Trinidad Ashley Bisek and Stephanie Ranzau
Trinidad and Tobago form the two southernmost links to the Caribbean chain
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago • Island state of the West Indies • Capitol: Port of Spain • National bird: scarlet ibis • Official language: English • Government: Parliamentary Democracy • President: Maxwell Richards • Prime Minister: Patrick Manning • Population: 1,056,608 (as of 2007 estimate) • Member of the Commonwealth of Nations
Median age: 31.8 Growth rate: -.883% Birth rate: 13.07/1,000 Death rate: 10.76/1,000 Life expectancy: 66.85 Women: 67.87 Men: 65.87 1.74 children born/woman Ethnicity (2000 census): Indian: 40% African: 37.5% Mixed: 20.5% Other: 1.2% Unspecified: 0.8% Religions (2000 census) Roman Catholic: 26% Hindu: 22.5% Anglican: 7.8% Baptist: 7.2% Many others… Languages: English (official), Caribbean Hindustani, French, Spanish, Chinese Literacy rate (15 or older who can read and write): 98.6% (2003 estimate) People(2007 estimates unless indicated otherwise)
Trinidad’s Flag • Adopted in 1962 • Red represents the vitality of the land and the people, warmth and energy of the sun, and courage and friendliness. • The white represents the sea, the purity of national aspirations, and the equality of all men • The black represents strength, unity and purpose, and the natural resources
Coat of Arms • The three ships represent the Trinity and the three ships of Columbus that landed in Trinidad • Supporting birds and the two local birds: the scarlet ibis and the cocrico. Hummingbirds are also present on the shield. • The three peaks represent the Trinity and the three Peaks of the Southern mountain range, called the “Three Sisters“ • Motto: Together we aspire, together we achieve.
Geography 1 • Trinidad: 1,841 sq. miles • Tobago: 115 sq. miles and is 32 miles long and 11 across. • Northern Range (continuation of Andes from Venezuela), Central range and Southern Range • Aripo Mt. is the highest peak in Trinidad, 3,084 feet • Many waterfalls in the Northern Range; biggest are the Blue Basin and the Maracas Falls, both 298 feet high • Southern Range: mainly low hills and is home to the “Three Sisters”
Geography 2 • Many short rivers • Longest river is Ortoire, 31 miles • Swamps • Oil belt – forms mud volcanoes • Devil’s Woodyard is the most popular mud volcano • Buccoo Reef: known for marine life and is popular for scuba diving and snorkeling
Climate/Weather • Tropical climate; high relative humidity • Average minimum and maximum temperatures for year are 68-89 °F • Dry periods are from January to May and September to October • Trinidad is outside the main hurricane zone, but has been struck before (1867 and 1963)
Plants, Animals and the Environment • Plants: mountain immortelle (flowering tree that grows to 80 feet) and the gold flowers of the poui, sugarcane • Animals: Paca, agouti, collared pecary, armadillo, porcupine, iguana, and caiman crocodiles • Forests are hunting grounds for small game • Current environmental issues: water pollution from agricultural chemicals, industry wastes and sewage, oil pollution of beaches, deforestation and soil erosion
Government • Parliamentary Democracy headed by President Maxwell Richards (elected in 2003) • The Prime Minister is Patrick Manning (elected 2001) • First constitution written in 1962 called for British government to pick a governor-general • 1976 constitution: republic headed by elected president • Voting age is 18
Economy 1 • Main natural resources: petroleum, natural gas and asphalt. • Has one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean because of oil revenue • Pitch Lake (southwestern coast) is the world’s largest natural reservoir of asphalt • Leading Caribbean producer of oil and gas • Petroleum industry dominates the economy, which allows for fluctuations due to the global oil market. • Oil production, land- and sea-based • Government trying to encourage diversification: less imports, other industries outside of petroleum • Tourism and manufacturing are a growing industry • Major agricultural exports are sugar, cocoa and coffee • Industries: petroleum, chemicals, tourism, food processing, cement, beverage, cotton textiles • Transshipment point for illicit drugs going from South America to the US and Europe. Trinidad and Tobago also produce marijuana
Economic growth went up 12.6% in 2006 because of high oil prices GDP (purchasing power): $21.06 billion GDP (official exchange rate): $14.87 billion GDP per capita: $19,800 GDP: 0.7% agriculture, 59.8% industry, 39.4% services Unemployment rate: 7% Population below poverty line: 21% Inflation: 8.3% Exports: $12.1 billion Petroleum/products, chemicals, steel products, fertilizer, sugar, coffee, citrus, flowers Imports: $6.843 billion Machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, live animals Trade partners: US, Bermuda, Jamaica, Spain, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia Exchange rate: Trinidad and Tobago dollar per US dollar: 6.31 Economy 2 (2006 estimates)
Education • Free at primary and secondary levels • Compulsory between ages 6 and 12 • Shortage of schools (especially secondary) for growing student population • University of West Indies and three technical institutes are the main higher-education schools
Culture • Known for its steel band and calypso music as well as limbo • Annual carnival celebrations • Cricket is the most popular sport • Major holidays: • Indian Revival Day: May 30th, commemorates the first arrival from India to Trinidad on May 30th, 1845 • Spiritual Baptist/Shouter Liberation Day: March 30th, commemorates the repeal on March 30th of 1951 of the 1917 Shouter Prohibition Ordinance that prohibited the activities of the Shouter or Spiritual Baptist faith • Emancipation day: August 1st, 1985, commemorates the abolition of slavery (
History 1 • Arawakan and Carib tribal groups occupied island • 1498: Columbus arrived in on his third voyage • Plantations established by settlers in end of 16th century • 1802: Trinidad remained under Spanish rule (despite other European raids until 1802 when it was ceded to Britain. Tobago was passed between Britain and France several times. • 1838: Slavery ended, sugarcane industry crashed • 1845-1917: Immigration of indentured workers from India • 1889: Trinidad and Tobago were made a single colony • 1925: Partial self-government was instituted • 1958-1963: Was a part of the West Indies Federation • 1962: Gained independence and became a republic, but remained with the Commonwealth • 1970-1972: Tension between the East Indians and the blacks started riots and an army mutiny against the East Indians
History 2 • 1956-1981: Eric Williams (the “Father of the Nation”) and leader pf the People’s National Movement (PNM) governed 1973-1981: Oil boom., rapid development • 1986: National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR) held office • 1990: To protest the NAR government, 100 radical black Muslims blew up the police station in an attempted coup. The Prime Minister and other officials were held hostage for six days. • 1991: PNM returned to power • Original Trinidians “disappeared” • Heterogeneous population: Africa, Madeira, China, Syria, Lebanon, Venezuela, and the United Kingdom • 1991: PNM returned to power • 2003: Maxwell Richards, a university dean, was selected president by parliament • April 2006: former prime minister Panday was sentenced to two years in prison for committing fraud in public office.
Interesting Facts • First country to celebrate the abolition of slavery in the British Empire • The XXI Summer Olympic Games in 1975: Hasely Crawford became the first athlete from Trinidad & Tobago to win an Olympic gold medal for the 100 meter run.
Sources • Flag and Seal: CRW Flagshttp://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/tt.html#flag • Government, People and Economy: CIA.govhttps://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/td.html • History: infoplease.comhttp://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0108046.html • Everything else: Encyclopedia Britannicahttp://search.eb.com/eb/article-54807