Styrofoam snowmen positioned around a T&T flag.

Shastri Boodan

Clive Teemul, 54, and his family have been spreading Yuletide cheer in the rural communities of Brasso Venado and Flanagin Town in central Trinidad for the last seven years. The highlight is the Christmas Village that he has constructed on his property at Telemaque Road which borders both communities.

“I started this project in 2015 when I was teaching art at the Tabaquite Secondary School,” he explained.

“I created a small Christmas Village. This created an impact and I realized that many of the youths were not exposed to many events outside their community. After that, I decided to create something bigger for the community.”

The project is funded by Teemul and his family and whatever donations he gets from visitors to the display. He focuses on re-using items that would have otherwise been thrown away. In doing so he wants to inspire others to think twice before they discard items that can be reused through repurposing.

“We have glass bottles, styrofoam, and scrap lumber. Sometimes we get old decorations that we transform. We want to encourage everyone to generate less waste which is harmful to the environment,” he said.

The village is open to all and there is no admission fee. Visitors from across the country had admired the display which includes a mix of cartoon and Christmas characters.

They can also visit the Cocoa Panyol Museum Teemul launched three years ago where there are items on display from the age when cocoa was king and times were simpler.