Beauport - Le pays de la Canne
Aquarium de la Guadeloupe
Jardin botanique de Deshaies
Rhum Karukéra
Green Blue Houses
Casino Saint François

Ponds

Water area - Anse-Bertrand

The ponds of Anse-Bertrand are of primary importance to the North Grande Terre region. Most are natural pools formed by rising water tables or rainwater runoff on impermeable clay depressions, but others are artificial. The ponds once served to power mills for making alcohol, sugar, and molasses. Due to the regular occurrence of droughts in this region, such water sources are indispensable to the health of both crops and livestock. Farmers therefore learned to dig and maintain these ponds, and people came from miles around to collect precious liquid here. In the 1950s and 60s, children were assigned the task of fetching water before school, and households did their laundry at the ponds, stretching the washed garments out on the surrounding grass while they waited in the shade of the mango trees until the clothes were dry. “We spent wonderful days that way,“ some of the older residents say. Whether permanent or temporary, the ponds, a feature of limestone islands such as Grande Terre, provide habitat for specific, varied fauna and flora (aquatic turtles, cane toads, and dragonflies—Orthemis macrostigma—whose larvae spend up to five years of their existence in an aquatic milieu). Although there are not many streams in Grande Terre, due to low rainfall and the nature of the soil, and although some of the ponds were filled in to build houses, there remain over 2,000 ponds across Grande Terre and Marie-Galante. Near La Chapelle stadium, just past the pear guava trees in the direction of Anse Colas, visitors can see a series of ponds (“ma” in Creole)—Ma Goudou, Ma Senpyè, Ma Rozo, Ma Loumangn, etc.—that are a hundred years old.

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