Dominica is an island country in the Caribbean; Dominican Republic is ALSO an Island country, in the Caribbean.
So what’s the difference?
Well, lots, actually!
The Dominican Republic covers about half of the island of Hispaniola – it shares the island with Haiti – and is pronounced duh-MIN-uh-kuhn (as befits its Spanish colonial heritage).
Dominica, on the other, is an island unto itself – and styles itself using the French pronunciation, DOM-uh-NEE-kuh.
It gets its name from the Latin ‘dies Dominica’, or Sunday (whereas the Dominican Republic comes from patron Saint Dominic – the same source as the name of the DR capital, Santo Domingo.)
But the biggest difference is in the relative wealth of the two nations.
The DR is the largest economy in the Caribbean, and has a GDP of nearly $15,000 per person – compared to just $10,000 in Dominica.
And it shows, a bit.
Bananas and other agriculture dominate Dominica’s economy, with nearly one-third of the country working in agriculture.
The downside is that when storms hit the country (like 2007’s Hurricane Dean, and 2015’s Tropical Storm Erika), the damage is extensive – and the costs immense.
The other great money-spinner for the Caribbean, tourism, also tends to pass Dominica by .. because it is mostly volcanic with few beaches, tourism’s developed more slowly.
Having said that, cruise ship stopovers have increased after the construction of new waterfront facilities in Roseau .. and cruisers can be seen just wandering the streets of the capital taking in the sights.
Our image today is of an ‘abandoned’ shop in Roseau – one of dozens we passed as we strolled around the town.
While obviously not open for trade (and ‘tagged’ by graffiti which is ubiquitous in Dominica), the building is still in use – as seen by the electrical wiring which is still connected, and the side doors which show signs of recent use.
You have to love the shingles that appear to be holding the building together 🙂