Welcome Trinbagonians and visitors to the birthplace of the Steel Pan, and what we call ‘The Island of expression’. For their love of expression through music, dance and art, poetic even in their talking and storytelling. Trinidad and Tobago, the twin islands. Twins, far from identical.
Trinidad is intriguingly vibrant, soulful, the hub for Caribbean businesses, it’s capital Port of Spain bearing the resemblance of a cosmopolitan city. Tobago, sister island, relaxed and peaceful in comparison. Blessed with natural rainforests, pristine blue seas, coral reefs, spectacular views, a haven for nature lovers, wildlife and diving enthusiasts. Both islands boast beautiful beaches, multicultural food and warm hospitable people.
Trinidad is music: host to the second biggest Carnival extravaganza. A mixture of steel bands, soca and calypso melodies, hum across this beautiful Island. It’s no wonder it’s national bird is the ‘humming bird’! A visit to this enchanting Island would not be complete without tantalising your taste buds with the famous ‘Bake and Shark’, yes you heard me.
The red base represents the vigour of the land in Trinidad and Tobago, the friendliness and courage of its people, and the sun.
The black represents the unity and strength of the people, as well as the natural wealth of the country.
The white represents the surrounding sea and the purity and equality of all people under the sun.
Together, the colours represent earth, water and fire, which connect the nation’s people to the past present and future.
The Coat of Arms of Trinidad and Tobago was designed by a committee formed in 1962 to select the symbols that would be representative of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. The committee included noted artist Carlisle Chang and the late designer George Bailey. The shield has the same colours (black, red, and white) of the nation’s flag and carry the same meaning. The gold ships represent the Santa Maria, Nina, and Pinta: the three ships Christopher Columbus used on his journey to the “New World.” The two birds on the shield are hummingbirds. Trinidad is sometimes referred to as the “Land of the Hummingbird” because more than sixteen different species of hummingbird have been recorded on the island. The two larger birds are the Scarlet Ibis (left) and the Cocrico (right), the national birds of Trinidad and Tobago. Below these birds is our nation’s motto, “Together We Aspire, Together We Achieve.”
Information courtesy of trtisland.com
Forged from the love of liberty
In the fires of hope and prayer
With boundless faith in our destiny
We solemnly declare:
Side by side we stand
Islands of the blue Caribbean sea,
This our native land
We pledge our lives to thee.
Here every creed and race find an equal place,
And may God bless our nation
Here every creed and race find an equal place,
And may God bless our nation.
SIR ELLIS CLARKE
TOOK OFFICE: 01/08/1976 – LEFT OFFICE: 24/09/1976
TOOK OFFICE: 24/09/1976 – LEFT OFFICE: 19/03/1987
TOOK OFFICE: 20/03/1987 – LEFT OFFICE: 17/03/1997
A. N. R. ROBINSON
TOOK OFFICE: 18/03/1997 – LEFT OFFICE: 16/03/2003
GEORGE MAXWELL RICHARDS
TOOK OFFICE: 17/03/2003 – LEFT OFFICE: 18/03/2013
TOOK OFFICE: 18/03/2013 – LEFT OFFICE: 19/03/2018
TOOK OFFICE: 19/03/2018 – INCUMBENT
TOOK OFFICE: 01/08/1976 – LEFT OFFICE: 29/03/1981
TOOK OFFICE: 30/03/1981 – LEFT OFFICE: 18/12/1986
A. N. R. ROBINSON
TOOK OFFICE: 19/12/1986 – LEFT OFFICE: 17/12/1991
TOOK OFFICE: 17/12/1991 – LEFT OFFICE: 09/11/1995
TOOK OFFICE: 09/11/1995 – LEFT OFFICE: 24/12/2001
TOOK OFFICE: 24/12/2001 – LEFT OFFICE: 26/05/2010
TOOK OFFICE: 26/05/2010 – LEFT OFFICE: 09/09/2015
TOOK OFFICE: 09/09/2015 – INCUMBENT
Part of a complex of fortifications constructed under the orders of Brigadier-General Sir Thomas Hislop in 1804. Fort George was formerly known as La Vigie as is situated to the North of St. James. The fort never actually saw any military action but was considered impregnable and was the major defensive position in Trinidad. The site has been very well preserved, visitors can see the original canons, dungeons, artefacts of the day and a signal station at this impressive site. The signal station was built there in 1883 and was designed by Prince Kofi Nti of West Africa. The Fort also offers some of the best views of Port of Spain and the sea.
