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General Information

 

Capital: Port of Spain, Trinidad

Population: Trinidad and Tobago's population stands at 1, 297, 944.
People of African and Indian descent comprise the majority of the population, with people of mixed race, European, Chinese and Middle Eastern ancestry adding diversity to our ethnic mix.

Currency: The local currency is the Trinidad and Tobago dollar. US dollars are widely accepted at an approximate rate of
TT $6 to US $1

Language: The official language of Trinidad and Tobago is English, but Spanish and to a lesser extent French patois, Hindi and Chinese is spoken by some segments of the population through culture and heritage.

Political Status: Independent nation and Republic within the Commonwealth
Area: Trinidad is approximately 185 square miles (4,800 sq km) and Tobago 116 square miles (300 sq km)

Location: Trinidad and Tobago are the most southern islands in the Caribbean, located a mere seven miles off Venezuela's north eastern coast. The islands are a 3 hour and 19 minute flight from Miami, 4 1/2 hours from New York and 58 minutes from Caracas.

Climate & Weather: Trinidad and Tobago has a warm, sunny climate year round. The average daytime temperature is about 28 degrees Celsius.
Our islands have two main seasons, the Dry Season, from January to May and the Rainy Season, from June to December. In the Rainy Season, mornings are usually sunny, followed by rainy afternoons and fair nights. During this time, our general rainfall pattern is interrupted by days of brilliant sunshine.

Religion: Freedom of religion is enshrined in Trinidad and Tobago's Constitution, and Catholics, Hindus, Anglicans, Baptist, Pentecostal, Muslim, Seventh Day Adventist are all represented in our islands.

Topography: The Republic of Trinidad & Tobago is situated in the north-eastern corner of the Caribbean, just off the coast of Venezuela. The republic consist of two large islands and a number of small ones. The larger is Trinidad: the island of Tobago is much smaller and less densely populated. Both Islands are part of the Winward Islands of the Lesser Antilles.

Politics: The politics of Trinidad and Tobago function within the framework of a unitary state regulated by a parliamentary democracy modelled on that of the UK, from which the country gained its independence in 1962. Under the 1976 republican Constitution, the British monarch was replaced as head of state by a President chosen by an electoral college composed of the members of the bicameral Parliament, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Economy: Trinidad & Tobago have earned a reputation for having an excellent climate for investments for international enterprises. The country plays a leading part in the natural gas industry. Tourism is also a growing industry although to a lesser extent than in other Caribbean islands. Inflation is low and there is a trade surplus.

History : (Trinidad)
A visit to Trinidad today would reveal a multicultural melting pot stirred by the descendants of settlers from Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East. But in 1498, when explorer Christopher Columbus set foot on Trinidad, things were very different.

Arawak and Carib Indians prospered here on the island the Amerindians called Ieri, land of the Humming Bird, until Columbus spotted the island he named for the Holy Trinity. When the Spaniards discovered no precious metals on Trinidad, the Amerindians were enslaved and shipped off to work on other Caribbean settlements.

Nearly a century would pass before Spain established Trinidad's first European community, San Jose de Oruna (St Joseph), which was sacked and burnt by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1595. Sir Walter Raleigh was also said to have discovered the Pitch Lake, from which he used material to caulk his leaking ship.

Trinidad remained a Spanish possession from the 15th Century and the Cedula of Population in 1783, allowed French planters and their slaves to emigrate from the French colonies to the island. The British would capture Trinidad in 1797 and negotiate an amicable treaty of rule with the Spanish.

In the following years, enslaved Africans were brought in to work on sugar plantations and in 1802, the island became a British colony. After slavery was abolished by Britain, landowners imported thousands of indentured labourers from India, China and the Middle East.

In 1889, Britain joined the smaller Tobago to Trinidad as an administrative ward. The islands achieved independence from England in 1962 and became the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in 1976.