In Cajun Country


The fascinating landscape that is the Atchafalaya Basin in southwest Louisiana is part of the largest marshlands in the USA. For more than two hundred years, the Cajuns have lived here, descendents of French settlers who were driven out of Canada in the mid 1700s.

Since they came to the Atchafalaya Basin, the Cajuns have been living off the riches offered to them by this unusual natural region. However, intensive oil drilling and the deforestation of the ancient cypress woods have left their mark and now threaten the livelihoods of the few remaining fishermen.

For a long time the Cajuns were mocked as ignorant backwoods hicks. Since they started working for the preservation of their unique ecosystem, however, people have started taking them seriously. Environmental activists and fishermen show us magically illuminated lakes and the fog of sinking marches.

An important goal of the Cajuns of Louisiana in their battle to preserve their natural habitat and culture is to have the Atchafalaya Basin recognised as a national cultural heritage site. Then they would be entitled to funds from Washington to finance environmental projects and to build up an eco-tourism industry. And they succeed!