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The national motto is "Together we aspire, together we achieve." The national anthem features the line "Here every creed and race find an equal place," which is sung twice for emphasis.Some public holidays and celebrations emphasize group contributions to the nation, including Independence Day (31 August), Emancipation Day (1 August; commemorating the ending of slavery), and Indian Arrival Day (30 May). Claimed by Columbus for Spain, Trinidad was a forgotten Spanish colony for three hundred years.Spanish-speaking peon laborers from Venezuela arrived in the nineteenth century to clear forests and work in cocoa cultivation.Even before the abolition of slavery in 1834 and the end of the apprenticeship system for ex-slaves in 1838, free Africans arrived.Trinidad (but not Tobago) is ethnically heterogeneous.
Enslaved Africans arrived from varied ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious groups from along the West African coast, while Creole slaves spoke a French or English creole, depending on their islands of origin.Trinidad is 1,864 square miles in area (4,828 square kilometers), and Tobago is 116 square miles (300 square kilometers).At its closest point, Trinidad is some seven miles from the coast of Venezuela on the South American mainland. It has three mountain ranges, roughly parallel to each other, running east to west in the north, central, and south parts of the island. The central part of the island is more flat and is where sugar cane is grown.Plantation agriculture based on enslaved labor existed alongside a significant peasant sector.
The British colonies of Trinidad and Tobago were united administratively in 1889.
Trinidad was named by Christopher Columbus on his third voyage to the New World.