A religious organisation has extended a helping hand to a group of 59 Cubans refugees who are living in deplorable and unsanitary conditions on a parcel of agricultural land in Warrenville, Cunupia.
Coming to the rescue of the Cubans who are seeking refugee status in T&T was pastor Toy Rampaul of Warrenville-based Family Christ Ministries.
Church members erected four galvanise sheds on the lands belonging to Caroni (1975) Ltd on Monday which the Cubans have been residing on since February 1.
At their new location the Cubans have been using an outhouse and one bathroom while managing without pipe-borne water and electricity.
The conditions have been described as less than ideal.
For the past four days they have been living in makeshift tents covered by tarpaulins and strips of plastics. The group moved there after they overstayed their time at a nearby warehouse provided by a businessman.
Their story was highlighted in the Trinidad Guardian on Tuesday.
Three months ago, 87 Cuban nationals were charged with obstructing a free passageway and removed by police after they camped outside the UN House, in Port-of-Spain seeking the organisation's assitance.
Touched by their plight, Rampaul said she felt compelled to help seeing the cramped conditions in which the Cubans live.
She bought them a stove, pots and plates.
"I also went to the hardware and purchased lumber, nails and sheets of galvanise which I donated to them on Sunday," Rampaul said.
She said a member of the church - a carpenter- offered to build four sheds which the Cubans blocked off with tarpaulins and plastic.
"Everybody chipped in and got the sheds completed in under 12 hours. It was really a team effort," Rampaul said.
Rampaul said refugees in T&T should not be ill-treated.
"Listen, I am really hurt by these Cubans. They are from a different country, yes, but they are human beings like us," Rampaul said.
"We are feeling happier and safer now," said Andris Gonzalez, one of Cubans who spoke for the group.
"We have more privacy and slept better last night. I want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts fo reaching out to us in our time of need. There are still good people in Trinidad," he said.
Feroza Mohammed who offered the Cubans the land said help has been pouring in for them.
Among those was donated foodstuff, bottled water and cleaning agents was charitable group Heart of Sai.
Reporter: Shaliza Hassanali