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Thursday 19th October
Dominica Information - Page 1
Geography
The Commonwealth of Dominica is in the Caribbean, north of Martinique and south of Guadeloupe.

Dominica is divided into ten parishes: Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Luke, Saint Mark, Saint Patrick, Saint Paul and Saint Peter.

Roseau is the capital.

The island's terrain is rugged and mountainous. Rivers include the Layou and the Roseau.

The climate is tropical with heavy rainfall.

Environment
Dominica has three National Parks. The Morne Trois Pitons National Park is a World Heritage site; it was inscribed for its tropical forest, volcanoes, fumaroles, hot springs, freshwater lakes and a thermal lake. Scenic areas in the Park include Titou Gorge, Emerald Pool and Middleham and Trafalgar Falls.

Architecture
The Society for Historic Architectural Preservation and Enhancement aims to preserve traditional Dominican buildings. The Society's work started in Roseau and has been extended to plantation buildings and other Colonial architecture.

Traditional wooden houses have verandahs and jalousie (louvre) windows. Decorative fretwork is a feature of these houses.

During the Colonial period, water mills operated machinery that crushed sugarcane. Today, a working mill can be seen in the Macoucherie Estate.

Population
The population of Dominica was estimated at 72,969 in 2011.

Languages
English is the official language. French patois is also spoken.

Religion
The majority of Dominicans are Christians; a large number are Roman Catholic.

Food
Soups and stews are popular. Local dishes include pumpkin soup and callaloo, a soup made from spinach or dasheen leaves. "Goat water" is a goat meat stew.

A traditional dish is "mountain chicken" which is not chicken but [the leg of] a large frog which lives on Dominica and Montserrat.

Seafood is an important part of the diet; salt fish is used in recipes. Other local ingredients are coconut milk, hot peppers, tomatoes and onions.

Fruits grown are bananas, coconuts, guavas, mangoes, papayas, tamarinds and watermelons. Exotic ice creams are made from tropical fruits such as guava and soursop.

Coffee is grown in Dominica. Fresh fruit juices are available and beer and rum are brewed locally.

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