Monday, January 11, 2016
Chacachacare is an abandoned island in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago .
It has an interesting history as leper colony. The original Leprosarium was located at Cocorite but with the discovery in the early 20th century that leprosy was, in fact, contagious, the colonial authorities moved to establish an “off-shore” leper colony on the relatively remote island. According to Fr. Anthony de Verteuil’s “Western Isles”… In spite of many protests, the Colonial Authorities pressed on with the project. On May 20th 1921, paper no.58 was laid before the legislative council for the removal of the Cocorite Leper Asylum to the island of Chacachacare.
There are many stories about these islands. One of the more popular ones is that the Coast Guard had set up a small security post on Chacachacare in the late 1990′s. After a very short period, the officers refused to stay claiming that the island was haunted by the nuns.
Today Chacachacare remains uninhabited except for staff maintaining a Lighthouse on the island. It is also regularly used for camping and visits by recreational boats. Many Trinidadians go to this island, as well as Monos and Huevos for vacations and day trips. This is popularly referred to as “going down the islands”.