Sitting halfway along the Eastern Caribbean archipelago, Dominica is located just a few miles from Martinique to the south and Guadeloupe to the north. Stretching 751 km² (290 square miles) the island boasts 148 km (91 miles) of coastal line. The official name of Dominica is the Commonwealth of Dominica, which is mostly referenced in official communications and to distinguish the island from the Dominican Republic, its northerly Caribbean sister.
Dominica is part of the Windward Islands, the southern group of the Lesser Antilles in the West Indies. It was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans, due chiefly to the fierce resistance of the native Caribs. France ceded possession to Great Britain in 1763, which made the island a colony in 1805. In 1980, two years after independence, Dominica’s fortunes