Tuesday, 19 September 2017

“…we have lost all what money can buy and replace.”

These were the words I woke up to this morning, written by Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of the tiny island nation of Dominica as the category 5 hurricane Maria ripped through his home and his nation.

While hurricanes are a fact of life in the Caribbean, weathering a category 5 storm is not something to treat lightly as we’ve all seen following the devastation of Hurricane Irma just over a week ago.

Satellite view of Maria approaching Dominica early morning, September 19, 2017.

I cried a little for Dominica today.

We visited this jewel of a tropical island in April this year and fell in love almost immediately.
Dominica bills itself as The Nature Island and it certainly delivers.  When we arrived in April we were greeted with the view of verdant forests spilling over mountains and valleys tumbling to the sea shore as if in a rush to be the first to splash in the inviting waters of the Caribbean sea.

Almost too perfect: Dominica

Two thirds of Dominica is covered by lush tropical rainforests with a mix of vegetation that includes towering trees, rambling vines and local food sources including breadfruit, passion fruit, mangos, star fruit, bananas, plantains, almonds and others.  The island lends itself to the purest forms of eco-tourism with dozens of marked hiking trails of varying difficulty traversing the crenelated landscape.
The incredible tropical rainforest and vistas inspired our imagination and fueled adoration for this, one of the poorest Caribbean island nations (with a per capita GDP greater only than Haiti and Jamaica).

Exploring Trafalgar falls, one of dozens of fresh water falls and pools in Dominica.

Indian River - a diverse mangrove ecosystem, home to birds, crabs, fish and incredible fauna.

Rolling valleys and crests of tropical rainforest - paradise found.

Rainforest hikes, surrounded by natural beauty preserved by a thoughtful nation.

Another waterfall and swimming hole buried in the depths of the rainforest.

Hope this little guy weathered the storm as well.

Maria was a category 5 hurricane when it passed over Dominica, with winds in excess of 160 mph.  So far there is not much concrete news out of Dominica but based on the damage done by hurricane Irma to Barbuda, Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, the BVI’s and USVI’s, and the Turks and Caicos, I fully expect that Dominica will be reeling under the combined weight of flooding landslides and massive damage to infrastructure and buildings on the island.

With more than one third of the labour force in Dominica employed in the agriculture sector, and agricultural exports accounting for nearly one fifth of the GDP of this tiny nation, there is no question that Maria will have a lasting impact.

At this time, we are hoping that the world doesn’t overlook Dominica and offers the necessary support to recover, much the same as Dominica did when they pledged nearly $1 million US to assist with recover efforts following Irma.

We will continue to watch the news come out of Maria's aftermath and are looking to see how we can help make a difference for a country and island that captured our hearts and feeds our dreams.


  1. Sure makes it personal once you know a place. Stay safe out there.

  2. A moving post Darryl. Thanks for writing.