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[VIDEO] ‘Everything Gone!’ A Short-Film about Hurricane Maria

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Following the devastating Hurricane Maria that hit Dominica in September 2017. Sherrie Eugene-Hart and 3 of her sisters, Corinne, Gean & Paula returned to the island and made this film on an iPhone.

Would you like to help? Donate here > www.helpdominica.co.uk

 

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[VIDEO] What Dominica Looks Like in 2018 – Mystelics Vlogs

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Mystelics Vlogs on coming back to Dominica and then looking at different places around Dominica. What does Dominica look like in 2018, 4 months after Hurricane Maria.

 

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[VIDEO] Display of Cultural Dance in the Bronx

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Positive Notes from Positive People #35

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What a fantastic day. Our Christmas shopping outing which Laurie and I do each Christmas for the children in Sultan. WE go to Roseau we give them all each some money to buy a present and this year we went to Perky’s Pizza.

These children lost their homes in hurricane Maria and have been badly emotionally battered, they have not been able to go to school l this last term. What a terrific privilege and pleasure to be able to take them for a fun day out. It was lovely. The children were so excited they all went to bed early so the morning would come quicker!! We love the children.

The day started with a rainbow and me in my red Christmas dress.

By Lisette Stevens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Positive Notes from Positive People #34

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Positive-People-feature

Have breakfast two hours later today than your usual Sunday time. Use that two hours to look closely at the empty dining table, absorb the quietness of your house, your neighborhood.

What if you were not here in body today? What if you were a victim of hurricane maria?

Be thankful for life. Be thankful for family. Be thankful for friends. Be thankful for your employer(s). Be thankful for your customers. Be thankful for peace. You could have not been here in body today.

Give thanks.

By Alex Stephenson

 

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New Flight Cage for Rescued Parrots

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Parrots one step closer to release

After a week of arduous work and heavy rain, IFAW’s Disaster Response team successfully finished repairing the flight cage! Simoné and our other feathered friends are now one step closer to their release back into the wild. The flight cage provides adequate space for the injured parrots to regain their flight strength and endurance.

Posted by International Fund for Animal Welfare - IFAW on Friday, December 8, 2017

After a week of arduous work and heavy rain, IFAW’s Disaster Response team successfully finished repairing the flight cage! Simoné and our other feathered friends are now one step closer to their release back into the wild. The flight cage provides adequate space for the injured parrots to regain their flight strength and endurance.

A big thank you to the IFAW team for the continued help as we work together to conserve the Dominican Endemic Parrots. – Machel Sulton

About IFAW

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on social @IFAWEU and Facebook/IFAW.

 

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Optical Services Ltd – Open for Business!

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Dear Valued Customers,

We extend our sincerest condolences to those of us who have lost loved ones, empathize with those of us who have experienced damage to homes and businesses, and look forward to rebuilding our beautiful Dominica.

*Please note our temporary post-Hurricane Maria hours:

9:00am – 2:00pm Monday – Friday
9:00am – 1:00pm Saturdays

Lost or damaged glasses due to the Hurricane and/or purchasing new glasses before the New Year?

Ask us about our Maria discount!

 

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My journey back to Dominica after the hurricane – The Guardian

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This year the Caribbean experienced its most destructive hurricane season in decades. While large countries dominated the headlines, the small island nation of Dominica suffered the worst devastation it has ever seen.

Josh Toussaint-Strauss visits his family in the country and asks, with next year forecast to be worse, how Dominicans see their future.

 

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When was this photo captured?

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Answer this question correctly and your name will be entered into a draw to win a copy of one of my photo-books, ‘Majestic and Magical: Come Explore the Nature Isle’. To participate, please leave your answer in a comment below. 

When was this photo captured? BEFORE or AFTER the passage of Hurricane Maria?

This contest will run for one week (it ends Wednesday 20th December, 2017 at 7:59 AM). Only one response will be allowed per participant. If you leave more than one comment, only your first comment will count towards the draw.

Please share this post with your friends and family who care!

 

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“The Only Woman I Could Not Handle” – Poem by Monelle Alexis

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*This poem contains strong language and words that may offend. Please be guided accordingly. Thank you!

