Thoughtful Thursday: It’s church Jamaica season


The Magnet Tribune: Zoe Alvarez

People sell tickets at Christ the King church Jamaica.

Zoe Alvarez, Thoughtful Thursday columnist

The fall season means many things to me, Halloween, and the fall season Jamaica. Whether it be my school or church Jamaica. I get this sense of excitement have had ever since I was a child.

When I was younger I loved church Jamaicas for their treats, games, and prizes. It was so much fun winning prizes and trading with my brother. I sure felt like I was on top of the world walking home with little prizes. It was the highlight of my week to win those cakes and plants. I would give the plants to my grandmother and mother and the cake would be for the family. It was about begging my parents to buy me more tickets when I finished them all to games. I loved pushing my luck in the “spin the wheel” or the “Lucky Duck.” I remember all the vivid colors. The vibrant blues, reds, yellows, and oranges of the tarps and booths.

Jamaicas were about games, prizes, treats and running around when I was younger.

Now as I’m older, I love Jamaicas for the culture, seeing the people, taking pictures, and volunteering. I even like to see the children run around as I used to when I was younger. I get to appreciate my culture when it comes to Jamaicas through the music, food, and people. Walking around to see the game booths is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the Jamaicas, especially when I stop for snacks and take pictures of the Jamaica. My absolute favorite church Jamaica snacks are “corn in the cup” and fajita tacos paired off with Mexican soda.

Now as I’m older I see the goodness of volunteering. This year I volunteered with the raffle ticket ladies to help collect and sell tickets. I had fun helping these ladies out. They were definitely funny and had positive happy vibes. While taking pictures I get to take in all my surroundings. I have a moment to appreciate the beauty of everything going on around me. The colorful banners, tarps, booths, and signs. The aromas coming from the snack booths. The sound of the people conversing, the children running, people playing games, and people speaking English and Spanish.

School Jamaicas are also incredibly fun. From my elementary to middle school years, my school would host annual Jamaicas. My young self loved this. Two Jamaicas every October was the absolute life. I loved running around and playing games with friends. Everyone would share candies or trade prizes. We would also get our faces painted. It was always a fun night. Everyone loved the pie throwing game, playing in the school playground, jumping on the moonwalk, and tossing the rings onto the bottles. Every year I’d go home with fun memories and lots of school Jamaica prizes.

From the running around and winning prizes, I grew up to walking around and enjoying the Jamaica as a whole. My sophomore year my father took me to our school’s annual Jamaica. The event was held in the school courtyard. Every booth was decorated beautifully. The colors were gorgeous. There were many students and people from outside the school. Everyone was either spending time with family, hanging out with friends, or working the Jamaica. At the beginning of the Jamaica I performed with the school mariachi.

After the performance, my father and brother came to see the Jamaica. My brother and I bought these delicious chicken tostadas with orange Mexican soda. We walked around for a bit and bought some famous fried Oreos. J.W. Nixon’s annual Jamaica is known for their fried Oreos. That booth always had the longest line and continues to. My brother and I waited a while to get those fried Oreos but oh, did we enjoy them. Yes, fried Oreos are incredibly unhealthy but you only live once. (Click here to read about living life to the fullest). After our snacks, we walked around for a bit and people watched. I enjoyed the night, it was sweet and memorable.

For a taste of Hispanic culture, check out your local church Jamaica and if your school hosts Jamaicas, go to them and have fun!

Song for today: Letting Go by Wild Nothing