Starting from 1976,with formal incorporation as a limited liability company organized under the Companies Act, the Santa Rosa Carib Community has developed into a formal organization.
The Santa Rosa Carib Community is led by a President (Ricardo Bharath-Hernandez).Â Other leading members are the Secretary (Jaqueline Khan), the Shaman (Cristo Adonis), a Research and Public Relations Officer, the Queen (Valentina Medina) who officiates at the Santa Rosa Festival which is held each year at the end of the month of August.
Members gather at special meetings held at the Carib Community Centre, and work together in preparing traditional items for their public events.
The Carib Centre is located atÂ 7A Paul Mitchell StreetÂ in Arima, about three (3) blocks west of the Santa Rosa Roman Catholic Church, and one (1) block west of the Santa Rosa Cemetery on King Street.
- Preserving the âcassava cultureâ: preparation of cassava bread,Â farine, andÂ cassareep, using traditional instruments such as theÂ manareÂ (sifter), theÂ warewareÂ (fan), theÂ matapĂor sebucĂĄnÂ (strainer)andÂ aripoÂ (griddle).
- Maintaining knowledge of using theÂ teriteÂ reed in weaving the above mentionedÂ manareÂ andÂ matapĂ, along with âfinger catchersâ (a woven, springy item such that an inserted finger can easily be pushed in but cannot be pulled out), as well as a variety of baskets, mats, carrying cases and fans.
- Sustaining knowledge of the use ofÂ mamuÂ vines in the making of heavy strength baskets.
- Teaching classes in weaving for visiting groups of students, school children, and Girl Guides.
- Preserving methods of indigenous home construction: walls made ofÂ tapiaÂ (mud, grass and pebbles, on a frame which is plastered over); roofs thatched from timite and carat palms; internal partitions made from plaited coconut palms; floors made of compressed earth which are âwashedâ over (lipĂ©) with mud.
- Preserving and reviving âarts of the forestâ such as hunting, herbal medicines, harvesting of forest fruits, nuts and building materials.
- Revival of the Smoke Ceremony: a ceremony led by a shaman designed to pay homage to our ancestors, worship the earth, and seek the guidance and blessings of the Great Spirit.
- Maintaining the Santa Rosa Festival: though a Catholic feast, the Carib Community has historically been, and continues to be, in charge of some of the main preparations for, and performance of, the Festival.Â As the Carib President routinely stresses, âThis is what brings the Carib Community togetherâ.Â Maintaining an involvement inÂ ParangÂ music, with two (2) Parang bands tied to the Carib Community:Â Los NiĂ±os del Mundo, led by Shaman Cristo Adonis, andÂ Los NiĂ±os de Santa Rosa, managed by Carib Secretary Jaqueline Khan until 1999.
- Talking to visiting school groups, journalists, and foreign researchers about the Amerindian heritage of Trinidad and the struggle to maintain an Amerindian cultural presence in the social and intellectual life of a modern and multi-ethnic Trinidad and Tobago.
Based on the 2009 Report of the Amerindian Project Committee, Government has agreed to the following areas of assistance for the development of the Amerindian Community:
- The lease of five (5) acres of State land for use by the Amerindian Community to establish a Model Amerindian Village.
- The provision of financial support for the production of two (2) documentary films on the Amerindians in Trinidad and Tobago â one entitled âThe Amerindiansâ, by Tracy Assing, and the other entitled âBuried Treasuresâ, by Pearl and Dean Caribbean Limited.
- The provision of technical and financial support for the enhancement of exhibits and curatorial services at the Amerindian Centre in Arima to facilitate the opening of the Centre to the public on a regular basis.
- Continued support for the implementation of special activities to mark the International Day of the Worldâs Indigenous People (August 9th) and Amerindian Heritage Day (October 14th).
- With respect to (1) above, collaboration should take place with all relevant agencies to identify the specific parcel of land and a further submission to be made to Cabinet in that regard.
- The submission for the consideration of Cabinet be made with proposals for the construction of the Amerindian Village, including a business plan.
- The expenditure in respect of the above, be met from the 2010 Budgetary Allocation of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs.
- The re-appointment of the Amerindian Project Committee for a further period of three (3) years with effect from the date of their letters of appointment.