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Janine Mendes-Franco

I am a writer and media producer based in Trinidad and Tobago. Follow me on Twitter @JanineMFranco.

Email Janine Mendes-Franco

Latest posts by Janine Mendes-Franco

15 July 2019

A prolific theatre producer is one of the latest victims in Trinidad and Tobago's homicide spiral

Tributes are pouring in across social media channels following the death of this local theatrical icon.

6 July 2019

Is a ‘Concordat’ stymieing education progress in Trinidad & Tobago?

"If indeed education is better in denominational schools then we must ensure that government schools are brought up to the best level."

29 June 2019

Will Barbados be the first Caribbean nation to abolish the secondary school entrance exam?

"Every child deserves a good-quality education. Why we have a system that making our children feel they stupid if they don't pass for ‘a good school'?"

26 June 2019

Trinidad & Tobago's ‘Bike Man’ takes cycling to new heights

Trinidad and Tobago loves its "heights" -- and a skilful cyclist on a homemade bike that reaches 10-12 feet in height does not disappoint.

22 June 2019

Trinidad & Tobago walks the talk for World Conversation Day

For the first time, Trinidad and Tobago took part in World Conversation Day via a series of offline talks about topics from creativity to aging — all streamed online, of...

19 June 2019

Public pressure forces Trinidad & Tobago government to drop amendment to Freedom of Information Act

"...people should be very proud of a democracy that obviously is quite healthy—that civil society came together quickly and comprehensively as it did, and that government was sufficiently responsive."

4 June 2019

Trinidad and Tobago registers Venezuelan asylum-seekers to legalise their status

The two-week-long initiative, which began on May 31, 2019, will afford undocumented Venezuelans amnesty so that they can be put on record and be legally recognised in Trinidad and Tobago.

13 May 2019

Trinidad & Tobago promotes equality, but politicians often can't resist talking race

Trinidad and Tobago's Equal Opportunity Act has provisions against offensive behaviour, but when it comes to politics the race card gets played time and time again.

3 May 2019

A mixed welcome for Trinidad and Tobago's plan to regularise Venezuelan asylum seekers

From exploitation of refugees to an increase in violent crime, Trinidad and Tobago has its hands full as streams of Venezuelans seeking asylum continue to arrive.

12 April 2019

Easter in Trinidad & Tobago looks (and tastes) like this

A glimpse into what Easter time is like in the most southerly islands of the Caribbean archipelago.

30 March 2019

A magical image of a Carnival stilt-walker asserts the legitimacy of public breastfeeding in Trinidad & Tobago

"Eating in public spaces is normal and natural regardless of whether you’re eating off of a plate, a banana leaf or your mother’s breasts."

23 March 2019

Website fighting against body-shaming proves Carnival is for #everyBODY

"Thanks to masqueraders like Candice Santana and our followers, we can shed a different light on what true representation of masqueraders looks like."

13 March 2019

Carnival may bring out latent body-shaming in Trinidad & Tobago, but this masquerader is having none of it

"My band ran a campaign endorsing all sizes, shapes and shades. This excited me on many levels because truth be told we are a body shaming society."

28 February 2019

This Trinidad and Tobago steelband changed its tune, prompting discussion on a steelpan policy

"I don’t think people really understand what happens in a panyard. Problems like the one with Exodus will resurface if we keep looking at pan as pure entertainment."

14 February 2019

The Caribbean needs to work on its homophobia, but it doesn't need a lecture

"To Gabriel’s credit, he […] accepted he was wrong. That is a solid first step."

12 February 2019

Venezuela's humanitarian crisis puts Trinidad and Tobago's refugee policy under the microscope

Venezuelans fleeing their country have been seeking refuge in Trinidad and Tobago in increasing numbers, but the country is yet to get its act together to deal with the influx.

8 February 2019

Who will win Trinidad & Tobago Carnival's 2019 Road March?

A strong melody, a memorable refrain ... just some of the elements that make up the magical formula for a Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Road March.

Former West Indies cricket great: ‘We have to put a lot of things right to sustain that level of play’

West Indian cricket fans are longing for a return to their side's glory days, but cricket veteran Deryck Murray says there's still a lot of work to be done.

6 February 2019

‘No-confidence’ vote upheld by Guyana's courts

On January 31, 2019, Guyana's acting chief justice ruled in favor of the opposition coalition's 'no confidence' vote. New presidential elections will be called in March.

29 January 2019

Displaced farmers’ coalition reclaims their road to sustainable livelihoods 9 years after Haiti’s devastating earthquake

"We had nothing to fall back on, nothing to sell at the market. [...] What we suffered through the most was the loss of our dignity."