Encompassing two major islands just off the northern coast of South America, Trinidad & Tobago is one of the most biologically diverse and infrastructurally developed countries in the Caribbean region. A diversity of people from many different ethnicities, faiths, and cultures populate this beautiful archipelago, which has also made quite a big impact on the global stage considering its small population size. Volunteer abroad in Trinidad & Tobago for a fun and rewarding experience in one of the Caribbean’s most overlooked travel destinations.
Trinidad & Tobago is a relatively small country, with a population of just over 1.2 million citizens. Trinidad and Tobago were actually for a long time governed separately because they are two distinct geographical bodies (Trinidad is about a three hour’s boat ride away from Tobago). However in the late 19th century Trinidad & Tobago became consolidated under British rule, eventually gaining recognition as an independent nation in 1962.
Being the country’s capital city and one of the most important economic centers in the Caribbean region, Port of Spain is generally the most popular destination where to volunteer abroad in Trinidad & Tobago – not to mention the capital city. Fun fact: the metropolitan area shares borders with two other cities to form a conurbation of nearly 600,000 citizens (which is half of the country’s population).
Beyond Port of Spain, most other destinations where you can volunteer abroad in Trinidad & Tobago will be either in much smaller towns, cities, or rural areas. It is a very tiny country so wherever you end up, you will never be too far away from everywhere else. Both islands boast an international airport and comprehensive highway system, with ferries connecting between the major cities.
Projects & Placements
Trinidad & Tobago was officially removed from the OECD’s list of developing countries in 2011, marking a big leap forward for this small island nation that is rich in natural resources. Yet while it may be one of the wealthiest nations in the Caribbean, many citizens of Trinidad & Tobago can still benefit from the hard work of international volunteers. For example placements in education, medicine, and community development can bring valuable resources to underserved sectors of the population while you volunteer abroad in Trinidad & Tobago.
Because it is an extremely biodiverse country, it is also popular to volunteer abroad in Trinidad & Tobago within fields such as conservation, wildlife surveying, and biological research. It’s immense natural beauty additionally makes Trinidad & Tobago a popular travel destination, so you can find exciting volunteer placements in areas such as eco-tourism as well.
You can usually choose to volunteer abroad in Trinidad & Tobago anywhere from just one week up to a full year and beyond, depending on your budget and availability. The need for volunteers is always there, so it is often left up to you how long you can make the commitment to stay.
Salaries & Costs
Even though Trinidad & Tobago is a developed country, life in the islands is still significantly cheaper than in many other larger industrialized nations. Still, while on-the-ground costs may be inexpensive, program fees can often hike up on you. Different volunteer programs in Trinidad & Tobago vary in affordability; be sure to check out our fundraising page to get started raising the costs for your trip as soon as possible!
Accommodation & Visas
Homestays are typically the most popular form of accommodation while you volunteer abroad in Trinidad & Tobago, providing a totally immersive experience into local family culture. Sometimes group housing options are also made available for international volunteers depending on your project and placement.
Trinidad & Tobago’s visa policy is fairly lenient, though this may differ depending on what country you are travelling from. Usually you can enter the country for up to three months before you have to apply for a visa, after which you will have to obtain documentation for your volunteer work.
Benefits & Challenges
Contribute. The whole purpose of volunteer work is to give back your time to a worthy cause. Through the many different volunteer placements in Trinidad & Tobago, you can make your impact felt in whatever area you wish.
Island Lifestyle. It will be hard not to fall in love with the island lifestyle while you volunteer abroad in Trinidad & Tobago. Get ready for a laid back mindset amidst some of the world’s best beaches and natural scenery.
English Speaking. English is the national language of Trinidad & Tobago, providing an easy transition into communicating with locals for native speakers. The Creole Dialect, however, may take some getting used to.