LATIN Americans living in Trinidad and Tobago are being urged to form themselves into an association.
Leading that drive is David Edghill De Castro, who was born in Trinidad in 1968 but migrated to Venezuela with his family at the age of five. He returned in 2003.
De Castro said the association is being set up to provide support for those who have chosen to make this country their home whether permanently or temporarily.
"I would like for the image people have of Latin Americans to change," De Castro said in a telephone interview on Sunday.
"We want to show Trinidad and Tobago that we came to this island in an honest way to make new lives and trying to build up ourselves, demonstrating our capability, our knowledge and our interest in sharing all the we have with Trinidad and Tobago.
"People don't have a good way of looking at Colombians and Venezuelans. We are (viewed as) the Capos (mafia) and everything that is bad. For example when you see a Venezuelan woman in a car or on the road the first thing that is said is that she is a prostitute. When you see a man from Venezuela or Colombia, he is (said to be) pushing drugs."
De Castro, who is an engineer by profession, said the proposed association has already gotten the support of the Venezuelan Embassy here.
"We have so much to offer in terms of education and our food and culture. This could only help to make this country a better place."
De Castro said one of the first things to be done when the association is formed is to create a register of all Latin American persons living in Trinidad and Tobago. This will be done in collaboration with the Embassy and Ministry of National Security.
"We would also like to set up a fund to help those who may be unemployed or going through a hard time or may be locked up in jail for one reason or another."
De Castro can be contacted at 362-3502 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.