize a sister city relationship.
Atlanta and Montego Bay have executed educational exchanges for students, academic and administrative staff, reciprocal art exhibitions and business and economic missions.
The core focus of the Atlanta-Montego Bay Sister Cities Commission is its annual Vin Martin Sister Cities Memorial Health Mission. In the past 24 years, the Committee has donated nearly $90 million of medical supplies and services to nearly 50,000 patients in the Montego Bay area.
Starting in April 2020, the Montego Bay Commission began to address food insecurity caused by the pandemic in both Atlanta and Jamacia. The Commission established food distribution programs in Union City and the metro-Atlanta area throughout the year. In August, the Commission donated medication for a patient suffering from a brain tumor in Montego Bay.
During the holidays, Committee Chair Dr. Yvonne Smith packed care packages to be distributed to homeless women.
In October 2021, The Atlanta/Montego Bay Sister Cities Committee and the Victoria House Foundation distributed 131 tablets and 26 laptop computers to students across St James.
Mayor Williams stated that it was a “kind gesture that highlights the philanthropic track record of the Atlanta Montego Bay Sister City Committee and its dedication to the citizenry of the parish.”
In addition, several hospitals received oxygen donations to assist with the severe shortage they experienced over summer 2021.
Mayor Kasim Reed welcomed First Lady of Jamaica Juliet Holness to Atlanta for the Jamaican Independence Day celebrations across the City of Atlanta in August 2016. Mayor Reed and the Honorable Holness discuss future cooperation in business, youth engagement, and urban development.
In October 2016; 45 volunteers consisting of doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacist, non-medical professionals and technical support traveled to Montego Bay for its annual health mission. The delegation provided the Cornwall Regional Hospital with electronic blood pressure monitoring devices, electronic scales, nebulizers and was able to provide toys to the pediatric unit and infant gift to the women in the maternity wards. The group also supplied all 23 health centers in the St.
James area with blood pressure monitors, nebulizers, and thermometers in addition to other donations to infirmaries, night shelters and schools.
Over the four days of the mission the Atlanta-Montego Bay Sister Cities Committee treated 2,104 patients for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, asthma, and other childhood illnesses.
The Atlanta-Montego Bay Sister Cities Committee also provides academic scholarships each year. This year Husani Hogg and Chris-Ann Samuels from the University of the West Indies and Nia Levy from Montego Bay High School each received scholarships of $500. Tarice Whyte 14 year’s old student in the 9th grade at William Knibb High School in Trelawny, was the first recipient of the Vin Martin Memorial Scholarship.
To learn more about the Atlanta-Montego Bay Sister Cities Commission visit http://atlantamobayscc.org/.