Brasso Seco is a remote village in the northern region of Trinidad, located at the base of the country’s highest peak, whose inhabitants are of mixed African and Amerindian descent. In 1997, the villagers formed the Brasso Seco Paria Tourism Action Committee (TAC), which organises and provides ecotourism and agrotourism services that incorporate cultural, historical and culinary elements under the tagline – “Experience the Valley of Life.”
The Brasso Seco area was originally established as a coffee and cocoa estate in the early 1900s, and other crops such as bananas and vegetables were introduced in subsequent decades. Given its remote location, the village is surrounded by rainforest that is host to waterfalls, rivers, abundant flora, birds and other wildlife.
The Brasso Seco Paria TAC offers multiple hiking options (10 to be exact) with varying difficulties that allow bird watching, visits to waterfalls, hill climbing, river treks, a tour of the coffee and cocoa estate the community group is rehabilitating, and a village walk to experience the hospitality of the community. The hiking trails are cut, cleaned and maintained by villagers who work with the National Reforestation and Watershed Rehabilitation Programme (NRWRP) of Brasso Seco, which is run by the TAC.
There is a visitor facility managed by the TAC where visitors can organise their trip to the community and purchase items made by villagers (such as jewelry, condiments, wine, cocoa and coffee powder), as well as host groups for meetings and meals. Meals are prepared at the adjoining Indigenous Cooking Facility that makes traditional dishes utilising old-time food preparation amenities and methods that include a clay oven, smoked meats and homemade ice cream, among other culinary delights.
Accommodation is also available in the community via guest houses or in a host home with a family. Since 2002, the Brasso Seco TAC has also hosted an annual Indigenous Cook-Out in October, which has become a nationally known event to enjoy good food, surroundings and music.
The Brasso Seco TAC provides employment for 28 people year-round, and as many as 35 in peak periods. The surplus from the committee activities is invested in the community, for example paying for textbooks and transport for school children and providing financial and other assistance to senior citizens in need.