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Dominica and the Caribbean

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Dominica is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea. It should not be confused with the Dominican Republic, another Caribbean nation. The name is pronounced IPA: /?d?.m?n'i?.k?/ dom-i-NEE'-ka (key). In Latin the name means "Sunday", which was the day of its discovery by Columbus.

The official name is Commonwealth of Dominica. Dominica's pre-Columbian name was Wai'tu kubuli, which means "her body is tall." The indigenous Kalinago people of the island, somewhat erroneously called 'Caribs', have a territory which resembles the Indian reserves of Canada. Because the island went through a period of French occupation, and lies between two overseas départements (Département d'outre-mer) of France : Guadeloupe to the north and Martinique to the south; the island is sometimes called "French Dominica". It also has the nickname "The Nature Isle of the Caribbean" due to its seemingly unspoiled natural beauty.

The isle of Dominica is one of the youngest islands in the Lesser Antilles, and it is still being formed by geothermal-volcanic activity. It is a lush island of mountainous rainforests, home of many rare plant, animal and bird species. There are xeric areas in some of the western coastal regions but heavy rainfall can be expected inland. The Sisserou parrot is featured on the Dominica flag. Dominica's economy is heavily dependent on both tourism and agriculture.

Geography of Dominica

Dominica is an island nation and borderless country in the Caribbean Sea, the southernmost of the Leeward Islands. The size of the country is about 291 square miles (754 km²). The capital is Roseau.

Dominica is largely covered by rainforest and is home to the world's second-largest boiling lake. Dominica also has many waterfalls, springs and rivers. Some plants and animals thought to be extinct on surrounding islands can still be found in Dominica's forests. The volcanic nature of the island and the lack of sandy beaches have made Dominica a popular scuba diving spot. Dominica is home to several protected areas, including Cabrits National Park.

The Commonwealth of Dominica is engaged in a long-running dispute with Venezuela over Venezuela's territorial claims to the sea surrounding Isla Aves (Bird Island), a tiny islet located 70 miles (110 km) west of the island of Dominica.

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