Trinidad and Tobago, formally the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is a twin island nation located only 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and 130 kilometers (81 miles) south of Grenada. To the north, it has maritime borders with Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, and Venezuela.
Trinidad was a Spanish colony from the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1498 until the surrender of the Spanish Governor, Don José Mara Chacón, on 18 February 1797, in response to the arrival of a British fleet of 18 vessels. During the same era, Tobago changed hands more often than any other Caribbean island, passing through the hands of Spanish, British, French, Dutch, and Courlandercolonizers. Trinidad and Tobago (which remained independent until 1889) were surrendered to Britain by the Treaty of Amiens in 1802. Trinidad and Tobago gained independence from Britain in 1962 and became a republic in 1976.
Trinidad and Tobago is the third wealthiest nation in the Americas in terms of GDP (PPP) per capita, after the United States and Canada. Additionally, the World Bank classifies it as a high-income economy. Unlike the majority of the English-speaking Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago’s economy is mainly industrial, with a focus on petroleum and petrochemicals. The country’s prosperity is due to its enormous oil and natural gas reserves and extraction.
Trinidad and Tobago is famous for its Carnival and is the origin of calypso, soca, parang, chutney, chutney soca, chut-kai-pang, cariso, extempo, kaiso, parang soca, pichakaree, and rapso.