Our History

Tortuga, named after the multitude of turtles (morocoys) which roamed the landscape, is a small village approx. 10 sq . km in size. It was well known as a thriving agricultural community with several groups contributing to its economic development. This region was settled by a diverse group such as Frenchmen who came after the 1783 Cedula de Poblacion.

The French were noted for successfully cultivating high quality cocoa on the fertile soils of the Monsterrat Hills, Central Range( in which our estate is located).

Following emancipation, many freed men squatted in the high woods of Tortuga and environs as they could not legitimately purchase land. Peons( mix of Amerindian, Spanish and African) formed a significant part of the population and labour force after 1850.

Tortuga’s early history is also associated with the presence of the Capuchin monks who arrived from Spain with a mandate to spread Christianity throughout the region.

After 1867, Governor Arthur Gordon elevated Montserrat to ward status and established two villages, one with a Church and the other containing the warden’s residence, office, the police station and a school.

Traditionally an agricultural community, Tortuga’s landscape is no longer filled with extensive acreages of sugar cane, cocoa and bananas. These crops have been largely replaced by vegetables. This small rural community remains close knit.

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Our Lady of Montserrat

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