The Northern Range is the range of tall hills across north Trinidad, the major island in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The hills range from the Chaguaramas peninsula on the west coast to Toco in the east; the Northern Range covers twenty-five percent of the land area of Trinidad. The hills rise abruptly from the lowlands of northern Trinidad, but only the two tallest peaks, El Cerro del Aripo and El Tucuche top 900 m. On the summits of El Cerro del Aripo and El Tucuche, the vegetation is quite different from the lower montane forests. Elfin woodland and cloud forests cover the summits, are home to the endemic El Tucuche golden tree frog; the south-facing valleys run deep into the hills and support major rivers, such as the Caroni River, while the north-facing valleys are short and are drained by smaller streams. The biodiversity within the Northern Range, which represents a combination of species from the South American continent and from the Caribbean islands further north is high; the densely forested peaks are home to 430 species of birds.
Animals such as red howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, neotropical river otters, collared peccary and red brocket deer, to name a few, inhabit the lush forests, making the Northern Range the only mountain range in the Caribbean to host such species. There are numerous waterfalls in the Northern Range; the highest waterfall is Maracas towering 91.5 metres high. Other waterfalls include Rio Seco Falls and Marianne Falls. Numerous sulphur springs occur on the river beds of Rio Seco Falls, demonstrating the volcanic nature of the region; the Northern Range consists of sedimentary rocks and limestones. The hills are forested, although deforestation and the formation of fire-savannahs is one of the major environmental concerns in Trinidad; the country's largest cave system, the Aripo Cave, is located in the Northern Range. The caves feature stunning stalactite formations; these caves are inhabited by oilbirds, the only nocturnal bird in the world, bats. The Northern Range runs from the Chaguaramas Peninsula in the west to Toco in the east.
The eastern Northern Range remain most forested. Portions west of Arima the southern slopes and valleys, have been extensively deforested, since they lie north of the most populated parts of the island. At the western end of the Northern Range, the capital city, Port of Spain, climbs into the hills and the valleys are settled and deforested; the Arima Valley remains as the westernmost valley, still forested, in a large part due to the presence of the Asa Wright Nature Centre in this valley. Southern Range Central Range and Tobago Caroni Plain Naparima Plain Nariva Plain
George Maxwell Richards
George Maxwell Richards, was a Trinidadian and Tobagonian politician who served as the fourth President of Trinidad and Tobago, in office from 2003 to 2013. He was the first President of Trinidad and Tobago and head of state in the Anglophone Caribbean to have Amerindian ancestry. A chemical engineer by training, Richards was Principal of the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies in Trinidad from 1984 to 1996, he worked for Shell Trinidad Ltd before joining the University of the West Indies in 1965. He was sworn into office as President on 17 March 2003 for a five-year term. Richards was born at his family's home in San Fernando in South Trinidad in 1931 as one of five children in the family, he was of Chinese descent. His father, George Richards, was a barrister while his mother, Henrietta Martin was a housewife and teacher, he received his primary education there before winning an exhibition to attend Queen's Royal College in Port of Spain. From May 1950 to September 1951, he worked for the United British Oilfields of Trinidad at Point Fortin.
He received a scholarship from them to study chemical engineering. Richards attended the University of Manchester, where he took a BEng degree and an MEng degree, he subsequently obtained a PhD degree in chemical engineering from the University of Cambridge. Richards returned to Trinidad and worked for Shell Trinidad Ltd from 1957 to 1965 before joining the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of the West Indies attaining the post of Professor of Chemical Engineering in October 1970. From August 1980 to May 1985, Richards served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Principal of the University, he served as Acting Principal of the St. Augustine Campus from October 1984 to May 1985, was confirmed in the position in 1985. Richards served as Principal through the turbulent period in 1988 when the government slashed the university's budget by 30% and instituted a cess on university students. Richards managed to keep the university afloat through this difficult period and retired as Principal in November 1996 although he continued to teach as Professor Emeritus until he was elected President.
Richards served on the Boards of many Trinidad and Tobago companies including that of the state-owned oil company, the National Gas Company and the Trinidad Publishing Company. Although the position of President is a ceremonial one, Richards had been outspoken in his criticism of the upsurge of crime in Trinidad and Tobago, he was well known for his involvement in Carnival. He was the first President of the Republic, not an attorney. Richards was re-elected to a second five-year term as President by the Electoral College on 11 February 2008, he was the only candidate, the Electoral College met for only three minutes. In May 2009, Richards faced calls to resign for bungling the appointment of the Trinidad and Tobago Integrity Commission, whose members all resigned for various reasons within a week of being sworn in on 1 May 2009 as Richards embarked on a three-week foreign vacation. In a televised address to the nation on 29 May 2009, he said he had not brought his office into disrepute and so saw no reason to resign.
