Our visit to Mauritius started with an excursion to the capital city – Port Louis. Mauritius was originally uninhabited. Humans arrived when the Dutch established a small colony in 1638. Mauritius was later controlled by the French and then the British who created their wealth by trafficking slaves (and later indentured servants) to the island exploiting them for free labor on sugar plantations, much like in the United States. Many of the current citizens are descendants of these original slaves and indentured servants (another form of slavery) from India and countries in Africa. Port Louis was the entry port for these slave-filled ships.
Another day we also visited the Aapravasi Ghat Memorial in Port Louis. This is a national monument and memorial site for the travesty of slavery and indentured servitude and its impact on the historical and cultural identity of Mauritius.
Banyan trees from this time still shade the central park of the city today.
We also visited Marie Reine de la Paix – the beautiful Mary Queen of Peace monument overlooking the city of Port Louis.
There is much, much more to see.