Dominica, the true Nature Island of the Caribbean, is our most beautiful and mountainous island lying almost central in the chain of Caribbean islands of the West Indies. Geographically, Dominica is the youngest island of the Caribbean, it is still being formed by geothermal-volcanic activity, as evidenced by the world’s second-largest hot spring, called Boiling Lake.
The island is part of the Windward Islands, located in the Lesser Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. Guadeloupe – a French Caribbean island territory – lies to the northwest. Martinique – also a French Caribbean island territory – lies directly to the south-southeast of Dominica. Dominica’s area is 750 km2 (290 sq miles) and its highest point is Morne Diablotins, reaching to a peak height of 1,447 m (4,747 ft).
The 2011 census of the island’s population was 71,293. In the exodus that followed Hurricane Maria (18th September 2017), it is said that at least 15 – 20% of the population deserted the island in the immediate aftermath of the storm. From accounts, it can be said that at least 10% of the population returned in the year following the disaster. The Sisserou parrot, also known as the imperial amazon and found only on Dominica, is the island’s national bird and featured on the national flag, which is the only national flag in the world containing the color purple. The island has lush mountainous rainforests, and it is the home of many rare plants, animals, and bird species.
OFFICIAL & OTHER NAMES
Dominica gained the status of a republic in 1978. It is officially known as the Commonwealth of Dominica. The island Carib indigenous name of Dominica is Wai‘tu kubuli, meaning ‘Tall is her body’. A most fitting name for her mountainous terrain, mostly covered in tropical rainforest, as they rise majestically up from the seas.
Dominica was originally inhabited by the Kalinago and later colonised by Europeans. The sialdn was discovered by the Columbus is said to have passed the island on Sunday 3 November 1493, and the island’s name is derived from the Latin for “Sunday”. During the years of European occupation, Dominica was predominantly inhabited by the French from the 1690s to 1763. Great Britain took possession in 1763 after the Seven Years’ War, and it gradually established English as its official language. The island republic gained independence in 1978.
BREEZES COTTAGE’S LOCATION
Breezes Cottage lies central to the Kalinago Territory. The Kalinago Territory – formerly known as the Carib Reserve and the Carib Territory – lies in the Parish of St. David, located on the north-eastern side of the island, facing the Atlantic Ocean.
St. David is one of Dominica’s ten administrative parishes and is bordered by St. Andrew to the north and St. Patrick to the south. The nearest large settlement is Castle Bruce, lying south of the Territory.
The universal language in Dominica is English. Its secondary language is Dominican Creole French which is widely spoken. Its location between the two French-speaking departments of Martinique and Guadeloupe, together with French migration to the island starting from 1690. A majority of French Creole speaking population having resided on the island, has made the islanders multi-lingual.
Dominica has been and still is, a member of La Francophonie. Dominican Creole is particularly used among the older generation, which also speaks a patois language. Because of a decline in the use of Creole by the younger generation, initiatives have been set up in an effort to increase usage and promote this unique part of the nation’s history and culture.