"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.
Pedro Segundo Dolabaille, also known as Papa Goon, is a good example of the conuquero and cocoa expert of yesteryear. He bragged about the intensity of his love for work. ‘I was a devil working. When night catch me in the conuco, I get vex because it come to interfere with my work.’ Papa Goon, … Continue reading Pedro Segundo Dolabaille, the Cacao Expert
In 1967 my father took me to Gran Curucaye. There I was introduced to my first panyol friend, Felicidad Guerra, a small wiry, brown woman, probably in her early sixties, with tightly curled greying hair. She looked at my father and me enquiringly as we alighted from our car. ‘Buenos días,’ I heard my father … Continue reading Two Cocoa Panyols
In modern times, that is, during the nineteenth century when Venezuela was undergoing political changes from colony to independence, many Venezuelans of all social levels migrated to Trinidad. Among these immigrants were the forefathers of the cocoa panyols (pronounced pah-yol) or Trinidad panyols who are often called “Spanish”.