Lopinot is nestled in the mountains of the northern range of Trinidad, North of Arouca. The village got its name from the French Count who settled there in the 1806 – Charles Joseph Comte Loppinot de la Fresilliere. He was granted 478 acres of land by the King of England and established a cocoa estate, which was then called La Reconnaissance, living there with his family and enslaved Africans who worked the land. It is rumored that his ghost lurks the grounds, a tale passed on from generation to generation.
The estate's house has been restored and transformed into a museum, while the cocoa house still stands close to the river, and his tomb is clearly visible in the cemetery. It is also believed that before the Count's settlement, there used to be a strong Amerindian presence, as seen by the artifacts on display in the museum.
So how did it become synonymous with parang? Caura, a neighbouring village which had a strong Spanish presence, was once a thriving community, but the then governor's decision to build a dam required the village to be evacuated and so they came across the mountain and into Lopinot. For this reason, the Roman Catholic church of Caura named after Saint Veronica was rebuilt and renamed in the newly settled Lopinot village called La Veronica.
Who would have thought that a small rural community, hidden in the hills away from the hustle and bustle of urban centres, would be so culturally and historically rich? Fascinating isn't it?
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