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1734 WordsMay 26, 20147 Pages
| | Arima | Arima Dial TriniView.com Reporters August 13, 2005 Arima has always been regarded as the home of the Amerindians. Although it is difficult to find a 'pureblood' Amerindian within the district of Arima, or anywhere else in Trinidad, there is still evidence of their existence and the lingering impact of their cultural influence. Like many other regions in Trinidad, Arima, which emerged on the banks of what is known today as the Arima River, in fact received its name from an Amerindian word which means water. Situated in North-central Trinidad it has been, for more than a century, the most easterly settlement in the interior of Trinidad. Nestled at the foothills of the Northern Range it has always served as a hub of commercial activity and transportation for the neighbouring areas, and for decades was the only gateway to the eastern seaboard. Capuchin priests, who had ventured to this country to convert the Amerindians to Christianity as part of Spain's colonizing effort, conquered and claimed Arima in 1757, built a church and established a mission in the town. Ironically, the church was dedicated to Rosa, an Amerindian girl from Lima, Peru, who had been canonized as Santa Rosa de Lima. In the 1780s, under the new Governor José Maria Chacon, Amerindians were forcibly removed from their lands in the nearby Arouca and Tacarigua and relocated to Arima in order to distribute their arable land among the newly arrived French planters. During that period, Arima was governed by a Cabildo or (Town Council), which was presided over by Manuel Sorzano. Sorzano Street, which was named in his honour, still exists as reminder of his rule. It is also the site of the Arima Town Hall, which houses the Mayor's office and is the official meeting place of the Council. The Spanish laid down strict rules with the influx of French settlers and the

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