The Only Woman I Could Not Handle

I wanted her. 
Everything about her captivated me. 
Her slow strides, the size and shape of her eyes. 
How she commanded attention everywhere she went. 
She was the object of my attention. 
Irresistible.

So compelling, I gave my last in preparation for our union.
Just get me wet I thought. Soak me from where I stand
And shake me in the right places.
Blow me.
Oh… how I long to feel that trembling sensation.

She only wanted me at night.
Where her performance is at its peak
And I’m sure to be left wonderstruck.
Ahh, just my luck.
I love a woman who can handle me.
One who knows how to get dirty.
Bringing life to my fantasy.
Eagerly, I strapped up and left my door unlocked. 

Excitement filled my room.
Heated romance penetrated my mind.
Raw unapologetic thoughts.
Knock, knock.
She was at my door.
My lips remained sealed.
I wanted her to feel it’s forced entry.
I wanted to proceed as the vigilante.
Silence.
It echoed through my home then a loud Bang! 
She whipped my door in anger.
Hmm…She likes it rough!
I eased forward,
Gazed upon my ready state 
Then layed on my back.
With lips in their resting position
Only making motion in anticipation for her arrival.
Crash!

She released my door from its hinges
Shattering windows and cracking walls.
Fuck!
I know she likes it rough
But didn’t anticipate damage to my stuff.
I braced myself.

She moved swiftly through my bedroom door.
I saw her
My heart lost its rhythm
And senseless utterances escaped me.
She was in my home naked.
Forceful.
Uncontrollable passion.

I screamed for her to stop
But her sexual energy grew from my aggression.
She enjoyed fucking me
But she was more than I could handle.
I released myself from her grasp and went in hiding.
Praying, that she would not find me.
Crash!

She removed my ceiling to increase visibility.
Fear consumed me.
She ravaged my belongings, 
Forced herself into every room hunting me.
She wanted more of me.
Me…
Yet I could not give more of myself
She would be the death of me.
I remained in a crippled state, absent sound until she left my home.
Then like a baby i crept out from hiding.
Screaming 
Fuck you Maria!!!

About Monelle Alexis

Monelle is a teacher at the Dominica Grammar School, host of Vibes Radio’s Lovers Rock and hails from the community of Portsmouth. She is no stranger to the stage as has been known to act, host events and perform poetry and songs.

Monelle is an active reader and she is passionate about writing. She has written numerous poems dating from 1998 to present. The last piece she wrote is called ‘The Only Woman I Could Not Handle’.  It was written on a bus as she journeyed from the capital to her home in Portsmouth. She recalls laughing aloud and smiling while she wrote that piece. She is confident that the reader will be kept on his toes from start to finish. Monelle is pleased to share her piece with the world and she welcomes your feedback!

 

 

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Forestry Division Staff Praised for Commitment to Clean-up Efforts

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The Botanic Gardens in Roseau, Dominica, was once known as the finest botanical gardens in the Caribbean Region. It was severely damaged by Hurricane David in 1979 and was devastated once again by Hurricane Maria in September 2017.

Here are a few photos of the Botanical Gardens from the day after Hurricane Maria (September 19th, 2017):

Botanical Gardens, Dominica
© 2017 Yuri A. Jones
Botanical Gardens, Dominica
© 2017 Yuri A. Jones
Botanical Gardens, Dominica
© 2017 Yuri A. Jones

Since then, staff of the Division of Forestry, Wildlife and Parks has been hard at work to clean up and restore the historic location. And what a great job they’ve done!

This caption was posted to the division’s Facebook page recently:

The Division is extremely proud of our staff who are in the process of cleaning up the Bontanic Gardens in Roseau. Keep up the great work guys you are vital in the rebuilding of our great country!!!

These are the photographs that accompanied the caption. They tell a beautiful story of hard work, restoration and hope.

(All credit for these images goes to the Division of Forestry, Wildlife and Parks.)

 

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How to Deal With Debt After a Natural Disaster

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Taking care of your financial health after a natural disaster is one of the most important household priorities. One of the main concerns arising after Hurricane Maria is the service of existing debt along with the accumulation of more debt. It will not be easy addressing these concerns and frustration may ensue. For those unemployed, it is imperative to manage cash and debt. There may be difficulty in acquiring a loan from the banks.

