Trinidad and Tobago, whose official name is the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is a nation located in the Caribbean Sea. It consists of two main islands: Trinidad Island – the largest and most populous – and Tobago Island, which is much smaller and more populated, as well as several smaller islands.
Republic. It obtained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1962. Trinidad and Tobago is a member of the Commonwealth but has its own Head of State. They are governed by the Constitution of the 1 of August of 1976, which states that Trinidad and Tobago is a republic. The Constitution establishes that the country will be governed by a president and a bicameral legislative body, made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The islands of Trinidad and Tobago are located off the eastern coast of Venezuela, near the border with Guyana. In the northern part of Trinidad there is a mountain range that runs through the island from east to west. In the northwestern part of Trinidad is the capital Port of Spain, popularly sometimes called the ‘New York of the Caribbean’ for being one of the few Caribbean cities that has several tall buildings. From the capital and to the south an area known as the Caroni swamps extends, which stands out for being a magnificent ornithological reserve. On the northern and eastern coast there are very beautiful beaches. The central part of Trinidad is a flat area where agriculture is practiced. The island of Tobago is much smaller and very sparsely inhabited. It is a good destination for those seeking tranquility and for deep-sea divers.
The most outstanding feature of the geography of Trinidad are the Maracas Falls to the north and Lake Asfalto, to the south, or Pitch Lake depression. Numerous rivers increase the beauty of the panorama such as the Ortoire, Talparo, Oropuche. In addition to the two larger islands that give the Republic its name, there are five other smaller ones: Little Tobago, Chacachacare, Monos, Gasparee and Huevos.
Trinidad and Tobago Islands
Trinidad has an area of 4,828 square kilometers, and Tobago, 301 square kilometers. They are about 20 km from the continent and are an extension of the Venezuelan orographic formation north of the mouth of the Orinoco. Tobago is located about 32 km northeast of Trinidad.
Trinidad was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1498, and populated by Spanish. In the 18th century it was occupied by the French, and in the Napoleonic wars it was conquered by the English, who incorporated it into the colonies of the British Crown. The urban centers found in Trinidad are Port of Spain, San Fernando and Arima.
Tobago, practically depopulated, in the seventeenth century received Dutch, French, Spanish and English groups. In 1802, France sold it to England. The economy was based on the cultivation of sugar cane, coffee, bananas, tobacco, and on Trinidad Island the exploitation of oil and asphalt from Pitch Lake is also an important source of income. Another important source of income is tourism. In Tobago, the largest city is Scarborough. The airports are Piarco, in Trinidad, and Crown Point in Tobago.
The tropical climate is moderated by the northeast winds. The dry season is from November to May, but the hottest time is between the months of June to October. The climate in Tobago is pleasant most of the year, and although the months of May, June and July can be wetter, there is hardly any difference between the wet and dry seasons.
Among the sites that can be admired are:
- King’s Wharf or Independence Square.
- Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, of Catholic origin and built in 1832.
- Chacon and Picton, forts with impressive architecture.
- Red House, where Parliament works.
- National Museum and Art Gallery.
- Church of the Trinity, with Gothic spiers, consecrated in 1823.
- The Magnificent Seven, a series of buildings built in the 19th century.
- Botanical Garden, a large tropical park where the residences of the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister are located.
- Queen’s Park or Savannah Park.
- Fort George, of interesting architectural characteristics.
- The small town of Toco, and the first capital, Joseph.
- Tyrico Bay: one of the beautiful beaches, where surfing is practiced.
- Las Cuevas Bay: beach with numerous caves.
- Arima: city of pre-Columbian architecture.
- Asa Wright Nature Center, home to more than a hundred diverse species.
- Caroni Bird Sanctuary, a bird reserve that can be explored by boat.
- Point-à-Pierre Wild Fowl Trust, a nature reserve that concentrates many wild species in danger of extinction.
- Fort King George, with its incomparable botanical gardens.
- Rocky Bay, which has the Tobago Assembly in James Park.
- The Gun Bridge.
- Mount Saint George
- Fort Granby
- King’s Bay Falls
- The beaches of Pigeon Point and Turtle Bay.
- Bucoo Reef: coral reef.
Country economic strategy
A team of IDB professionals in coordination with Trinidad and Tobago prepares the country strategy.
The country strategy includes a synthesis of the current economic situation of the nation and a Bank development strategy for the country divided by sector. These strategies are prepared on the basis of an analytical study carried out by the Bank and other participants in a wide scale of economic and social sectors, such as urban and rural development, health, education, modernization of the state, transport, trade, environment, etc. among others.
According to SHOPPINGPICKS, Trinidad and Tobago’s national goal is to achieve the status of a developed country by 2020 – Vision 2020. To achieve this long-term goal, the country will have to overcome the challenge of developing a competitive economy with sustained growth and improving equity to reduce poverty. In this context, the DIB supports the country’s efforts in three interdependent areas:
- Promote the development of the private sector to increase economic diversification.
- Modernize the public sector to improve efficiency and effectiveness, and optimize its capacity.
- Promote social development by improving public social services.
Other key points include:
- A commitment to complete reforms in the health, roads and education sectors on time.
- Promote new relatively small and less complex projects.
- An emphasis on the role of the private sector and identified opportunities for direct support.
- An intensified dialogue with civil society.
Finally, as an integral part of the strategy, the Bank recognizes the specific needs and special challenges of Tobago. The Bank will support initiatives to improve the productive base of Tobago’s economy, including enhancing the island’s tourism potential. The BDI’s operational program in Trinidad and Tobago includes projects to support education, information and communications technology, land registration, and citizen security. The strategy contains the agreed criteria for the selection of new potential projects, particularly in the area of modernization of the public sector. At the same time, the strategy emphasizes the need to maintain macroeconomic stability and public spending in the social sectors.
- 30% Roman Catholics;
- 24% Hindus;
- 10% Anglicans,
- 10% from other Protestant Christian churches and
- 6% Muslim.
Cradle of calypso music, Trinidad and Tobago annually holds its carnival in February, which is considered one of the largest and most lavish in the world.
Many of the social attitudes are reflected in the lyrics of the calypso, the most accepted political and social satire since the pre-emancipation era. The residents of the islands are a very hospitable people. Casual clothing is usually the norm, it is acceptable to wear shirtsleeves to meetings and social events.