The district of Laborie has a rich and varied cultural heritage stretching well over a thousand years. It encompasses the Amerindians (sometimes known as the Arawak or Carib), the European settlers and colonists from France, Spain and Great Britain, the enslaved African peoples brought in to work the estates, the East Indian indentured workers and today’s globalized citizens of the world. Laborians establish themselves everywhere and people from everywhere make the shores of Laborie their home. Each of these influences is now woven into Laborie’s vibrant West Indian culture. The traditions from this unique cultural heritage are visible everywhere: how our people live and talk – the French-based Kwéyòl language is alive and well here, spoken everyday along with the English language – , in the architecture of the homes, in the food and drinks, in the festivals celebrated throughout the year, in the music and the arts… and in the faces of the people! Explore the rich history and the cultural heritage found in this corner of Saint Lucia.
The name Laborie, as applied to our village, comes from the Baron de Laborie , a former French governor of the island of Saint-Lucia during the Ancien Régime. Laborie is still nowadays not an uncommon surname in France. But a “Borie” is a French word of Occitan, a dialect originiating from the south of France, for a dry shed made of stocked-up rocks, in remote parts of the land, where farm workers would store their farming equipment, their harvest, their animals and sometimes also to protect themselves against the elements.