Sunday, February 15, 2015


Not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, Dominica is a simply gorgeous little island, one of the many that make up the Winward islands in the Caribbean: mountainous, forested, with a year-round tropical climate, national parks, rare indigenous birds and the second-largest boiling lake in the world.

Wow, it must be packed with tourists, just desperate to spoil the place, as humans always do when they find somewhere beautiful.

No, it isn’t packed with tourists.

Then it must be a conservation island.


A military base that lets no one else in?


This makes no sense.

And there you are correct. Alas, the airport can barely be called a bus stop, and attempts to build a better one for international flights have been rejected by the islanders, because they share the view of tourism expressed above.

How do they make any money then?

Well, they used to do it through complex money-laundering operations that allowed criminals and mega-corporations (those two words may in fact be synonymous) to establish their global headquarters on the island and pay all their taxes locally. Then the international community asked them to stop, which they refused to do, so they were black-listed and thereby forced to stop. Dominica has an incredibly low crime rate, mostly because there is nothing there worth stealing, except what Nature provides, and the low murder-rate is probably because no one can afford a gun.

Dominica is also distinguished by hosting the last surviving pre-Columban society in the Caribbean, about three thousand of them in total, generally referred to by the ignorant as "Carib Indians", when they should be called by the name they call themselves, which is Kalinago. They occupy about four thousand acres of the island's east coast, where there are eight villages under the authority of a chief; they practice traditional medicine, using herbs - anything up to three hundred of these in their apothecaries - and have maintained a tradition of oral story-telling, as well as of song and dance, that is strongly reminiscent of the songline traditions of the Australian "aboriginals". Kalinago Territory is nevertheless a "reservation", and the Kalinago secondary in the island's unofficial caste system; their language has all but died out, and their culture is sustained more for the evening entertainment of the visiting hikers and divers (the only tourists who come to Dominica) than for any intrinsic sense of cultural perpetuation.

Marks For:3

Marks Against: 3

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