The most successful of four original Isleños colonies in the region, San Bernardo (later Anglicized as St. Bernard) once supplied the city of New Orleans with many of its staple foods, when the Isleños were farming on tracts given to them by the Spanish government. Some Isleños soon consolidated those tracts into successful sugar plantations. After the Civil War, however, many Isleños retreated to the easternmost parts of St. Bernard Parish, forming such remote enclaves as Delacroix Island and Shell Beach.

“They were the ones who, because of their isolation, retained their cultural identity,” Hyland says. That meant speaking the same Spanish dialect they had spoken for generations and singing the same traditional decimas (native poetry sung a cappella). - American Profile