In the book “Parang Cancionero”, the author introduces the reader to the Cocoa Panyols of Trinidad by first explaining the meaning of the name itself:

Parang Cancionero, Cover Page

“The term “Cocoa Panyol” is peculiar to Trinidad and Tobago. “Cocoa” (Theobroma cacao) is an agricultural product, while “Panyol”, derived from Español/Espagnol, refers to Spanish language and culture. It evokes Trinidad’s historical link with Spain and is a reminder of the island’s proximity to Hispanic Venezuela from which migrants of all social classes have arrived for centuries. The combination of the two words originally denoted the rural, mostly illiterate Spanish speaking person, who worked on estates in the cocoa industry during the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century.”

We then read about where the cocoa panyol originated:

“The genesis of the “cocoa panyol” can be found in:

The rural population of Spanish Trinidad (1498-1797), that is, during the period
before Trinidad became a British colony.

The Venezuelan peons (agricultural workers) who migrated to the island mainly in
the nineteenth century.”

We learn of places where the cocoa panyol lived:

“The two groups, people of mixed Amerindian, European and African ethnicity, lived and worked in the cocoa producing valleys and hillsides of the Northern Range (Caura, Maracas, Santa Cruz, La Pastora, Mausica, Blanchisseuese, and other isolated hamlets); in the Central Range (for example: Montserrat, Tamana, Talparo, Gran Couva), and in the south of the island (Cedros, Siparia, Princes Town, San Francique, Moruga, Rancho Quemado).”

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