Gay Nagle Myers
Gay Nagle Myers

The team at the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall and the adjacent Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica, both owned and managed by Playa Hotels & Resorts, have taken on classrooms in addition to guestrooms.

While both all-inclusive resorts (Ziva is geared to families; Zilara's market is adults, although some facilities are open to all) have been updating, upgrading, renovating and innovating on a constant basis since their opening December 2014 on the site of the former Ritz-Carlton Rose Hall, a new focus for them is the adopt-a-school project that they have named Granville 404.

The Granville All-Ages School is a 35-minute drive from Montego Bay in the mountains of St. James' parish and is the primary public school facility that serves the community there. Granville 404 gets its name from the number of students enrolled at the school.

The project began in October 2015 when a Hyatt employee whose child attended the school asked for a donation of wire to help repair the school fence.

Once the Playa team saw all of the improvements that the school needed, they decided to step in and help out.
The staff of the Zilara and Ziva resorts created a greenhouse and planted a garden to feed the children but also to teach them the role that farming plays in their lives.

Other hotel staff transformed a field filled with dirt and rocks into a soccer pitch, donated uniforms, installed a water-filtration and irrigation system, launched a school-wide recycling program, brought in a Spanish teacher and created counseling services available to all students.

A Playa employee and a student at the Granville school collaborate on an art project.
A Playa employee and a student at the Granville school collaborate on an art project.

Hyatt staff and volunteers are at the school frequently each month working on different projects, including the creation of a library and computer lab.

In addition, students often come to the hotels to learn the farm-to-fork process and how to cook the foods that they have grown.

Hyatt guests are welcome to visit the school during their stay. They need to inform hotel staff prior to their arrival so that their school visit can be coordinated. Guests also can donate goods such as school supplies and clothing to the students as well as make a financial contribution should they wish to do so.

"Granville is our personal story. It connects all of us in an attempt to be part of an environment that builds moral conviction and creates opportunities for elementary school underprivileged kids to realize their potential at an early age. We are determined to make a difference in their lives," said Diego Concha, general manager of the Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva.

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