World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide

Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of Central America

Dominica Travelling Guide
Dominica Travelling Guide

General background: Dominica was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans, due chiefly to the fierce resistance of the native Caribs. France ceded possession to Great Britain in 1763, which made the island a colony in 1805. In 1980, two years after independence, Dominica's fortunes improved when a corrupt and tyrannical administration was replaced by that of Mary Eugenia CHARLES, the first female prime minister in the Caribbean, who remained in office for 15 years.

Area comparative: Slightly more than four times the size of Washington, DC

Climate: Tropical; moderated by northeast trade winds; heavy rainfall

Terrain: Rugged mountains of volcanic origin

Population: 70,158 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Black, Mixed Black and European, European, Syrian, Carib Amerindian

Religions: Roman Catholic 77%, Protestant 15% (Methodist 5%, Pentecostal 3%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3%, Baptist 2%, other 2%), none 2%, other 6%

Language: English (official), French patois

Government type: Parliamentary democracy; republic within the Commonwealth

Capital: Roseau

Legal system: Based on English common law

Economic overview: The Dominican economy depends on agriculture, primarily bananas, and remains highly vulnerable to climatic conditions. Hurricane Luis devastated the country's banana crop in 1995 after tropical storms wiped out a quarter of the 1994 crop. The subsequent recovery has been fueled by increases in construction, soap production, and tourist arrivals. Development of the tourism industry remains difficult however, because of the rugged coastline, lack of beaches, and the absence of an international airport. Economic growth is sluggish, and unemployment is greater than 20%. The government has been attempting to develop an offshore financial sector in order to diversify the island's production base.

Communication/Telephone system: Fully automatic network

Places of interest: Dominica has a lush mountainous interior of rainforests, waterfalls, lakes, hot springs and more than 200 rivers, many of which cascade over steep cliff faces en route to the coast. The only way to really experience this fabulous terrain is to pull on your hiking boots and start walking.

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