The Commonwealth of Dominica, commonly known as Dominica (French: Dominique), is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea. The name is pronounced /ˌdɒmɪˈniːkə/ (dom-in-EE-cuh). In Latin, its name means "Sunday", which was the day on which it was discovered by Christopher Columbus.
Dominica's pre-Columbian name was Wai'tu kubuli, which means "Tall is her body". The indigenous people of the island, the Caribs, have a territory similar to the Indian reserves of North America. Because the island lies between two French overseas departments, Guadeloupe to the north and Martinique to the south, and because it was colonized by France for a time, it is sometimes called "French Dominica". However, its official language is English, though a French creole is commonly spoken.
Dominica has been nicknamed the "Nature Isle of the Caribbean" for its seemingly unspoiled natural beauty. It is one of the youngest islands in the Lesser Antilles, still being formed by geothermal-volcanic activity, as evidenced by the world's second-largest boiling lake. The island features lush mountainous rainforests, home of many very 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, the island's national bird, is featured on the national flag. Dominica's economy is heavily dependent on both tourism and agriculture.
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