Cash in any major currency can be exchanged at any major bank on the Island. We usually make a run once a week to the bank. Many stores will actually take US dollars (usually $20s and smaller), and give the change back in TT dollars. The exchange is usually 6 TT dollars to 1 US dollar. We have ATM machines on the island that will draw from most US and Canadian accounts with an accurate currency conversion. Some places will take credit cards, but all places take cash.
To pay for your team expenses and ground fee we ask if you could wire the money to our account here in Trinidad two weeks before you arrive. It is necessary to have some one on the team bring a credit card, to charge any medical expenses that may arise.
Our mailing address is
PO Box 4298
Phone and Internet
The base phone number is 1-868-669-8870. 1-800 numbers do not work here. So your pre-paid phone cards will not work. Internet and phone access will not be available on campus. We only have a few computers and they are designated for office use only. Your team leader will be able to email key people of your safe arrival, and other necessary communication from the office. You can receive emergency phone calls at the above phone number. Otherwise personal calls may be made at an international calling center in town for usually $1TT/minute, they may be difficult to get to. Also internet cafés are available but not easily accessible from the campus. They are usually $7-10TT/ for a half hour or hour (most are dial-up).
Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Our web address is www.ywamtt.com
Please note that there is no hot water or airconditioning in the dorms. We occasionally do not have running water. Most places in Trinidad do not have hot water. Tap water is luke warm. The water here is treated locally and safe to drink. There may be up to 8 persons in a room.
The electric supply is 110 volts, 60 cycles AC.
We do have occasional power outages.
We do have a washing machine on campus. The cost is $10TT per load or $2US (we do not operate in US coins, only bills). Bring clothes pins to hang your laundry out on the line. Some teams will not be staying physically on the campus because of the size of the group. In those cases a washing machine may not be provided.
All of your ministry transportation is included in your fee, including to and from the airport and planned outings. If you would like to go out to town on your own (that is with a partner, never alone), taxis are available at a cost, and you have to walk out a quarter to half mile to get to the main road where the taxis run. You may wait 10 minutes to an hour for a taxi.
The office staff are generally available 9am-5pm Monday through Friday.
Since the climate here is very warm and most teams come from cooler places, most are not accustomed to the heat and the humidity. We recommend…
that you take the first day or so to get adjusted
that you carry a water bottle, to drink a lot of extra fluids (you can become dehydrated easily or even get a urinary tract infection)
bring some powdered sports drink like gaterade (to replenish what you sweat off)
take breaks when you need to (do not compare yourself to those of us that have been living here for a while, and be sure to tell your “boss” that you are having a difficult time)
cool off when you need to (find a shady breezy place to rest, drink extra cold fluids, take a cool shower, use a fan if you have one)
bring sunblock for your skin, sunglasses or a baseball cap
bring some bug repellent too. We do not have malaria here on the island, nor do we have rabies.
We do have some first aid supplies that are available on the campus that you are welcome to use when necessary. We recommend that your group brings a first aid kit as well. We do have a couple nurses on staff here.
Trinidad has a good medical system with specialists in most areas. If you wish to see a physician, we can make arrangements. Medical expenses will need to be paid upfront for most doctors and hospitals to see you, so someone on the team will need to have a credit card available for such emergencies. The good news is medical expenses are much cheaper here in Trinidad than they are in the US.
The beach wear is intended just for the beach. It is not appropriate to wear swimwear or even a beach wrap in public. So please make sure you have appropriate clothes to wear over your swim suit.
Make sure you dress modestly.
Women: Most appropriate dress for going out in public would be dress, skirt, or pants (most women do not wear shorts in public here). Shorts and sleeveless shirts are fine to wear on the campus for both men and women. One piece bathing suits only.
Men: You should always have a shirt on. Bear backs are not appropriate. Most appropriate dress for going out in public would be pants and a shirt. Shorts and sleeveless shirts are fine to wear on the campus for both men and women
For ministry times, the church is more conservative here than many places in America, so more conservative Sunday attire is appropriate. For ministry times women may wear dresses or skirts and shirts with sleeves, no flip-flops (thong slippers). Men may wear slacks (no jeans) and a button up shirt with a collar. Ties are appropriate if you are speaking.
It is appropriate to greet someone when you walk past them with a friendly, “Hello, good morning (good afternoon, good evening, or good night depending on the time of day).”
We do have porcalin flushing toilets, and toilet paper. It is not referred to as the bathroom or restroom but rather the “wash room” or “toilet”.
Trini food is like most Caribbean food. Lots of rice, meat with bones. Katchup and hot pepper sauce is usually always available. We also have a lot of Indian food, with great rotis (a large flat bread like a tortilla). Juice here is usually extra sweet. We have lots of fresh vegetables and fruits available year round here.
Bedding (sheets, pillow, light blanket or sleeping bag, air mattress)
Towel, washcloth, etc
Toiletries (soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, deodorant, etc)
Sunscreen (heavy block, the sun is very direct, people have gotten second degree burns from not wearing sunscreen)
Bible and notebook or journal
Hat/baseball cap/visor/or sun glasses
Camera and film
Bug repellent (mosquito net for sleeping at night is optional, but beneficial)
Snacks (local snacks are available)
Heavy duty work gloves
Clothing—cool (recommended polyester or acrylic or nylon-type since it dries quickly), work clothes that you don’t mind getting destroyed, closed toe shoes for working in the bush, comfortable walking shoes or sandles for being in public.
Clothes pins and a little laundry detergent
Spending money ($20s or smaller, or ATM card to draw it out here)
Extra: balloons, bubbles, or any simple craft supplies for children