Babonneau is in the centre of the island, to the east of Castries, on the edge of the Castries Waterworks Forest reserve.
Babonneau is a hilly district. It comprises some 15 smaller communities, making it the second largest district on-island.
There are two beliefs regarding the origin of the name: one, that it comes from a family named Babonneau who owned land in the area; the other, that it is translated from the French ‘barre-bonne-eau’ which means ‘the ridge where there is good water’. The district is certainly home to many rivers and is one of the island’s most important water catchment areas.
Babonneau is as an agricultural district with a variety of crops including a wide range of vegetables and fruits. There is no market but produce can be bought directly from individuals. The district has an abundance of trees and many residents produce coal. Poultry farming is practised as well.
PLACES OF INTEREST
The Church of the Good Shepherd in Babonneau is central to the community and occupies a beautiful edifice built in 1947. Inside is a mural painted by Sir Dunstan St. Omer, the renowned Saint Lucian artist who designed our country’s flag.
Making your way to Grand Anse beach on the east coast (and at exactly 14 degrees north) is a challenge but well worth it! The road to this beach can be traversed in a 4×4 or you can decide to lace up your sneakers and walk it. From May to September you can take part in an incredible turtle watch. It involves overnight camping, with tour guides sounding the alarm when the 2,000 lb leatherbacks are spotted on shore. Contact Heritage Tours (see below).
Rainforest Adventures is in Chassin. View the rainforest during a leisurely ride in an aerial tram or experience the thrill of zip lining between the trees. Follow a hiking trail up to 1,400 ft (see our article on page 20) and try to spot five of our island’s endemic birds. Contact Rainforest Adventures.
tel. (758) 458 5151,
To get a taste of Saint Lucian culture, Fond Latisab Creole Park, also in Chassin, is the place to be. There you can experience traditional village local life, from making cassava bread to wood-sawing and folk dancing. Contact Heritage Tours.
tel. (758) 458 1454,
Babonneau is the only district in Saint Lucia that links you to both the north and south of the island though numerous roads and back-roads. The district was once home to numerous estates but many were destroyed during the French Revolution. Gaspard Tascher de la Pagerie owned an estate in the community of Paix Bouche. In 1763 his wife gave birth to their daughter, Marie-Joseph Rose, who would later marry the French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte.
Saint Lucian high jumper, Levern Spencer, who won a gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, was born in Cacao, Babonneau on 23rd June, 1984.