Animals and Plants
The nature island
It’s growing and thriving in Dominica! This can be said above all of the tropical rainforest that covers large parts of the island. As a country located in Central America according to ehotelat, Dominica is therefore also called the “natural island”.
In addition to lush plants, there are also numerous animals to be found. Many of them even only live here and nowhere else in the world. It’s called endemic. Two parrots belong to these animals: the Sisserou, also known as the Imperial Parrot, is Dominica’s national bird, and there is also the Blue-headed Parrot. Both are threatened with extinction. There are a total of 162 species of birds on Dominica.
Golden agoutis, possums and “mountain chickens”
Two larger mammals are found on Dominica, although these are not very large either… They are the southern opossum, a marsupial, and the golden agouti. It is a rodent and is hunted for its tasty meat.
Mountain chicken is also considered a delicacy. That translates as “mountain chicken”, but it is actually a frog. It is one of the giant frogs and is more than 20 centimeters long. Because it was hunted for its delicious frog legs, it is now considered critically endangered.
Whales and sea turtles
There is also a lot going on in the sea around Dominica! Above all, many whales cavort here, for example sperm whales, east Pacific dolphins and porpoises. Killer whales and pygmy sperm whales are less common, but also occur. Several species of sea turtles come to breed on Dominica’s beaches.
Did you know that…?
… in sea turtles, the temperature determines whether a boy or a girl is hatched? The turtle mothers bury their eggs in the sand. If it is then over 29.9 degrees, little girls are born, at lower temperatures boys.
Since Dominica was part of Great Britain for a long time, much of the island is British. The cars drive on the left, you like porridge for breakfast and cricket is a popular sport. In 2007 a cricket stadium was opened in Roseau. It was named after Windsor in England.
What is Jing Ping?
Music and dance play a big role in the lives of many Dominicans. Traditional pieces and dances are performed every year to celebrate Independence Day. This includes Jing Ping, a style of music that originated on Dominica’s plantations among the slaves. The most important instrument of Jing Ping is the accordion, plus tambourine and rattles, and sometimes guitar and violin.
Craft of the Caribs
Around 3,000 Caribs live in eight villages on the east coast of the island, and they lived on Dominica long before the Europeans arrived. They are among the poorest residents. They live from fishing and selling souvenirs to tourists. An entire village was also rebuilt as it looked before Columbus’ arrival. There you can see traditional dances and learn about the culture of the Caribs.
Eating in Dominica
Dried fish and bakes for breakfast
Breakfast is a particularly important meal for Dominicans. Saltfish and bakes are particularly popular. Saltfish is dried and salted fish, Bakes is batter fried in oil. Both are also available from street vendors. Typical British breakfast options such as porridge (a cereal porridge) or eggs and bacon are also popular.
The main course is the giant frog
Typical ingredients in Dominican cuisine are plantains, yams, coconuts, potatoes, rice and peas. Tropical fruits such as bananas, guavas, mangoes or papaya are of course also on the table. Chicken and beef meat is popular, as is fish. For us it takes getting used to eating golden agoutis, a native rodent species. But even frogs are eaten in Dominica. The giant frog Mountain Chicken is considered a delicacy. Because its population is now endangered, it can only be caught between autumn and February.
Brown Stew and Callaloo
Typical dishes are similar to those of other Caribbean countries. In Dominica, too, people like brown stew or stewed chicken, a stew made from chicken in a brown sauce. The chicken is fried in brown sugar, onions, garlic and carrots are added. You can find a recipe for this in our participation tip !
Callalou is also typical. Leafy vegetables (mainly taro on Dominica), okra pods and coconuts are made into a thick soup. Roti is a thin bread that originally comes from India. In Dominica it is eaten filled like a wrap with chicken, onions and potatoes.
Children and School
School in Dominica
In Dominica, children go to primary school for six years and then to secondary school for five years. It takes another two years to graduate from high school. Schooling is compulsory up to the age of 16. Sometimes the classrooms are in poor condition and the schools are poorly equipped. Schools are lacking in rural areas.