The name Laventille hearkens back to colonial times, especially when the French dominated the cultural traditions of the island. One etymological derivation of the name is because the northeast trade winds come to this part of the island of Trinidad before reaching any other part of colonial Port of Spain – hence the metaphorical name La Ventaille ("The Vent"). Geographically, it is the source of Orographic precipitation for the capital city.
Community and culture
Laventille was built by people of poorer communities originally but has since developed into contemporary housing developments.
Laventille is also the place where steel pan was born, and it is the birthplace of innovators and world-renowned tuners like the late Rudolph Charles, Bertie Marshall and Roland Harrigin. It is the heart of the steelpan world, where pioneer Winston "Spree" Simon lived and created one of the century’s new acoustical musical instruments. It is home to Desperadoes Steel Orchestra, one of the world's oldest steelbands, still in existence today. It also houses several other bands such as Laventille Hilanders, Courts Laventille Sound Specialists, Tokyo, etc.
Laventille is also the home or birthplace of many people involved in community work and other types of cultural activity in Trinidad & Tobago. Soca artiste Destra Garcia was born in Desperlie Crescent, former name Ovid Alley. Laventille is probably the oldest Community in East Port of Spain. It has been said, whenever the enslaved peoples escaped from man's inhumanity to man, they headed to the Hills of Laventille.
The name has also been used as a general term for the neighbourhoods of eastern Port of Spain, including not only Laventille "proper" (Success Village, Trou Macaque, Never Dirty) but also East Dry River, Rock City, Dan Kelly, John-John, Sea Lots, Beetham Estate Gardens, Caledonia, Maryland, Mon Repos and Chinapoo.
The world famous Angostura Bitters is currently produced at the Angostura compound which is located off the Eastern Main Road in Laventille. This product is one of the older products of Trinidad and Tobago which has won many awards and which has been exported to many countries. The bitters forms an essential element in many drinks and dishes.
Many of the rums which are produced in Trinidad are made at the Angostura Compound. These rums are exported to many countries and earn valuable foreign exchange for the country. These rums are also used in ponche a creme, the local equivalent of egg nog.
For many years, MacFoods Meat processors was one of the larger employers in the area, as their factory produced top quality pork hams, marketed under the label "Blue Ribbon" hams.
Prayer for the Pope
For the last thirty plus (30+) years, each year persons from the Roman Catholic parishes in the North of Trinidad, have headed to Laventille on the Sunday closest to the 13th of the month, during the period May - October. For the young and the young at heart, this gathering is a reminder of the visitations of Our Lady of FATIMA the need to pray for the country, each other and the intentions of the Pope and Archbishop using :. R,1 Our Father , 1 Hail Mary , 1 Glory be to the Father to gather with their peers and most of all, to give thanks for what has been given to them.
Coopers trained at Angostura
In 2015, over a three (3) week period young persons were trained in the art of coopering at Angostura. This training involved the making of barrels from scratch. These barrel which can be used to store the "work in progress of rum" are an intrinsic part of the creation of the rum product.
Places of interest
Angostura Museum and Barcant Butterfly Collection
The Angostura Museum and Barcant Butterfly Collection are located in the Angostura compound, Eastern Main Road, Laventille. The compound is located on 20 acres of land at Trinity Avenue and Eastern Main Road. This compound is located just on the outskirts of Port of Spain, heading towards Morvant. Access is obtained through the Eastern Main Road entrance. In addition to the Museum, there are several buildings which are located on the compound, such as the Distillery, the Administration Offices and the Special Events Buildings for which bookings can be placed.
Fernandes Industrial Centre (FIC)
The Fernandes Industrial Centre (FIC) is located along the Eastern Main Road, close to the Morvant Junction. The FIC stretches from the Main Road, is intersected by the Priority Bus Route and continues to the Churchill Roosevelt Highway (CRH). However the Compound is not accessible from the CRH. The Centre offers warehousing, distribution and operating space for several different types of businesses, some of these are: Foundation for the Enhancement and Enrichment of Life. This Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) was founded by Mr. Clive Pantin, brother of the late Archbishop Anthony Pantin of the R.C. Archdiocese of Port of Spain, former principal of Fatima College. The organisation is engaged in the collection, distribution of food items to those in need and other social services. Peter Sheppard Studio ~ Peter Sheppard has produced artwork which recreate historical scenes of Trinidad and Tobago.