Create an Emergency Fund

For those still employed, reset your priorities and make some sacrifices. We all realize the importance of having a cash security in the event of unexpected situations. You may follow any of the saving plans posted to the page. An emergency fund should have a value of at least sic (6) months of all major expenses.

For those unemployed, analyze your financial position and if possible, set aside a reasonable amount that will assist you in the upcoming months. There is no certainty that you will regain employment in the short term, therefore safeguard yourself and your family against upcoming expenses.

Be Mindful of Loan Deferrals

The financial institutions and lending agencies have offered clients a few months’ payment deferrals in order to assist with finance management. However be mindful that interest on loans will continue to accrue. That means, upon the new due date, the client has to pay the accrued interest as well as the present month installment. If you are in a position to continue loan payments, please continue to do so. You would not want to incur financial disaster when the new payment is due. If you choose to defer the payment, set aside some cash monthly that will contribute to the upcoming payments.

Do Not Abuse Credit Cards

As with loan deferrals, please not that interest of credit cards continue to accrue. The banks have an obligation towards VISA & MASTERCARD to pay the fees, therefore it is difficult to waive the interest due. I understand the need for cash in the short term however, be wise to minimize the use of credit cards. Only accumulate debt which you are able to manage in the short term.

Bills and Creditors

Ensure all utility bills are up to date. Also visit any creditors to update or request a change in payment plans. Do not let your bills accumulate as this may lead to financial instability in the long term. If possible, sign up for a POSTPAID cellphone plan as this will help manage one of the most common recurring expenses.

About Finance Focus

Finance Focus serves as a medium to help individuals realize their financial objectives. Advice will be provided on personal finance including budgeting, investment strategies, savings and available financial products. Financial news will also be discussed.

 

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Positive Notes from Positive People #33

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Post Maria Experience: The bus stop was empty, it was becoming dark, it was drizzling, many mosquitoes were out to play and there were 12 persons at the bus stop without roof needing to get home.

After several minutes and mosquito bites, here comes a bus with the back seat filled with goods and only 6 seats available.

The words and thoughts of everyone was, ‘Not me that staying down tonight!’

For at least a 25 minute ride I sat on a piece of seat. I’ve never been more thankful for my 1/8 seat which allowed me to reach home safely!

By Lizra Fabien

 

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Positive Notes from Positive People #32

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In Roseau today!

First time that Roseau has felt normal. We drove right into Roseau no hold ups truly like normal! I even managed to get into Astaphan’s car park no trouble. It is the first time town has felt remotely normal.

We are very luckily in our friends place using the WiFi, they have electricity and it is so nice to be here in comfort. Also catching up with everyone. Happy Creole weekend to all Dominicans everywhere!

By Lizette Stevens

 

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New ‘Emergency Cash Transfer’ Program – UNICEF

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UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Deputy Representative, Muriel Mafico (left) with Helen Royer, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Services, Family and Gender Affairs

UNICEF Eastern Caribbean is pleased to announce that earlier today we signed a Program Document with the Ministry of Social Services, Family and Gender Affairs (MoSSFGA) in Dominica for the implementation of an emergency cash transfer program to support the immediate needs of 6,000 of the most vulnerable children affected by Hurricane Maria. The Program is part of a partnership between UNICEF, World Food Programme (WFP) and MoSSFGA, and it aims at reaching the country’s most vulnerable households and raising the capacities of the country’s social protection system to respond better to future emergencies.

As part of the program 8,300 households will receive an unconditional cash transfer for a period of 3 months with the specific aim of contributing to adequate access to food. Additionally, the program will also support the immediate needs of 6,000 of the most vulnerable hurricane affected children by providing unconditional cash child grants for the same duration. UNICEF is also providing technical assistance and accompaniment to the Ministry to support the implementation of the cash transfer.

About UNICEF Eastern Caribbean

The UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Area Office is located at the UN House in Bridgetown, Barbados. The Office is responsible for Programmes of Co-operation with the governments of Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and the Turks & Caicos Islands.

 

 

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The Region Must Adapt to Climate Change – CARICOM Secretary General

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New York, United States (November 21, 2017) – Resources the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is mobilizing to support reconstruction of hurricane ravaged Member States is intended for them to build back smarter and better, against the existential threat of climate change.