The Pitch Lake is located in La Brea, a small community situated in the southwestern part of Trinidad, which lies approximately, 55 miles (88.5km) from Port–of–Spain. This humble community is the home of the eighth wonder of the world, and the largest of its kind, the Pitch Lake.
While wading in the small pools of water which collect on the surface of the Pitch Lake and musing on the ‘magical healing” powers which the water is said to have, based on its heavy sulphur content – a visitor to the lake may not connect the large, black expanse of pitch – in this remote part of a relatively tiny Caribbean island, with some of the world’s most heavily trafficked highways, international airport runways and bridges in Europe and the United States of America.
Information courtesy of trinidadlakeasphalt.com
In the far South of the Caribbean Sea, on the island of Tobago, lies a stretch of uninhabited and exquisite sandy beach lapped by the most kaleidoscopic waters you will ever see. Located near the Bon Accord Lagoon; this unique beach is called No Man’s Land. No Man’s Land isn’t an island, rather a spit of white coral-sand stretching out in front of the lagoon. The spit is surrounded by clear shallow water and speckled with leafy trees and small forest growth on either side of a long path that makes up the dance floor to dozens of brightly coloured dragonflies.
Information courtesy of buccoo.net
The 12,000-acre swamp is located on the west coast of Trinidad, a short drive southward from Port of Spain. One of the largest mangrove wetlands in Trinidad, Caroni Swamp and Bird Sanctuary is home to the national bird of Trinidad, the Scarlet Ibis. Many visit the Sanctuary to see the roosting habits of the thousands of these bright red birds. The abundance of mangrove trees provide the perfect nesting place for the birds. Although officially protected the Scarlet Ibisb population is still at risk due to poaching and pollution of the Swamp. There are over 100 species of birds, caimans and crabs that also populate the Swamp.
Originally, the island of Trinidad was populated by the Igneri, a part of Arawak Indian peoples, who are peace-loving cultivators of land and the Caribs, who were quite a fierce tribe.
On 31stJuly, 1498, Christopher Columbus, already on his third expedition, alighted on the coasts of Trinidad. Soon after, Spain colonized the island and by year 1532, the empire had already appointed someone to govern the territory. The slave trade was rampant, while the original settlers of the island were either overworked to death or banished from their homeland, African slaves were shipped in to Trinidad. By the 17th century, the island once again suffered from invasions, this time from the Dutch and the French. During the French revolution, numerous French families from the other islands of the West Indies came to Trinidad. Sometime within the revolution, February 1797 to be exact, Trinidad yielded to the British and in 1802, formalized by the Treaty of Amiens, the island was surrendered to Great Britain. In 1833, slavery was abolished and decades after that, Muslim and Hindu Indians arrived in Trinidad and were made to work in place of the slaves in British plantations.
The isle of Tobago, initially occupied by the Caribs, was sighted in 1498 by Columbus. The island experienced consecutive wars and conquests by the Spanish, British, Dutch, and French until 1814. During this time, the Napoleonic wars concluded, and France had to let the island go in favour of Britain. Tobago was then made a part of the Windward Islands Colony up until 1889, when it was officially joined to Trinidad.
Trinidad and Tobago formally became an independent state and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, on 31stAugust, 1962. During this period, the People’s National Movement (PNM) took over. In 1967, the joint islands became part of the Organization of American States and soon after, it formed the Caribbean Free Trade Area (CARIFTA), now known as the Caribbean Common Market.
In September 1976, the then Prime Minister Williams, produced a new constitution giving birth to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.