He remained in office until 2013. Richards served on the board of the Trinidad Publishing Company, TRINTOC, the National Gas Company, he served on the boards of several service organizations such as Chairman of both the National Training Board and National Advisory Council and the Institute of Marine Affairs. He was married to Jean Ramjohn, an anesthesiologist and cousin of the former President Noor Hassanali, they had two children: a son, a medical doctor. Richards died at WestShore Medical Private Hospital in Port of Spain at around 7.43pm, on 8 January 2018 of heart failure at the age of 86. In 1977, Richards received the Chaconia Medal of the National Order of the Trinity, Class 1 Gold for his contributions to Trinidad and Tobago. Richards received an Honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University in 2007
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is a twin island country, the southernmost nation of the West Indies in the Caribbean. It is situated 130 kilometres south of Grenada off the northern edge of the South American mainland, 11 kilometres off the coast of northeastern Venezuela, it shares maritime boundaries with Barbados to the northeast, Grenada to the northwest, Guyana to the southeast, Venezuela to the south and west. The island of Trinidad was a Spanish colony from the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1498 until Spanish governor Don José María Chacón surrendered the island to a British fleet under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby in 1797. During the same period, the island of Tobago changed hands among Spanish, French and Courlander colonisers more times than any other island in the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago were ceded to Britain in 1802 under the Treaty of Amiens as separate states and unified in 1889. Trinidad and Tobago obtained independence in 1962 and became a republic in 1976.
As of 2015, the sovereign state of Trinidad and Tobago had the third highest GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity in the Americas after the United States and Canada. It is recognised by the World Bank as a high-income economy. Unlike most of the English-speaking Caribbean, the economy is industrial with an emphasis on petroleum and petrochemicals. Trinidad and Tobago is known for its Carnival and Diwali celebrations and as the birthplace of steelpan, the limbo, music styles such as calypso, soca and chutney. Historian E. L. Joseph claimed that Trinidad's Amerindian name was Cairi or "Land of the Humming Bird", derived from the Arawak name for hummingbird, ierèttê or yerettê. However, other authors dispute this etymology with some claiming that cairi does not mean hummingbird and some claiming that kairi, or iere means island. Christopher Columbus renamed it "La Isla de la Trinidad", fulfilling a vow made before setting out on his third voyage of exploration. Tobago's cigar-like shape may have given it its Spanish name and some of its other Amerindian names, such as Aloubaéra and Urupaina, although the English pronunciation is /təˈbeɪɡoʊ/, rhyming with lumbago, "may go".
Trinidad and Tobago are islands situated between 10° 2' and 11° 12' N latitude and 60° 30' and 61° 56' W longitude. At the closest point, Trinidad is just 11 kilometres from Venezuelan territory. Covering an area of 5,128 km2, the country consists of the two main islands and Tobago, numerous smaller landforms, including Chacachacare, Huevos, Gaspar Grande, Little Tobago, St. Giles Island. Trinidad is 4,768 km2 in area with an average length of 80 kilometres and an average width of 59 kilometres. Tobago has an area of about 300 km2, or 5.8% of the country's area, is 41 km long and 12 km at its greatest width. Trinidad and Tobago lie on the continental shelf of South America, are thus geologically considered to lie in South America; the terrain of the islands is a mixture of plains. The highest point in the country is found on the Northern Range at El Cerro del Aripo, 940 metres above sea level; as the majority of the population lives on the island of Trinidad, this is the location of most major towns and cities.
There are four major municipalities in Trinidad: Port of Spain, the capital, San Fernando and Chaguanas. The main town in Tobago is Scarborough. Trinidad is made up of a variety of soil types, the majority being heavy clays; the alluvial valleys of the Northern Range and the soils of the East–West Corridor are the most fertile. The Northern Range consists of Upper Jurassic and Cretaceous metamorphic rocks; the Northern Lowlands consist of younger shallow marine clastic sediments. South of this, the Central Range fold and thrust belt consists of Cretaceous and Eocene sedimentary rocks, with Miocene formations along the southern and eastern flanks; the Naparima Plains and the Nariva Swamp form the southern shoulder of this uplift. The Southern Lowlands consist of Miocene and Pliocene sands and gravels; these overlie oil and natural gas deposits north of the Los Bajos Fault. The Southern Range forms the third anticlinal uplift, it consists of several chains of hills, most famous being the Trinity Hills.
The rocks consist of sandstones, shales and clays formed in the Miocene and uplifted in the Pleistocene. Oil sands and mud volcanoes are common in this area; the climate is tropical. There are two seasons annually: the dry season for the first five months of the year, the rainy season in the remaining seven of the year. Winds are dominated by the northeast trade winds. Unlike most of the other Caribbean islands, both Trinidad and Tobago have escaped the wrath of major devastating hurricanes, including Hurricane Ivan, the most powerful storm to have passed close to the islands in recent history, in September 2004. In the Northern Range, the climate is different in contrast to the sweltering heat of the plains below. With constant cloud and mist cover, heavy rains in the mountains, the temperature is much cooler. Record temperatures for Trinidad and Tobago are 39 °C for the high in Port of Spain, a low of 12 °C; because Trinidad and Tobago lies
Saint Joseph, Trinidad and Tobago
St. Joseph was founded in 1592 by Antonio de Berrio and is the oldest town in Trinidad and Tobago. Named San José de Oruña, it served as the capital of Spanish Trinidad between 1592 and 1783. In 1595 the place was attacked and held by Sir Walter Raleigh and was used as a base for his exploration of the Orinoco river in search of the fabled city of El Dorado. Soon after his return the place sacked. St. Joseph is not an incorporated municipality, it falls within the San Juan–Laventille Regional Corporation. Today it is the home of several different schools, including St. Joseph's Convent, St. Joseph, St. Joseph Boys Roman Catholic School, St. Joseph Girls Roman Catholic School, St. Joseph Government School, St. Joseph College and St. Xavier's Preparatory School