The island is located a few kilometers from Venezuela and the South American continent east of the Paria peninsula ( separated by the Gulf of Paria ) and north of the Orinoco Delta (separated by the Straits of Boca de la Serpiente ). About 30 km north-east is the smaller island of Tobago.
The island of Trinidad is in contrast to the other islands of the region is not of volcanic origin, but was once a part of the South American mainland. Its surface is highly structured: On the 4821 km ² island of Trinidad, there are three running from east to west mountain ranges, the northern ( Northern Range ) rises up to 940 m Cerro del Aripo. The north has rain forest, on the south savanna or farmland.
The tropical climate characterized by daytime temperatures of around 30 ° C, at night the temperature drops to 20 ° C. The main part of the moderate with 2000 mm annual precipitation goes down from June to October.
Between the Venezuelan Paria peninsula in the west and the north-western peninsula of Trinidad in the East ( Chaguaramas ), the Bocas Islands, three small islands: Chacachacare, Huevos and Monos. South of Chaguaramas are Gaspar Grande and the little Diego, Carrera ( a prison island ) and the Five Islands.
According to the last census in 2000, there were 1,262,366 residents in Trinidad and Tobago. Since the annual population growth is 0.3% to 0.4 %, it is likely at the end of 2006, approximately 1,285,000 inhabitants have given. After that, the population density is 251 per km ².
The original Indian population ( Arawak ) is extinct since the end of the 18th century. As elsewhere in the Caribbean, where plantation agriculture was operated, this was due to the brutal exploitation of slaves. With the abolition of slavery in the British colonies in 1834, the slaves were replaced by indentured laborers who came mainly from British India. The working and living conditions of these contract workers differed only marginally from slavery.
50 % of the population in Trinidad are descendants of African slaves. About 40 % are descendants of Indian contract laborers, about 10 % of other origin. In addition to the Christians, which is about 40.3 % ( 29.4 % Catholic, 10.9% Anglican) make up, there are about 23.8 % Hindu, 5.8 % Muslim, and small Jewish communities.
The capital of Trinidad and Tobago is Port of Spain. The largest city on the other hand is Chaguanas with more than 72,000 inhabitants.
In addition to English, the official language of the State of Trinidad and Tobago, French, Spanish, Hindi, Chinese and Antillean Creole are spoken ( the so-called " patois ").
The island was discovered on July 31, 1498 by Columbus on his third voyage. Columbus named the island in view of three mountain peaks Trinidad, which means as much as Trinity (Trinity). From 1552 Trinidad was under Spanish rule and remained for about 250 years in the possession of the Spanish crown.
After the Spanish - English War 1802 Trinidad and Tobago came in 1814 in British possession. From 1889 were managed with administrative headquarters in Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago as a joint British colony "Trinidad and Tobago "; since then divide the two islands the same political history.
In 1956 the colony a limited internal self-government. From 1958 to 1962 belonged to "Trinidad and Tobago " the West Indian Federation.
1962 Trinidad and Tobago was released as an independent state within the British Commonwealth in independence.
Economy and infrastructure
Since the start of commercial oil production in 1910 are extraction and processing of petroleum and natural gas, the most important economic sectors. Cheap energy sources are used for metal smelting. In Trinidad, this is the largest natural asphalt deposits in the world, the so-called asphalt lake. Port of Spain has the most important harbor of the island.
On the entire island on the left.
Trinidad is not only the birthplace of steelpan, but also of Calypso and Soca. They are both musical inventions and are mainly used in the annual carnival. Trinidad celebrates the most important carnival in Rio de Janeiro.