During the colonial period, natives of the Caribbean islands resisted European encroachment. Dominica held out longer than any other island, but it was finally colonized by France in 1627. The British took over the islands in 1763 but granted independence in 1980. Two years later, Dominica elected Mary Eugenia Charles as the first female prime minister in the Caribbean region.

Covering only 290 square miles of land, Dominica is roughly the size of Washington, D.C. Dominica is bordered by the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. Its nearest neighbors are Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago. Some 67 percent of the population lives in urban areas. The economy, which has historically depended on the agricultural sector, particularly bananas, for survival, has diversified into tourism and ...

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