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Dominica weekly is a personal weblog about the nature island of Dominica.

Archive for May, 2009

“We must emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, because while others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind”

Words made popular by the legendary Bob Marley in his hit song “Redemption Song“, but it was Marcus Mosiah Garvey, who created these famous words in 1937.

Garvey stressed the philosophy of “African Fundamentalism” in which he called for a new “Negro Spirit“, for the building of a common experience of black people as the foundation of a strong and healthy nation.

If we as a people are to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, we must first establish a new sense of self and engage in a critical transformation of the mind.

Emancipation Day should be an opportunity to evaluate, how far we have come since our forefathers were freed from of slavery 168 years ago. But most importantly, this is the time for us to consider how far we have to go as a people – from slavery to complete freedom.

Now is the time for us “emancipate ourselves from mental slavery” and realize that “none but ourselves can free our minds“.

Happy African Liberation Day 2009

Here is a short clip from the African Liberation March through the streets of Roseau, Dominica.

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dive fest 2008 photos

Experience the Caribbean’s longest running diving festival at Dominica’s Dive Fest, which takes place from 10th – 19th July 2009. Dive Fest is organised by the Dominica Watersports Association (DWA) and aims to raise awareness about the diving opportunities and unique marine life in Dominica, as well as bringing scuba diving to a wider audience.

The festival is open to both experienced and beginner divers, with a number of taster sessions available throughout the week for adults and children who have never dived or snorkelled before. Some of these sessions are free of charge and suitable for children as young as eight.

Intermediate and expert scuba divers will also find plenty on offer at Dive Fest. The schedule for experienced divers includes underwater treasure hunts and photography competitions. Festival sponsors Sealife Cameras will run photo competitions throughout Dive Fest, giving divers the opportunity to try out their latest technology. The best photo from each shoot will be entered into a grand prize draw with the winner announced at the photo exhibition at the end of the week.

Alongside the scuba diving there will be a number of other activities, including a whale watching excursion, a children’s treasure hunt, a photo competition, the annual and hotly contested Kubuli Carib canoe race, and the climax to Dive Fest, the Soufriere Kubuli beach party on July 19th.

Dominica’s west coast boasts thriving healthy reefs covered in colourful sponges. Seahorses, frogfish, flying gurnards and scorpion fish are commonly spotted in these waters but are rarely seen around other Caribbean islands.

To view the full schedule of events during Dive Fest, see, or for more information about Dominica visit

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A guide to wellbeing in Dominica

The Discover Dominica Authority has launched a new health and wellness directory outlining what the Caribbean’s Nature Island has to offer for wellbeing breaks.

As well as information on Dominica’s natural wonders such as its hot springs and waterfalls, its organic cuisine and rejuvenating activities, the online directory provides A to Z listings of practitioners in a complete range of holistic therapies including crystal bowl therapy, baby massage, herbal medicine, meditation and yoga.

Colin Piper, director of tourism, comments “The vast array of wellbeing services available in Dominica clearly positions the island as a leading destination for health and wellness travel. This new directory makes it easy for travellers to search for options that will make their holiday on the Nature Island exactly what it should be – relaxing, enjoyable and revitalising.”

The island’s health-boosting properties are also backed up by its unusually high rate of centenarians – people living to over the age of 100 – which the people of Dominica attribute to the island’s mineral rich waters, fresh foods and the active lifestyle dictated by the mountainous landscape.

A feature article within the directory examines the secrets of Dominica’s centenarians, including Ma Pampo who it was claimed was 128 – and the world’s oldest person – when she died in October 2003.

Other features within the health and wellness directory include information on how hiking in Dominica can tone the body and lift the spirit; and a guide to Dominica’s ‘healing foods’. Visitors to the island will find most food and drink is locally sourced and organically grown, so it is rich in vitamins and nutrients. The food guide lists the benefits of various local ingredients such as:

CACAO TEA – Studies have linked drinking minimally processed local cacao to increased blood flow to the brain; a positive effect on cardiovascular function; healthy cholesterol levels; reduced blood clot formation; lower blood pressure; improved insulin resistance; clear skin; the release of endorphins in the brain; increased energy levels; cough suppressing abilities; diuretic abilities; eased menstrual symptoms; lower cancer rates; and an enhanced immune system.

COCONUT WATER – Also known as jelly water, this is a natural isotonic beverage with the same level of electrolytes present in our blood. The liquid contains vitamin C and some B vitamins, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and traces of iron to maintain good health and boost the immune system.

SPICES – The herbs and spices traditionally added to Creole dishes have a variety of health benefits. Some have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect, others aid digestion or simply contribute nutritionally to the diet in Dominica.

PROVISIONS – Breadfruit, dasheen, Tanya, yam, cassava, green kokoy, plantain and fig are the tropical answer to grains, providing a great source of complex carbohydrates and fibre, plus a wide range of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

The guide also examines how natural features of Dominica can promote good health. For example:

SEA WATER – Inhaling sea water has long been recognised as a curative for clogged-up, painful sinus cavities. In addition, bathing in sea water following a strenuous hike draws out waste acids released by muscles that have been tensed and stretched, preventing stiff legs the following day.

SULPHUR WATER – There are various warm and cold sulphur water sites and spas dotted around Dominica. Many medical skin treatments for conditions such as eczema contain sulphur-based ingredients, confirming what the people of Dominica have known for hundreds of years – that sulphur water is a natural path to smoother skin.

Dominica’s new health and wellness directory can be found at For more information on Dominica, see

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