A serene village stashed way upon the hilltops that overlooks the bustling capital city of Port of Spain to its south and the glamour of sea and sandy beaches to the north is none other than the pure Paramin paradise. A place so rich in history and culture that not only are some families the descendants of peoples of days of old, but also the very ground walked upon has been marked by the blood, sweat, tears, passions and romances of colonial times.
It has been purported in brief ‘ole talk’ that white masters and black maidens fled to the hidden countryside engulfed by lust and desire. However, historically speaking, it has been said that Paramin was an area allotted to freed slaves and maroons to cultivate as the lands were unforgiving while the low-lying lands were inhabited by colonialists.
Paramin’s topography could be frightening yet majestic with narrow steep-climbing roads and sharp-falling precipices not for the faint-hearted nor low vehicles, hugged by ancient forests and misty hills of cultivated crops. Large expanses of hills are blanketed with cabbages, peppers, chives, thyme, tomatoes, parsley, yams and many more crops as their agrarian lifestyle provides produce to many wholesalers and retailers nationwide. Truly a time capsule, it’s a place stuck between colonial and modern eras.
There is a heavier influence of French Creole than there is of Spanish. The second Sunday in November is ‘harvest’ celebrating the closing of the agricultural cycle with music and feasts of wild meat such as lappe, agouti, deer, wild hog and tattoo. At Christmas, the village is serenaded with parang. Approaching Carnival time, the Roman Catholic Church of the area celebrates its annual mass in Patois/Kwéyòl or French Creole, where many participants still speak the language.
Finally, Paramin is well known for its local contribution of ‘Blue Devils’ to Carnival; smeared in blue paint, horns above, beating Crix tins and breathing fire, they strike fear into the hearts of many. If you’re unfortunately cornered by them, be sure to ‘pay the devil’ some dollars, else your nightmare won’t easily disappear.
Indeed a tropical utopia overlooked and never experienced by many, the pure Paramin paradise is a hidden gem of the Trinidadian landscape.
Have you ever experienced the amazing atmosphere of the Paramin hills? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences with us.