In 2001 Paul Shalom Rhodes, MD acquired a portion of the former Robin Moore estate on Boston Beach and began designing and building what has become Great Huts: Paradise on the Edge. A regular visitor to the Island for about 15 years, Paul fell in love with Port Antonio, its rugged landscape and her wonderful people. His passion for Jamaican and African art and connection to Interact and Rotary Clubs since high school in New York, allowed for the development of a unique ecological resort which would combine African art and design, Afro-centric and Judaic cultural programs and a commitment to local voluntary community service.
Paul’s love affair with Jamaica began in 1974 when he participated in a University of the West Indies nutrition project in Lucea, Jamaica during his last year of medical school. In addition to the proprietorship of this resort, Paul is the past President of the Port Antonio Chapter of Rotary International and is involved in many community service projects, especially care of the homeless. In 1994 Paul founded a charity called JAFI which assists the infirmaries (Alms Houses) of Jamaica.
During his three year sabbatical in Jamaica, serving as VP and President of the Port Antonio Rotary Club and focusing on the design and construction of Great Huts, Paul met Nickesha Christine Smith and was smitten! Paul and Nikki were married at Great Huts in 2005. Nikki graduated with a theater arts degree from Edna Manley College in Kingston and is currently pursuing her acting career in Washington, DC. Dr Rhodes, Associate Professor of Medicine at Howard University and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University is currently on Sabbatical overseeing Great Huts and serving as the Chairman and Administrator for the Port Antonio Homeless Shelter and Rehab Center. Dr Paul invites oversea’s medical students and residences for elective study at the Port Antonio infirmary and at the homeless shelter.
Giving Back to the Community
Dr. Rhodes through his charitable NGO (Non Government Organization), Portland Rehabilitation Management (PRM), provides minimally priced accommodations for volunteers of one month or more. Preceptorships for interns/residents in medicine, psychiatry, social work, nursing, education and recreational therapy are offered by Dr. Rhodes and include voluntary work at the infirmary, homeless shelter, rehabilitation center for the homeless, environmental protection agency, Red Cross, Salvation Army and local high schools. We call it “Volun-Tourism”.