Dominica has been described and named as the nature island of the Caribbean. There are reasons for this. It has remained relatively unspoilt by the commercial world. The island hosts rain forests which spread over vast areas. It is also an incredibly mountainous island with hundreds of rivers and streams.
The original natives, the Kalinagos named the island WAITUKUBULI which translates “TALL IS HER BODY”.
Morne Diablotins is the tallest mountain in Dominica, measuring 1,447 m high.
Shantel, the main character in my book Blossom Tree visits the island on a couple of occasions as this is the country where her parents were born and raised. My parents are also from Dominica and I myself have been there many times.
I have always felt a sense of ‘home’ when I visit the island. When I haven’t returned for a long time I feel a sense of longing and to immerse myself in the sun, the culture, the people and my family. Of course I have my favourite hot spots on the island of Dominica. The recent hurricanes have devastated the island. However, Dominicans are resilient. They are able to pick up the pieces and work towards building a better and stronger island.
Dominica is part of the Windward Islands. It is positioned within the southern group of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. It was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans, mainly due to the resistance of the native Caribs. The natives fought against the Europeans who arrived with their weapons and ideology of claiming what was a peaceful and civilised land for the Carib’s.
The Carib Indians (aka Kalinagos)
were living on the island long before Columbus arrived, 3rd November 1493.
Dominica became independent from the British on 3rd November 1978.
Dominica is known for its lush scenery and varied flora and fauna. Dominica is home to the world's second-largest hot spring, TheBoiling Lake.
Area of land: 750 km2 (290 sq mi) (174th).
Capital City: Roseau
Population: 74,705 as of Sunday, July 28, 2019, based on the latest United Nations. estimates..
Independence from the British 3rd November 1978.
During the American Revolution War the French invaded Dominica (1778). Dominica remained controlled by the French until the end of the war, when it was returned to the British.
The culture of Dominicans can be described as a rich blend of Caribs, Africans (brought to the island through slavery), French and British. These influences are reflected in the language, music, art and food.
The most common religion is Christianity. The most common Christian denomination is Roman Catholicism. However, there are many other Christian denominations practiced on the island. Other minority religions practiced on the island include Rastafarianism, Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism.
The national dish, since 2013, is Calalloo Soup. This is made of the green leaves of the dasheen plant, meat and other vegetables. Prior to this date, the national dish was Mountain Chicken (frogs legs).
Popular meals would include stew chicken, stew peas, rice and peas, ground provisions (dasheen, yams), green bananas, breadfruit, stew beef, fish, broths and soups (with dumplings, ground provisions and carrots). Bakes (fried dumplings) and salt-fish are also popular as a breakfast meal or snack.
English is the official language of Dominica. However, the native also speak Creole, which derives from the French language. It also has African influences. There are other islands in the Caribbean that can speak and understand Creole - St Lucia, Martinique and Guadeloupe.
Dominica has a hot and humid climate; it is hot and humid all year round. The rainy season is mid June to mid November. There is sunshine all year. The rains in Dominika occur throughout the year as down pours and thunderstorms. They do not last long, but can be quite intense. A tropical storm or hurricane can pass over the island between June and November. On September 17th 2017 hurricane Maria devastated Dominika is a category five hurricane. Dominika is picking it self up once again after this major travesty.