A Day In The Life Of
Arouca, located 12 miles east of Port of Spain, was a settlement reserved for Amerindians under Spanish rule. The name may actually be a corruption of Arauca, an Amerindian tribe. Most of the land in Arouca was split between the Tablau and Chaumet families.
The area steadily grew into a major agricultural centre, but when the railroad was extended to Sangre Grande in 1898, many villagers relocated there. Today though, Arouca mainly comprises of residential housing, and is known for the location of the Golden Grove Prison.
And just north of Arouca, is the village of Lopinot which is located in the foothills of the Northern Range. It is named after Charles Joseph Count de Loppinot, a young knight, who came to Trinidad and in 1805 was appointed Brigadier-General of the Trinidad Militia.
Loppinot used this position to gain a parcel of land, and that’s when he trekked up the mountains of north Arouca until he discovered flat land amidst the mountainous terrain. He decided to grow cocoa on the estate, La Reconnaissance, which proved a successful venture.
After the villagers of Caura were evacuated, they were given the option of re-settling on the newly acquired Government lands at Lopinot.
The people transferred the Caura Church, that is the Church of La Veronica, the la Veronica RC School, and their customs, culture and Spanish language to the Patois speaking community of Lopinot.
Many of the original residents of the area are descendants of French Creole migrants to the island following the Cedula of Population.
Today, the small village of Lopinot remains largely unchanged despite the fact that the cocoa estates have been cleared to a large extent to facilitate the building of the school, the church and houses.
Cocoa estates still remain, and many people still engage in agriculture for a living. By the 1970s, the T&T Tourist Board began to restore old structures to maintain the historical appeal of the village.
Thus, Lopinot Village remains a part of Trinidad and Tobago that blossoms with natural and almost undisturbed beauty.
See the photo gallery for this trip
June 15th, 2016