By Robby Brumberg
Dominica is a jaw-droppingly beautiful place, filled with spectacular beaches, mountains, waterfalls and other protected natural beauty, but nearly a third of all Dominica residents live in poverty. Here are a few more things you might not know about the “Nature Island of the Caribbean.”
- That cool looking bird on Dominica’s flag is a Sisserou parrot. (You can also find the national bird making an appearance on Dominica’s undeniably spectacular coat of arms.)
- Have you seen any of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies? Part of the second one was shot in Dominica.
- Dominica was the last Caribbean island to be colonized by Europeans, due in large part to the native Carib tribes’ tenacious resistance.
- There is still a community of about 3,000 indigenous Caribs (also known as Kalinago) living in the eastern part of the island in Kalinago Territory.
- You can drive from one end of Dominica to the other in just a couple hours. It’s about half the size of our tiny but mighty state of Rhode Island.
- Within Morne Trois Pitons National Park (a World Heritage Site) you can hike to Boiling Lake, which is the second-largest hot spring in the world. Don’t plan on going swimming however because the water in Boiling Lake is actually boiling.
- Out of a population of 73,449, there is 23% unemployment on the island, with 29% living below the poverty line.
- In an effort to help those in need throughout the island, FFP has several ongoing relief and development initiatives. In 2013, FFP donors enabled us to ship 56 containers filled with aid and other essentials worth over $6.4 million to Dominica. Many of the goods were sent to directly to homebound elderly folks.
- FFP is implementing an income-generating poultry project in Kalinago Territory that’s directly benefiting six families, and indirectly benefiting an additional 100 people.
- We also recently completed a sanitation project in Dubique, one of the poorest communities in Dominica. Through this project we helped five families (who were previously using hazardous, disease-breeding pit latrines) to install flushable toilets in their homes.
- FFP donors also recently made possible an expansion project at St. John’s Academy, which was operating under very limited space. Four classrooms and a new restroom were provided for the students.
We are proud to do what we can to help our poor brothers and sisters throughout Dominica – and we are grateful for all those who enable us to offer a helping hand. In Dominica and everywhere else, you make Food For The Poor’s work possible!