Capital: Port of Spain
Trinidad (and Tobago), is an interesting place for its cultural diversity. The people's origins are 43% African, 40% West Indian and 14 mixed, English is the official language but Hindi, Spanish and French are also spoken. Their religious allegiances are also diverse; 32% Catholic, 28% Protestant, 24% Hindu and 6% Muslim.
The oil, gas and chemicals industry contribute to positive economic statistics but these overall numbers hide dire social inequalities, a 20% unemployment rate and one of the world's highest crime rates.
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The "Red House", Trinidad's Parliament.
Catholic Cathedral at east end of Independence Square.
Cafe on Park street. The heavy grille protecting the owner or operator is standard cafe equipment in Trinidad. Poverty, drugs and alcohol contribute to giving Trinidad one of the highest crime rates in the world. In 1996 there were more than 1000 murders for a total population of 1.3 million.
The capital still has several of these old but handsome 19th century houses.
Here is another one, Unity House on the corner of Edward and Oxford streets.
Every day is market day on Prince street.
I stayed here in Lyn's Guest House at the east end of Park street. The normal price of 7 US$ a day goes up to 20 US$ during Carnaval. It is clean and more importantly, safe because of the presence of an armed guard at night.
Jolly Hermine Johnson manages Lyn's Guest House and the guard keeps the rowdies out.
Coming in one night after sundown, a noisy group invited me to drink rhum with them. I was a bit apprehensive but joined them anyway because I figured that I might as well since I would certainly not be able to sleep through the din. It turned out fine, we got along marvelously and I got invited to a "limin" party for the next night.
Sure enough, the next day they picked me up and we did the rounds visiting their friends all afternoon with of course a little rhum at every stop. Late in the night we ended up at Terry's place, high in the mountains of Diego Martin peninsula. In the usual order, me, Marva, Carol and Sonny in front with Terry, Andy and Lydia in the back.We had a ball and a late dinner of "breadfruit oil down" then Scobie brought me back as the others went on "limin" in another part of the Island.
The beach was quiet on Sunday morning, everyone else but me were either in church or getting over their Saturday night bash.
Mosque on the way to the airport.