This week, our Travel pics series is D for Dominica.
And for Saturday, it is Windsor Park and the national stadium of Dominica.
Built on a former rubbish dump known as Cow Town, the venue is the home of cricket in Dominica – although it’s also used for everything from political rallies and calypso competitions to the World Creole Championships (its first official event in 2007)
The site of the stadium was long a central part of the island’s cultural life – and had been used for carnivals, donkey racing, parades, and sports of all kinds – but particularly football and cricket.
But the stadium itself is new – built with Chinese government money, after Dominica switched its diplomatic relations from Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China.
It’s one of a whole swag of such ‘stadium diplomacy’ projects by China .. in the Caribbean alone there are Chinese-financed stadiums in Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St Lucia and Suriname. All of those followed the change in diplomatic allegiance to the PRC, although in the case of St Lucia the diplomatic ties were returned to Taiwan soon after, in exchange for another stadium!
But back to Dominica. On the day that we were there, cricket was being played in Windsor Park – but not in the stadium. Instead, it was on the pitch just below the stadium in our picture.
Also in the picture? The 2400 passenger MSC Musica, which was cruising the Caribbean before relocating across the Atlantic to Italy.