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Brief History of Dominica:
The island of Dominica was originally settled by the Native American Arawak tribes. Later, around the 1300s, the warring Carib peoples wiped them off the island.
The first European to visit Dominica was Christopher Columbus in 1493, however, the Spanish did not settle the island due to the fierce Carib natives. Over 100 years later, the French laid claim to Dominica and began to settle the island. As part of various wars throughout the 1700's the island changed hands between the French and the British a few times finally ending up in British control. It officially became an English colony in 1805 and it was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized.
Dominica became an independent country on November 3, 1978. In 1980 the first female prime minister in the Caribbean was elected, Mary Eugenia Charles.
The Geography of Dominica
Total Size: 754 square km
Size Comparison: slightly more than four times the size of Washington, DC
Geographical Coordinates: 15 25 N, 61 20 W
World Region or Continent: Central America
General Terrain: rugged mountains of volcanic origin
Geographical Low Point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
Geographical High Point: Morne Diablatins 1,447 m
Climate: tropical; moderated by northeast trade winds; heavy rainfall
Major cities: ROSEAU (capital) 14,000 (2009)
The People of Dominica
Type of Government: parliamentary democracy
Languages Spoken: English (official), French patois
Independence: 3 November 1978 (from UK)
National Holiday: Independence Day, 3 November (1978)
Religions: Roman Catholic 77%, Protestant 15% (Methodist 5%, Pentecostal 3%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3%, Baptist 2%, other 2%), other 6%, none 2%
National Symbol: Sisserou parrot
National Anthem or Song: Isle of Beauty, Isle of Splendor
Economy of Dominica
Major Industries: soap, coconut oil, tourism, copra, furniture, cement blocks, shoes
Agricultural Products: bananas, citrus, mangoes, root crops, coconuts, cocoa; forest and fishery potential not exploited
Natural Resources: timber, hydropower, arable land
Major Exports: bananas, soap, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit, oranges
Major Imports: manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, food, chemicals
Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
National GDP: $1,014,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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