Last week I took the most incredible vacation to Trinidad for Carnival! For those of you who don’t know carnival, its similar to Marti Gras and celebrated on Fat Tuesday. I went with a group of 10 volunteers and we all enjoyed to opportunity to destress and relax in on such a beautiful island.
We stayed in a big house in Point Fortin which is about two hours south of the capital, Port of Spain. Point Fortin is a lovely little community with big lawns, a great beach, and all the essentials. Because we rented a house, we were able to do our own cooking and indulge in some favorite American meals. One of the best parts of the trip was just walking around the town and doing nothing at the beach. As a young white woman, I stand out in Guyana and get a lot of unwanted attention, so it was a pleasant change to have some anonymity.
Our first big event was J’ouvert. It has a really interesting history you can check out here. It’s a giant street party/parade that welcomes in Carnival. It started at 4am on Monday and continued through the morning. We signed up to join a band (which is the way to do it if you’re considering going) which provided costumes, soca music, drinks, breakfast, and security. (If you’re wondering what soca music is here are some of my favorites from j’ouvet this year! Hello, Fast Wine, Catching Feelings) We started with a giant paint fight and danced into the morning!
On Tuesday we ventured back up to Port of Spain to see the big Carnival parade. It was spectacular! We met up with some other volunteers and enjoyed the spectacle of elaborate costumes, music, and street food. It wasn’t completely obvious by just watching the parade but each group tells part of the history of Trinidad, so by watching the whole thing you get a sense of Trinidad’s story. It was definitely the most fun history lesson I’ve ever had!
I cannot highly enough recommend visiting Trinidad for Carnival! Everyone we met was helpful and welcoming, all the festivities were so fun, and it was relatively inexpensive to do things! I was surprised by how developed the country is and hope to go back and visit Tobago sometime soon! Now I’m back at work in Guyana where things are going well and I look forward to all the other adventures this year will bring!