As I have mentioned before, my family is from the West Indies; Trinidad & Tobago to be exact. Hovering just over Venezuela, it is the last country in the lower Antilles. Previously thought to be a part of the Caribbean, I found out last year that Trinidad & Tobago (Too-bay-go) is considered a part of South America. That was interesting to me as I have NEVER heard that before.
Two main islands that make up one country, though there are many smaller land masses that surround the islands, Trinidad & Tobago is one of the most culturally diverse countries I have ever witnessed. Not just because of the multitude of nationalities that inhabit the island, but because of the way that the country accepts and celebrates all of their differences; streamlining it into one cultural identity. Formerly a Spanish colony, T&T became a part of the British Commonwealth in 1802. From the languages spoken to the traditions, holidays, and fesitivals celebrated, Trinidad & Tobago is firmly planted in African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, British, German, Dutch and Scottish roots. In addition to a whole host of other nationalities, this mix of cultures has produced a multi-ethnic people who take pride in all facets of their heritage. An originator of many art forms, Trinidad & Tobago is most known for Carnival; and is the birthplace of soca, calypso, steelpan, and chutney music.
Geographically, the islands also host a biodiversity more similar to South America than that of other Caribbean islands. A nature lover’s dream, T&T has a wealth of natural wonders. From the rainforests (which it is the first country and perhaps the only country to constitutionally protect the lands) to the coral reefs, beaches, mountains, and a naturally occurring phenomenon known as “pitch lake”. A naturally bubbling tar lake. I don’t know. God is awesome. Take a look.
In addition, an animal/insect/bird watcher’s dream, T&T is recorded to have (approximate species numbers) of 1000 different marine fish, 100 diverse mammals, 100 reptiles, 30 amphibians, 500 distinctive birds, 650 butterflies, 50 freshwater fish, 700 unique beetles and 40 distinct corals. And 3,500 different types of plant life. Whew…that was a mouthful.
Well enough talking. Watch this video about the island, it illustrates much more beautifully anything I could have said. Anyone for a trip?