Volunteer in Trinidad and Tobago

Volunteer in Trinidad and Tobago

What to Know Before Volunteer in Trinidad and Tobago

Before discussing Volunteer in Trinidad and Tobago and Volunteerism, we should discuss some facts about the place. Trinidad and Tobago is a twin- island Republic located at the southernmost tip of the Caribbean archipelago, with its nearest neighbor being Venezuela. Having attained its Independence from England in 1962, it has celebrated 58 years as an Independent state. With regards to Trinidad the capital is Port-of-Spain and San Fernando is the second largest city. Other key hubs are the boroughs of Arima, Chaguanas and Point Fortin. Tobago’s capital is Scarborough. With Covid-19 and its many implications many are being cautioned to adhere to the new normal- social distancing, using masks especially when outdoors, and no hugging or shaking hands. 

 

Volunteerism 

There are several opportunities for volunteer in Trinidad and Tobago throughout the islands. These allow for interaction in different spheres of the society as well as into different sectors. Some notable examples are at United Way, ALTA, Habitat for Humanity, the National Trust as well as at the Emperor Valley Zoo. United Way which is internationally known does significant charitable work, while Habitat for Humanity is involved in building suitable housing accommodation for families. At ALTA, the Adult Literacy Tutors Association, volunteers come together to teach adults who are unable to read how to read. Interested persons can also volunteer their services at the Zoo to take care of the animals there. Volunteer in Trinidad and Tobago is always a great deal

 

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LANGUAGE

The main language which is spoken is English. With an increasing Spanish presence there has been greater acceptance of the language but English continues to be the dominant language.

WEATHER

A visit to the islands means an opportunity to enjoy the tropical environment. This being said it means enjoying a mixture of the sun and rain. There are two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The former runs from January to the end of May and the latter, from June to December. Sometimes both seasons can experience a bit of the opposite, meaning in the dry season, there may be more rain than is expected and the rainy season is known for a dry spell called “petit careme” which usually happens in September. The hurricane season falls within the rainy season (June to the end of November).

 

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Money

The Trinidad and Tobago dollar is the national currency. In recent times it has depreciated somewhat and now stands at $6.67 TT compared to 1USD. Before Volunteer in Trinidad and Tobago, we recommend to visit any currency exchange and get some dollars of their currency

 

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Timings and weekends

On average the work day begins at 8am and ends at 4pm. For some it is earlier and for some it is later. Weekends are generally deemed ‘downtime’ with government offices being closed. It is the time too when most people are out to get their market supplies, do shopping or go to the movies. It is also the time when people enjoy going to the beaches and spend time doing other recreational activities.

 

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Accommodation

Relatively easy to find, through both islands there are several accommodation options. Lodging can be found relatively easily and at prices that are quite affordable. This can be easily done via online methods through a Google Search or on Facebook’s Marketplace. Accommodation can also be found via a quick flip through the pages of the daily newspapers. All of these are available online but carry subscriptions. 

 

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Religious Diversity

Trinidad and Tobago is in every sense as religiously diverse as it is culturally diverse. Each religion is respected and as far as possible the islands live up to the words of the country’s National Anthem, “Here every creed and race, find an equal place, and may God bless our nation”. The main religions are Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. Volunteering in Trinidad and Tobago always supportive for volunteers of all countries.

 

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FOOD

If you’re looking for tasty meals in your journey then Volunteering in Trinidad and Tobago is going to be with a lot of food to find. Whether it is fast food, street food or fine dining there is never a shortage of food options. The islands, being as diverse as they are also provide a range of different cuisines- mainly Indian, Creole, Chinese and Syrian. A famous delicacy in Tobago is crab and dumpling and throughout both islands, many look forward to getting doubles (bharas with a tasty chick peas that is curried and the bharas have a filling in the centre and an assortment of various sauces- tamarind, mango, cucumber chutney, ‘sweet sauce’, roasted coconut) from their favourite doubles vendor. 

 

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Clothing

People dress casually when out and they dress professionally for work. For religious occasions they usually dress in ethnic wear and they also do so on the eve of public holidays. Most tend to frequent jeans and t-shirts when hanging out. Clothing is generally light and easy to wear. Those working in the industrial areas tend to dress in their safety wear (helmets, boots, safety glasses) when they are on their respective job sites. 

 

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TRANSPORT

Transportation is easily accessible through either private or public transportation. With public transportation it means travelling via either a bus (either coach or regular), a maxi-taxi or a taxi. Those wishing to can access the water-taxi which transports persons from San Fernando to Port-of-Spain and vice versa. With regards to travel between the islands this can be easily accessed via the inter-island ferry which travels from Port-of-Spain to Scarborough and it can also be done via a flight from the Piarco International Airport in Trinidad to the ANR Robinson Airport in Crown Point, Tobago. Volunteering in Trinidad and Tobago is full of fun and access of transportation.

 

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HEALTHCARE

Healthcare, like transportation is also either public or private. Many opt for public healthcare as it is much cheaper but it is usually a much longer process. Many doctors operate a private practice and there is a growing number of private geriatric nurses offering their services. 

Safety Precautions

Several things are advised. For those new to the islands in particular it is not advisable to travel late at night or to travel alone. With regards to travelling it is also safer to use public transportation. Further to this wearing minimal jewelry is also advised. 

Those new to the islands should also always be mindful of their surroundings, they should secure their personal items, they should be careful in crowded areas and also avoid travelling to remote areas without persons they know. 

 

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Market and Bargaining

Getting a market deal is usually an easy bargain. Market days are generally on a Saturday and a Sunday from very early in the morning. Popular markets are the Port-of-Spain market, the San Fernando market, the Arima market and the Point Fortin market. Wholesale market days are also great shopping days and some take place just over the morning period while others go through the day. Wholesale markets are usually at different locations and each location is usually assigned a particular day of the week. To find out about this persons can visit the NAMDEVCO website or their Facebook page. Some communities are also fortunate to have either persons driving by selling fruits, vegetables and different meats from the back of their vans or to have persons with vegetable sheds at the front of their homes. 

 

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