Trinidad & Tobago

A great place to enjoy summer, relax, and watch the sunset!!

Big image

Ocean View

In the Caribbean nation of Trinidad & Tobago you'll find more than swaying palms and sun-kissed beaches. When you visit these historic islands you'll enjoy a multicultural feast prepared by descendants of settlers from Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East.

Arawak and Carib Indians prospered here at the southeastern end of the Caribbean chain until 1498, when Columbus spotted the island he named for the Holy Trinity.

Nearly a century would pass before Spain established Trinidad's first European community, San Jose de Oruna (St. Joseph) just east of the modern capital of Port of Spain. But Spain's lack of commitment to develop the area made it easy prey for England's Sir Walter Raleigh, who sacked the town in 1595.

No attempts were made to colonize Tobago, but in the 17th century English, French, Dutch and even Courlanders (Latvians) fought to control the strategic island, along with pirates who used it as a base for raiding other Indies outposts.

Britain gained control of Trinidad and Tobago in 1797. During the next 20 years, English overseers brought in 10,000 Africans to work sugar, cotton and indigo plantations. Descendants of those slaves today comprise the largest segment of Tobago's population.

After Britain abolished slavery in 1830, landowners imported thousands of indentured workers from India, China and the Middle East. Their descendants have given Trinidad its multi-ethnic charm and cosmopolitan flavor.

The distinction between the islands is all the more apparent when you consider that they existed separately for centuries. Tobago at one time maintained its own legislature. But economic downturns resulting from the collapse of the sugar market in the late 19th century prompted Britain to make Tobago a governmental ward of larger Trinidad.

The joined islands gained independence in 1962 and the new nation of Trinidad and Tobago became a republic in 1976.