The Mystic Bowie Cultural Center is dedicated to enriching the lives of the children of Jamaica. Our Multi-Cultural programs are designed to unlock the potential of the children through Arts, Music, Drama, and Sports. Our mission is to use these as a springboard to help each child improve the skills needed for success in life.

Jamaica (November 2007) With Mystic Bowie

I cannot believe it has been 4 years since my incredible trip to Negril and St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. How did this trip come about? My great friend Mystic Bowie was the orchestrator of this excursion which turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Mystic wanted to share his culture and heritage with his friends as well as show us the land where his dream (Music and Sports Cultural Center will be built) so we boarded a plane and landed in Montego Bay then boarded a big white van to bring us to Negril.

The most memorable experience (that warmed my heart) was not the delicious food, or the crystal blue waters and white sand but meeting some of the children who will benefit from having the Cultural Center. We arrived at Mystic's family home in St. Elizabeth and were greeted by many (and I mean many) beautiful little smiling faces. Children from toddlers years to teens. There smiles were from ear to ear. The most precious gift to me was handling out school supplies to the kids (pens, crayons, books, back packs etc.) We did not have enough for everyone so that each child could get a full set of supplies so we split things up and handed out what we could. Let me tell you about appreciation. That day as we handed over the supplies the children showed no greed. They were so grateful and thankful even if they were handed only two pencils. They held those cherished gifts in their hands so tightly and thanked, thanked and thanked us again. This experience made my heart beat 100 times stronger. The beautiful, loving, smiling kids who have very little material things showed the most appreciation I have ever experienced or imagined. They bestowed a gift upon all of us and that is to be thankful for what you have in life. The experience of this trip will be with me for my lifetime.

- Lisa Valiante-Habasinski

Lisa Valiante-Habasinski

Polite and respectful!

Those words epitomize the children of St. Elizabeth. My daughter Katherine and I arrived with suitcases of school supplies - backpacks, pencils, crayons, and books all donated by my 4th graders in Darien, CT. Slowly the Jamaican children appeared, shy but curious. Although excited, they hesitated and carefully acknowledged their supplies with bright smiles. "Thank you ma'am, thank you miss." So polite. It was the sweetest!

- Christine & Katherine Newkirk

Christine Newkirk

I started my journey with the Mystic Bowie Cultural Center just this past June. After the first business meeting with Mystic I was hooked! Coming from a busy job in the publishing world I was looking for something exciting to focus my extra energy on. It may seem like a foreign concept to grasp, but I have developed a love for these kids and I haven't even met them yet.

I made it my mission to try to get these kids access to all the wonderful things we have here in the states. I contacted major and local businesses and asked them to take interest in MBCC and contribute to the cause. After a lot of back and forth phone calls and emails, we had some amazing donations from companies such as LLBean, Sports Authority, and Chronicle Books.

I am really looking forward to making the trip to Jamaica this November and getting the opportunity to interact with the children of the Maroon Tribe. All of the hard work will be worth it just to see a smile on their faces when they receive the supplies we collected. I will share the story of my experience after the trip!!

- Cara Mrozek

In 2008, I joined Mystic and The Baelen Family, along with a rag-tag group of explorers, on a 10-day tour of Jamaica. The trip was filled with great food and sun, day-trips to touristy and non-touristy sites, opportunities to truly engage the local culture, and the unique experience of visiting the location of what would become the Mystic Bowie Cultural Center and the children of St. Elizabeth's who would be served by this visionary project.

While there was not much by way of brick and mortar development, when we were there, it was clear that the groundwork for the project had been laid and that the children and families were anxious for the MBCC to open. I look forward to continuing to help Mystic and The Baelens achieve this ambitious and necessary project.

- Keeva Kase