The Borough of Chaguanas is the largest municipality and fastest-growing town in Trinidad and Tobago. It is situated on the western coast of Trinidad, upstream from the Caroni Swamp, between the two main cities of Port of Spain and San Fernando.
Chaguanas spans 59km², with a population of 83,516 persons. It comprises several communities and sub-areas, which encompass vast areas of agricultural land.
Moreover, this region’s human development index, in 2012, was 0.686 and 62.9% of its population had obtained secondary and higher education.
Accordingly, given the trend of escalating inflows of Venezuelan nationals into Trinidad and Tobago,4 Chaguanas has featured in Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) 2021 as having the second highest number of Venezuelan migrant respondents in the exercise. Furthermore, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, heightened health and safety protocols to combat the spread of the virus, have inadvertently exacerbated economic issues and migrant vulnerabilities.
Notwithstanding this, in March 2021, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) conducted a re-registration exercise for Venezuelans, who were previously registered under the Venezuelan Migrant Registration Framework in June 2019, to extend their regular status and options for legitimate employment. In addition, with the assistance of the Venezuelan Embassy, there was a major voluntary repatriation exercise of 680 Venezuelan nationals, in July 2021. Apart from this, COVID-19 vaccines have been made available to Venezuelan migrants in Trinidad and Tobago.
The DTM 2021, Sub-report for the Borough of Chaguanas, therefore presented an excellent opportunity to examine the situation of Venezuelan migrants against these backgrounds, and within the framework of the Fostering local communities of solidarity for migrants and refugees project, which is funded under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DEVCO).
IOM’s DTM is a system to track and monitor displacement and population mobility. It is designed to capture, process, and disseminate critical multi-layered information on the mobility, vulnerabilities, and needs of displaced and mobile populations, regularly and systematically. Hence, the DTM provides decision-makers and responders with insightful data to guide specific assistance to target populations.
A total of 188 Venezuelan migrants from the Borough of Chaguanas participated in DTM 2021 between October and November 2021. The areas with the highest number of respondents were Cunupia, followed by Longdenville, and Chaguanas Proper, as shown in Map 1. It must be noted, however, that 18 respondents indicated that they did not know in which community they resided.