Situated in the Eastern Caribbean and lying south of Guadeloupe and north of Martinique, this Windward Island is one of the Lesser Antilles.
Columbus named the island after the day in the week on which he spotted it – Sunday (in Latin ‘dies Dominica’ – the Lord’s day).
The island has the world’s second largest hot spring. In fact, there are dozens of sulphur springs, bubbling pots and the so-called Boiling Lake.
Wherever you are on the island, you are never far away from volcanic activity. In modern times there have been no volcanic eruptions.
Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy. The main crops are bananas, citrus fruits and coconuts.
During the early 1980s Mary Eugenia Charles made international news, when she became the first female head of government.
The island’s music and dance have some special aspects. The jing ping features the accordion and is native to Dominica. The merengue – a fast-paced and rhythmic dance – may also have been created and developed here.
The national dish is ‘the flag’. It consists of rice, beans and chicken.
Baseball, cricket and football are popular sports.
Dominica joined the Commonwealth in 1978. Its appearances at the Commonwealth Games date back to 1958 and includes the 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 and the 2010 instalments.