Dominica
November 29, 2014
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Map of Dominica
National Flag
National Flag
Facts about Dominica
Airport
Melville Hall (DOM)
Annual Rainfall
Coast - 75 inches/ mountains - 200 inches
Area
289.5 sq miles
Area Code
767
Banks
Monday-Thursday 8am-2pm/Friday 8am-5pm
Capital City
Roseau
Co-ordinates
15 30'N, 61 20' W
Currency
East Caribbean dollar  (EC$)/US$
Departure Tax
EC$30
Dimensions
29 miles x 16 miles
Dress Code
Lightweight casual with a sweater for evenings in the mountains, swimwear for the beach/pool, rain gear for mountain hikes
Driving
On the left, permit required/US$12
Drugs
Illegal
Electricity
220/240V, 50 cycle
Exchange Rate
EC$2.68 - US$1.00
Highest Point
Morne Sante (4747 ft/1447 m)
Language
English, Patois
Medical
Emergency  telephone 999
Nudity
Illegal
Population
67 000
Public Transport
Minibuses service the island, controlled fares
Shopping
Monday - Friday 8am-4pm/Saturday 8am-1pm
Smoking
No prohibitive legislation
Taxis
Taxis readily available, fixed fares
Telecommunications
Phone cards, internet access
Temperature
75 - 85F
Time Zone
Atlantic Standard Time
Tipping
10% usually included
Water
Potable, bottled available
ABOUT DOMINICA
History
The name, Dominica, in Latin means "Sunday", which was the day on which it was discovered by Christopher Columbus. The Amerindian name for Dominica was Wai'tu kubuli, meaning "tall is her body". The former indigenous people of Dominica (pronounced "dom-in-EE-cuh"), the Arawaks, were displaced by the more aggressive Caribs in the fourteenth century. These descendants of the Tainos were overthrown by the Kalinago tribe of the Caribs. Christopher Columbus arrived on the island on November 3, 1493, but they were defeated by the Caribs and soon left. In 1627 England tried and failed to capture Dominica. In 1635 the French claimed the island and sent missionaries to "tame" the Caribs, but they too were unsuccessful. In the 1660s, the French abandoned both Dominica and Saint Vincent. The island remained isolated for another 100 years, during which time, Caribs who were being driven out of other islands, found solace. France ceded Dominica to the United Kingdom in 1763, and they went on to settle and colonize the island in 1805. The British Empire abolished slavery in 1834, and, in 1838, Dominica became the first British Caribbean colony to have a Black-controlled legislature. In 1896, the United Kingdom took governmental control of the island and turned it into a crown colony. In 1978 Dominica became an independent nation. The Carib Territory, Fort Shirley and the Dominica Museum attest to the island's colourful past.

Geography
Dominica is the northernmost of the Windward Islands, and is largely covered by rainforest. The island is home to many natural features, including the world's second-largest boiling lake. Dominica is very mountainous and has many waterfalls, springs and 365 rivers. Due to the volcanic nature of the island, there are few sandy beaches, and those that do exist tend to be black sand. However, due to the unique underwater landscape, Dominica has become a popular scuba diving location, and the island has several protected areas, both on land and in the sea. The Morne Trois Pitons National Park was recognized as a World Heritage Site on April 4, 1995, a designation shared with World Heritage sites in Old San Juan in Puerto Rico, Willemstad in Curacao, Saint Kitts, Hispaniola (Dominican Republic/Haiti), Cuba and St Lucia. Dominica is rightfully known as "The Nature Island of the Caribbean" because of its lush, and varied flora, fauna and landscape. The island's volcanic peaks are cones of lava craters and include Boiling Lake, which is the second-largest thermally active lake in the world.

Economy
The Dominican economy is dependent upon tourism and agriculture. Twenty percent of the local labour force is in agriculture, and exports include tobacco, bananas, vegetables, citrus, copra, coconut oil, and essential oils such as bay oil. Other manufacturing industries include soap, furniture, cement blocks and shoes. There is also an offshore medical school on Dominica, Ross University, with over 1000 students mainly from the USA and Canada. Poverty and unemployment are high at 30% and 23% respectively, and a per capita income of US$5400. Damage to banana crops by severe weather and fluctuations in international prices impact strongly on the island's economy. Major steps are being made by the Government to develop tourism, especially ecotourism.

Religion
Christianity is the dominant religion, with the Roman Catholic faith accounting for approximately 61% of the population. Evangelical churches represent 18% of the population, Seventh-day Adventists represent about 6% and Methodists represent 3.7% of the population. Minority religions include Rastafarians, Jehovah's Witnesses, Anglicans and Muslims.

Language
English is the official language of Dominica, however a large portion of the population speaks Kweyol. Kweyol is based primarily on French and Amerindian (Carib) languages combined with a variety of West African languages. A few villages in the north of the island use a distinctive dialect called Kokoy. 

Nature
Dominica possesses the most unspoilt landscape in the Caribbean. The island actively discourages high-impact tourism. Visitors will find large tropical forests, including one which is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites, hundreds of streams, spectacular coastlines and coral reefs. The Sisserou parrot is Dominica's national bird and is indigenous to its mountain forests. Offshore, the Caribbean Sea is home to many cetaceans, including sperm whales which live in the area year round. Other cetaceans frequently spotted include spinner dolphins, pantropical spotted dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. Less frequently seen are killer whales, false killer whales, pygmy sperm whales, dwarf sperm whales, Risso's dolphins, common dolphins, Atlantic spotted dolphins, humpback whales and Bryde's whales.

Sport
Cricket is the most popular sport on the island, and Dominica regularly hosts local, regional and international cricket matches. There is an 8000-seat cricket stadium which is also used to host the annual World Creole Music Festival amongst other things.

Entry Requirements
Visitors are required to present a valid passport and a return ticket, and residents of some countries are required to have a visa. Visitors arriving by private boat are required to check in with customs and immigration. A 300-seat catamaran ferry operates between Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Lucia. Regional airlines offer regular scheduled between the islands. Dominica has two airports, one of which is just outside of the capital, Roseau, and which services smaller planes which operate shuttle services to neighbouring islands.
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