Caribbean Weekly: 10 Things That May Surprise You About Dominica
This week, Buzzebly takes a trip to what is popularly known as the “Nature Isle”, Dominica. As one of the jewels of the Caribbean region, Dominica boasts quite the picturesque mix of rainforests, waterfalls, mountains and beaches. So, it sees its fair share of vacationers searching for all the hiking and diving activities on offer. Think for a second, what do you really know about Dominica or its people? Well get ready for a thrilling tour, because this week’s Caribbean Weekly will take a closer look at quite possibly one of the world’s most underrated destinations. Let’s explore the food, flora, fauna, people and culture that make Dominica the isle of beauty and isle of splendour.
To avoid obvious confusion with the Dominican Republic, The official pronunciation of Dominica places the stress on the second “i” rather than the first to give a sound DAHM-ih-NEE-ka. Despite the differences in pronunciation, citizens of both countries are called Dominicans.
Dominica was the first island sighted by Christopher Columbus on the his second voyage to the ‘New World’. As he landed onSunday the 3rd of November 1493, Columbus named the island after the Italian word for Sunday, “domenica” (the Lord’s day).
Dominica became first Black controlled legislative in British Caribbean Colony after the abolition of slavery in 1838. Most Black legislators were smallholders or merchants who held economic and social views diametrically opposed to the interests of the small, wealthy English planter class.
Dame Mary Eugenia Charles became the first female Prime Minister in the British Caribbean when she became the Prime Minister of Dominica on the 21st of July 1980, she remained in power until until 14 June 1995. Dominica’s longest serving Prime Minister, Dame Charles was also the country’s first female lawyer.
The Imperial Amazon is only found in Dominica and also known as Sisserou. They normally inhabit mountain forest areas above 2,100 ft (625 m). The Imperial Amazon is recognized as the National Bird of Dominica and is prominently displayed on this island nation’s Coat of Arms, the National Flag, The Public Seal, The Mace of the House of Assembly and Dominica’s Honours for Meritorious Service to the Country.
Imperial Amazon appears on the Dominican flag and happens to be only the 22nd nation that features an animal on its flag.
Dominica features the second highest mountain peak in Lesser Antilles, the Morne Diablotins at 4, 747 feet (1430 meters). Morne Diablotins has a french name when translated means small or little devils.
Dominica has most active volcanos in the Caribbean with nine out of the sixteen recorded. Dominica’s nine active volcanoes are ; Morne au Diable, Morne Trois Pitons, Morne Diablotins, Morne Watts, Morne Anglais, Wotten Waven Caldera, Valley of Desolation, Grande Soufriere Hills and Morne Plat Pays.