Hurricane Maria struck Dominica almost a month ago. Dominica is a small island nation of 73,000 people in the Eastern Caribbean and should not be confused with the Dominican Republic, which shares the large island of Hispaniola with Haiti. The storm caused widespread devastation on Dominica. The island was ravaged and left in ruins, damaging or destroying the vast majority of all homes on the island. The damage to infrastructure will likely take several years to recover from. The island’s main hospitals are in ruins, schools are destroyed and the most vulnerable are without medication and proper supplies. While most media interest has focused on Puerto Rico – or has moved on entirely – it is important not to forget the plight of this valiant Caribbean island and its people.
We have not had the privilege of featuring Dominica on the Travel Show but I have personally visited this tropical paradise and loved the experience. It has only a small tourism profile and lacks an international airport supporting direct flights from Canada. However, knowledgeable travellers have recognized it as a haven for adventure travel, hiking, cultural events, festivals, diving, whale watching, canyoning and eco-travel.
Today, while search and rescue continues on Dominica, most of the population is cramped in shelters, with limited food and water. The neighbouring islands are sending aid, but Dominica will need much more to restore itself to the ‘Nature Isle of the Caribbean’ that it once was.
The country is in desperate need of help, specifically any of the following: Tarps – Toiletries – Flashlights/Batteries/Lanterns – Diapers and Sanitary Pads – Towels, Sheets and Pillows – Clothes, both Adult and Baby – Dried and Canned Milk – and water purification tablets.
The supplies you may be able to provide can be picked up and will be shipped via the efforts being coordinated by the Commonwealth of Dominica Ontario Association office here in Toronto.
Cash Donations are of course also welcome and cheques payable to Dominica Emergency Fund can be mailed to:
The Commonwealth of Dominica Ontario Association
85 Ellesmere Road
P.O. Box 62518
Toronto, ON M1R 5G8.
For more information on how to help go to www.dominicaassociation.com