To communities across Trinidad and Tobago now becoming aware of their importance in the tourism sector, the people of Brasso Seco/Paria village appear to be the most fortunate in that they are located at the head of three major waterways in the Northern Range.
This is a time when community tourism is becoming popular in places that were hitherto ‘off the map’ regarding natural sites and other tourism assets. People have become more aware of the potential of their locations as well as those of others.
The village of Brasso Seco/Paria is located in the heart of the Northern Range, where abundant streams nurture the rainforest that clothes the valley in lush greenery. The village sits at the head of three major rivers: The Madamas, Paria and Marianne.
Because of the efforts of home-grown naturalists among the community, cultural and eco-tourism is now becoming a major influence in the way of life. Young people who had migrated out of the community to urban areas such as Arima are now returning home.
Led by their parents, the very young are learning the benefits of deriving first-hand knowledge and experience in the rainforests of this heartland area.
On a recent trip down the Marianne, it was nice to see a father taking his two young sons along the course of the river. This stirred up memories of the healthy pastimes of youth a few decades ago.
As well as enjoying the benefits of good air, water and exercise, the two boys were communicating animatedly with their father, observing and discussing things along the way and bathing in a forest pool together in true family quality time.
As they bathed in the large pool of a small waterfall they were so engrossed in their activities that they did not even notice our approach from above. We later met them on their return trip along the trail blazed by members of the community. They could not have been eight or nine years just yet. They were excitedly showing their father a tiny life-form on a leaf and listening attentively to him as he explained its presence.
We admired the outdoors classroom scene for awhile and complimented the father for his initiative.
“This is natural to all of us,” he said.
Raymond Hernandez just had to do his part in showing the youngsters how to give back to the forest. One of these ways is to plant a seed that would grow to sustain resident wildlife as well as visitors to the forest like us.
We continued along the narrow hill trail past the waterfall pool and stopped awhile to enjoy the view of the water flowing through a small gorge below. Further on, we descended to the clear, cool waters of the river, noting the presence of crayfish swimming around large boulders along the bank.
We were sure the youngsters had seen them and shared the moment with their father. This would have been important as an appreciation of the presence of the many forms of life not usually observed by the average person.
As we walked along this beautiful waterway, we talked about these same youngsters growing up and taking others out into the rainforest and proudly sharing their knowledge and experience with them.
From our encounter with this family, we could see that there was hope for our young ones to procure a healthy and productive life for themselves. As this father was obviously doing, we too just need to guide them in the right direction to achieve this.f