Trinidad and Tobago is a two-island nation located in the southernmost part of the Caribbean chain of islands. It lies only 7 miles off the coast of Venezuela and Guyana in South America.
Trinidad, by far the larger of the two main islands, has an area of about 1,850 square miles (4,800 square km). Trinidad and Tobago achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1962 and obtained membership in the Commonwealth and the United Nations that same year. It became a republic in 1976. The capital of Trinidad and Tobago is Port of Spain, located on the northwestern coast of Trinidad.
Trinidad is well known for its African, Indian and Asian cultural mix which is reflected in their cuisine, music and celebration of festivals including the famous Carnival, Diwali and Hosay celebrations.
The country’s economy is primarily industrial, with an emphasis on petroleum and petrochemicals. The country’s wealth is attributed to its large reserves and exploitation of oil and natural gas. Trinidad is also home to the world’s largest natural deposit of asphalt known as The Pitch Lake.
Tobago, is much smaller, with an area of about 115 square miles (300 square km), lies 20 miles (30 km) to the northeast of Trinidad. Tobago’s economy is mostly tourism oriented and both Trinidad and Tobago are known as a birder’s paradise due to the nesting habits of many South American birds who travel back and forth across the narrow channel.
Of Note: The Trinidadian steel pan is the only musical instrumented invented in the 20th century. The multiculturalism is reflected in their music styles such as calypso, soca, rapso, aprang, chutney and chutney soca.
Currency: Trinidad and Tobago Dollar
Culture Name: Trinidadian, Tobagonian
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