North-East Communities


Located on the banks of the Arima River in the foothills of the northern range, Arima is easily accessible by public transport or rental cars from companies similar to car hire dublin firms. The place is aptly named since it is the Amerindian word for "water." Considered the "gateway" to the north-eastern section of Trinidad, it is approximately four square-miles in area and is situated about 16.2 miles (26 kilometers) east of Port-of-Spain. It was founded in 1757 by Capuchins from Spain who had travelled to Trinidad to convert the native Amerindians to catholicism. The Capuchins represented an autonomous branch of the Franciscan Order: men and women who profess to observe the Rule of St. Francis of Assisi.

The Capuchins built a church in Arima and dedicated it to a Peruvian Amerindian named Rosa who had been canonized as Santa Rosa de Lima. In the 1780s, there was a mass migration of French settlers and their slaves to Trinidad. In order to make arable land available to the immigrants, the presiding governor, Jose Maria Chacon, ordered the relocation of Amerindians to Arima from the neighboring communities of Arouca and Tacarigua. Under Spanish control, non-Amerindians were restricted from settling in Arima; however, when Trinidad fell to England in 1797, the restrictions gradually eroded. But in 1813, the English Governor Ralph Woodford moved to ensure that Arima remained Amerindian territory when he ordered non-Amerindians to leave the town.

Arima was made a Royal Chartered Borough by Queen Victoria on August 1, 1888, and, in 2000, had a population of almost 40,000 people which made it the third largest town in Trinidad, behind Port-of-Spain and San Fernando. North of Arima, the Asa Wright Nature Center is located in the hills of the northern range. Arima can be acessed by the Eastern Main Road and is located east of Arouca and west of Valencia. It includes the communities of Brazil Village, Calvary Hill, La Horquetta, San Raphael, and Santa Rosa.


Cinemas: In 2002, Arima had two operating cinemas: Kabsco, on Sorzano Street; and Windsor, on Hollis Avenue.

Calypso: Calypsonians who were born in Arima include Lord Kitchener.

Steelbands: The following is a listing of the steelbands that functioned in Arima, broken down by type: traditional (pans supported around the neck); and conventional (pans supported mechanically).

Arima All Stars Traditional Malabar Road  
Arima Angel Harps Conventional Corner of Eastern Main Road and Olton Road  
Gary Straker's Pan School Conventional Pinto Road  
Golden Symphony Conventional Pinto Road  
Gospel Groove Pan Heights Conventional 10 Avocado Drive  
LH Pan Groove Traditional La Horquetta  
Mausicans Traditional Mausica Road  
Melodians Conventional Cocorite Road Founded in 1953 by Ivan "Skull" Henry who was also the band's tuner.
Nu Pioneers Pan Groove Traditional Mausica Lands  
Nu Tones Conventional 6 Coryat Lane Click here for details.
Pan on the Move Traditional   Formed in April 1988, this band functioned from 23 Sorzano Street until April 28, 2004. It tied for 1st Place in the 1993 Panorama competition.
Rhythm Rockers Traditional Sanchez Street Extension  
Simple Song Conventional 42 Pinto Road  
Star Saffire Traditional Temple Street  
Starlite Pioneers Pan Movement Conventional La Horquetta  
Trinidad Nostalgic Traditional DeGannes Street  
UFO Sounds Traditional Calvary Hill  
United Sounds Traditional Mount Pleasant Road  

Conventional Music Bands: Musical groups from the community include the parang groups Brazil Serenaders (1960s), Carib Santa Rosa Serenaders, Los Ninos del Mundo, Los Ninos de Santa Rosa, and Los Tocaderos.


Cricket: Arima is the birthplace of cricketers Hilary Gomes, Herman Griffith, and Philip Simmons, all of whom represented the West Indies in Test cricket. The Larry Gomes Stadium opened on Nutones Boulevard in 2001 and was named after Hilary Gomes who represented the West Indies in 58 Test matches. First Class cricket was played at Prince Royal Park and, in May 2002, the 17.5 acres cricket academy, Sir Frank Worrell Development Centre, was opened by the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board of Control. Another sports venue is the Arima Municipal Stadium which is located at the intersection of Hollis Avenue and the Eastern Main Road.

Soccer: From the 1950s to the 1960s, Arima had its own First Class soccer league: the Arima Football League.

Horse-Racing: Up to the mid-1960s, the Santa Rosa racetrack was one of three active venues for horse-racing but, by the mid-1990s, it remained the only horse-racing track on the island.

Academic Institutions

Arima Government Secondary School Secondary Cocorite Road Non-Denominational  
Arima Boys' Government School Primary King Street Non-Denominational One of the two oldest schools in Arima.
Arima Boys' RC School Primary 3 Woodford Street Roman Catholic 820 pupils in 2002
Arima Centenary Government School Primary El Carmen Street Non-Denominational Constructed to commemorate the centennial of the creation of the borough of Arima.
Arima Girls' Government School Primary St. Joseph Street Non-Denominational In 2003, one of the two oldest schools in Arima.
Arima Girls' RC School Primary Church Street Roman Catholic 1,182 pupils in 2002
Arima Hindu School   Temple Street Hindu  
Arima Presbyterian School   Tumpuna Road Presbyterian  
Arima Senior Comprehensive Secondary Arima Old Road Non-Denominational  
Arima West Government School Primary Arima Old Road Non-Denominational  
Holy Cross College Secondary Calvary Hill Roman Catholic  
La Horquetta North Government School Primary   Non-Denominational  
La Horquetta South Government School Primary   Non-Denominational  
Santa Rosa Government School Primary   Non-Denominational  

E-mail to: Ronald C. Emrit

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