Secretary-General of CARICOM, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said that intention was in “full knowledge that we are into a new era,” when hurricanes have now become “game changers.”

He was at the time speaking at the opening of Technical Consultations at the CARICOM-UNDP High Level Pledging Conference, earlier this morning (20 November) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The two-day event is to mobilize national governments, regional organizations, international development partners, private sector, and civil society to support the construction of what can become the world’s first hurricane resilient countries.

Reminding the stakeholders of the hurricane devastation, Secretary-General LaRocque said two category five hurricanes in two weeks, and one, Maria, going from a category 1 to a category 5 in less than 36 hours, was a signal of a dangerous change in the intensity and frequency of climate events.

“The Region must therefore adapt to this reality. Time is not on our side. The next hurricane season is seven months away,” he stated.

He reminded that the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, at their 21st Meeting (COP21) in Paris, December 2015, agreed to “hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2° C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5° C.”

September’s hurricanes have proven that 1.5 is critical to Small Island and low-lying coastal Developing States (SIDS) which are highly vulnerable to climatic hazards.

The Region must therefore adapt to this reality. Time is not on our side. The next hurricane season is seven months away.

He said that since the Paris Agreement Caribbean scientists have carried out studies to explore the consequences of both a 1.5 and 2.0 degree Centigrade warmer world.

“They have found that given the current trend, the 1.5 target will occur within the next decade, much sooner than previously anticipated. With 1.5, the scientists are predicting generally harsher climatic conditions for our Region.”

Emphasizing the urgency of resilient reconstruction he said: “We must prepare for the next catastrophic hurricane, flood or drought. We must therefore be climate resilient in time for the next event.”

He said the Community has been taking steps to embed resilience in its planning with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) led Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Strategy 2014-2024, to continue its role as the Caribbean’s platform for achieving risk resilience.

The strategy embraces key sectors such as Agriculture, Tourism, Health, Education, Finance, and Physical and Environmental Planning. Additionally, it places increased focus on harmonizing disaster risk reduction and climate change considerations.

However, he noted that it was obvious that given the new normal, much more needs to be done.

The Secretary-General lauded the Governments and People of the Caribbean Community and its Institutions, whom he noted “have stood up to be counted in assisting the affected states.”

He added that the Community is eternally grateful to the International Community for its “rendering tremendous support,” including the UNDP from its invaluable support to the CARICOM-UNDP Pledging Conference.

 

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130,000 Seedlings Planted in Dominica Since Hurricane Maria

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Roseau, Dominica (November 21, 2017) – The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) is supporting the work of the OECS Commission’s Agricultural Unit to help redevelop Dominica’s food production sector which was left decimated with the passage of Hurricane Maria.

To date in excess of 130,000 seedlings have been planted in Dominica with many having been distributed to the island’s farmers.

Funding has been provided for the rapid production of seedlings by the OECS Commission’s Agriculture Unit under the IICA – Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI)’s Agricultural Rehabilitation Budget.

The support is being used for the rehabilitation of greenhouses, irrigation equipment and input for the maintenance of nurseries in Roseau and Portsmouth, which have a combined weekly distribution to farmers of around 30,000 plants a week.

We have been distributing seedlings to commercial and ‘backyard farmers’ and supplying the Portsmouth Agricultural Station which provides food for the retirement home and hospital.

Mr. Peter Dillon, Special Agricultural Advisor to the OECS Director General said the seedling re-planting scheme was established to accelerate food security for Dominica’s residents leading into the New Year, through a range of quick growing nutritious crops including cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, string-beans, sweet peppers cucumbers and watermelons.

“We have been distributing seedlings to commercial and ‘backyard farmers’ and supplying the Portsmouth Agricultural Station which provides food for the retirement home and hospital,” he said. “We are now working to expand that distribution to other communities in Dominica to enable localized food security. The seedling project has been logistically challenging however with the support of the IICA, Commission Agricultural staff and local cropping specialists in Dominica we have collaborated to this stage where crops will be ready for harvest in the coming months.”

He added, “We still have a long way to go to help ensure island wide food security, however the lessons learnt from Hurricane Maria demonstrate that a centralized coordination model enacted by the OECS Commission to elicit local and international support has proven  invaluable where resources have been lacking.”

OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules thanked the IICA for their contribution to Dominica and said the Commission was looking forward to strengthening collaboration with the IICA’s new leadership under Dr. Manuel Otero to not only examine new and innovative ways to address OECS’s food security generally, but also in the face of future extreme weather events.

 

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Voluntourism with Hibiscus Valley Inn

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Persons or groups interested in helping to rebuild Dominica after the passing of Hurricane Maria can book packages with us in our beautiful Nature Bungalows, only 12 minutes drive from the airport.

What you get

The package includes:

  • Pick-up from Douglas Charles Airport (if you’re coming in via the ferry, you’ll be charged USD $45 per person)
  • Three meals a day (breakfast, take-away lunch and dinner)
  • River tubing and option Waitukubuli Nature Trail hikes are included

Cost per person starts at USD $600.00 for 5 nights. We offer 35% discount for monthly stay and 15% discount for groups.

Booking

Interested persons can make contact via Whatsapp at +1 (767) 295-9070 or via email at hibiscusvalleyinn@gmail.com.

 

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Scuba Voluntourism in Post-Maria Dominica

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Love to scuba dive? Want to help out with hurricane relief? Cabrits Dive Center and Keepin’it Real are collaborating in Toucari Debris Dives, a scuba diving voluntourism project focusing on cleaning the marine reserve in northwest Dominica. A large amount of tin roofing and other materials was blown into the Caribbean sea during category 5 hurricane Maria on September 18, 2017.

Two of the best dive sites in Dominica, located in Toucari, have been affected by garbage that settled on the ocean floor after the storm. The Toucari Debris Dives project is organizing daily dives to pull up debris and place it in local fishing boats that transfer it to shore for recycling.

What You Get

The Toucari Debris Dives package includes 10 dives over a 5-day period. Divers must be certified (open water or CMAS 2-star).

Weekly packages include private accommodations in Portsmouth, transportation to/from dive sites, and meals (breakfast/lunch) on the beach at Keepin’it Real.

Price: USD $990.00

Getting to Dominica

Major international airlines fly into Guadeloupe, Martinique, Puerto Rico, and St. Martin. From there you can get a flight (with Liat, Seaborne, or Winair) directly into Melville Hall Airport (DOM).  Delta, Airfrance, and British Airways will book the connecting flight into Dominica on the same international ticket.

Norwegian Air has a budget flight from New York JFK to Pointe-a-Pitre for only USD $99.

Travelers on a budget should fly into Pointe-A-Pitre (Guadeloupe) or Fort-de-France (Martinique) and use the Express-des-Iles ferry service into Roseau.

Bookings

Contact: Cabrits Dive Center
Website: www.cabritsdive.com
Email: contact.cabrits@gmail.com
Phone: +1(767) 617-4077

 

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Voluntourism Packages Now Available

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Roseau, Dominica (November 10, 2017) – Discover Dominica Authority is pleased to announce that two voluntourism packages are now available. Persons interested in assisting with the recovery and rebuilding efforts following the passage of Hurricane Maria, can now book packages directly with Cobra Tours for restoration of one of Dominica’s premier tourist attraction sites – The Indian River. Cool Breeze Tours also offers packages to clear Segment 10 of the Caribbean’s first long distance walking trail – the Waitukubuli National Trail.

The Indian River Package is for five nights in either standard or superior accommodation and includes transportation to and from the site and three meals daily. Packages start at US$600 per person. A 40% discount is offered for monthly stays and a 15% group discount is available for bookings of 10 or more rooms. Interested persons can contact Cobra Tours and Yacht Services at cobrayachtagent@gmail.com or cobratours@yahoo.com; telephone numbers (767) 245-6332, (767) 614-4874, and (767) 245-6382.

The Waitukubuli National Trail package is suited for groups and individuals who can assist with clearing segments of the trail. Specific skills needed include use of chainsaws, cutlass and other garden tools. Packages include accommodation, breakfast and take away lunch and dinner. Special group rates are available. Guests will be accompanied by experienced guides. For more information on this package, contact Cool Breeze Tours at coolbreezetours9@gmail.com or coolbreezetours9@yahoo.com or (767) 245-1776.

Discover Dominica Authority sees this as the first of a number of initiatives as we rebuild the Nature Island.

 

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