“I returned to Trinidad 10 years or so after my first visit, now with a renewed commitment to engaging the country’s rich history in the context of my research on race and ethnicity in the Caribbean and Central America, and also in the context of deepening ties to the History Department at the University of the West Indies. The latter is important, not only for my research, mostly in Spanish, but because that academic venue, in English, can provide future research opportunities for our students in the English-speaking Caribbean. Few countries in the Caribbean are as apt for studying the African Diaspora in the Americas, for example, than Trinidad & Tobago.” — Prof. Euraque
“Spring Break: A Week in Trinidad, with Trinity Professors”
By: Antinea Ascione (Class of 2012)
During Spring Break, I was given an opportunity to attend the Lloyd Best Common Sense Convois, in my home country, Trinidad. The weeklong conference sought to explore issues facing the Caribbean; its present development and future. Trinity College was invited to be a part of this discussion and I attended as a student representative, along with Professors Riggio, Markle, Hanna, Euraque, and Delano. I was a little nervous when I realised I’d be the only Trinity student on this trip with five professors, four of whom I’d never met before. I’d imagined they would keep to themselves, discussing lofty concepts in complicated professor-language, while I sat brooding in silence. Rather, my professors engaged me in conversation, and their discussions. The relaxed and informal nature of the convois made it easy to get to know them and I feel very lucky to have had this experience. The professors and I attended the daily events of the conference together, waking up around 7 a.m. every morning to arrive at our destinations by 10. The first day was perhaps my favourite as it was spent out at sea. We cruised around the island discussing the current issues the Caribbean is facing— political, environmental, and cultural— and listening to the input of experts in these areas. At the end of the day, Trinity-in-Trinidad formalised a partnership with the Lloyd Best institute, and I was very pleased to witness the union of my school, and a reputed organisation at home. Over the rest of the week, the convois was held at a different location every day, and we were able to see various parts of Trinidad—including some areas I had never visited (I am very ashamed to say). We travelled to an old sugar plantation in Couva to discuss agriculture and food, an estate in Manzanilla to explore the concept of ‘Maroon’, and the sister island Tobago to understand the politics of the Caribbean region, and the search for representation. By the end of the week I’d learned a great deal about my country, and region. It was a week well spent; the food was good, the company even better, and the lessons learned invaluable.