Dominica in the Past and in the Present

Dominica has plenty of history and culture to take pride in

Photo credit: © Richard Goldberg |

With its vibrant culture and rich history, Dominica is poised to become a favorite of travelers who enjoy getting far from home and the hustle and bustle of city life. However, this little island has a lot of growing to do before it becomes a popular tourist locale.

Dominica is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about halfway between Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tabago.  The island has a total area of 291 square miles, and was created by volcanic activity.  This makes Dominica's topography one of the more rugged and mountainous of the Caribbean Islands.  Volcanic activity is present on the island, with such geographic features as Boiling Lake, the second largest boiling lake in the world.  The Valley of Desolation, a valley of sulfuric hot water springs snaking across the island's surface, is another example.  Visitors should not worry about volcanic eruptions, however, as the island is considered dormant. 


Though Dominica was first inhabited by a few Amerindian tribes, the French and British governments spent more than a century squabbling over - and trading control of - the now-British island of Dominica. But French settlers left more than enough behind to remind all who visit of their presence. Everything from the local Creole dialect to place names are markedly French, despite the country's official language being English.


... united people have worked together...


But the island's culture is more than just a combination of the British and French. The native Carib culture has significantly influenced island life. In fact, a Carib tribe still lives on the island in their own reservation, where they continue many traditional activities. African slaves also left their mark on island culture, adding to the unique blend of Dominican culture.

The Commonwealth of Dominica is a republic (one of the few in the Caribbean), and bases its government off the ideas of a parliamentary democracy.  Here, the president is the head of state, and the prime minister heads the lower cabinets, which is unicameral.  This system represents a population of nearly 75 thousand residents.


This mostly agricultural island has not suffered from many of the worst effects of development for tourism. Avoiding such over-development has helped Dominica to find a niche for expanding its economy: eco-tourism. Since its agriculturally-based economy is now in need of expansion due to worldwide changes, eco-tourism is a growing part of the economy on this lush island.

Peace came to this island and stayed, despite economic ups and downs. A united people have worked together in times of hardship, and the agricultural emphasis of the island has left many unspoiled beaches and forests for all to enjoy.


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