Destinations

Lack Of Diverse Food Choices Prompts Black Couple To Create Vegan Retreat

By Parker Diakite

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A vacation to Ocho Rios, Jamaica is what prompted Naomi Charlton and her husband to create a vacation retreat for vegans. 

Related Post: Top Things To Do In Ocho Rios, Jamaica

“After our reflection, we found that we were not getting the value for our money,” Charlton says. “The so-called ‘all inclusive’ was not much for vegans. I counted five dishes we could eat at one hotel throughout one whole day.”

Instead of relying on another all-inclusive resort to cater to her needs, Charlton decided to take matters in her own hands by creating IrieVegans.  

The goal is to allow vegans and those interested in the lifestyle to experience and explore the Rastafarian lifestyle to gain an understanding of natural herbs all while enjoying plant-based meals.

Travel Noire spoke to Charlton to learn more about what guests can expect during the inaugural retreat, which will be held on Oct. 22 through Oct. 29, 2019 in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.


Photo courtesy of IrieVegans

Travel Noire: Why did you feel this was important for travelers?

Naomi Charlton: All we found available for vegans at the time were yoga retreats, but a lot of vegans want to party and have a good time. We want to eat what we want besides raw foods and raw juices.

Related Post: 13 Destinations That Are Especially Welcoming To Black Travelers

Vegans just want to go away, eat what we want on the menu, while having a good time.

Photo courtesy of IrieVegans

What can people expect this year?

This year, we have four activities planned. 

The first one is a private beach day in Ocho Rio, which is the prime location for tourist attractions.

We have an awesome connection with a Rastafarian group called the Lion House where people will experience the abundance of nature and learn more about the Rasta lifestyle.

Jamaica was chosen because a lot of them live in ITAL in Jamaica. ITAL is another word for vegan.

A visit will be made to the famous Farm Mahlon, where farmers grow 100 percent natural foods on the moon cycles.  

Photo courtesy of IrieVegans

Is this trip just for Vegans?

It’s not exclusive to vegans and we don’t want to be perceived as anti-meat eaters. We’re not because at the end of the day, we were once meat eaters as well.

If anyone wants to come and wants an alternative to the normal standard all-inclusive hotel, then they are welcomed as well.

For a full list of activities, dates, and information on how to book, visit the IrieVegans website here.

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