March 2009

p50502462“Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the single most significant trademarks of a culture.” ~ Mark Kurlansky, ‘Choice Cuts’ (2002) 


Mango – Super Food, Super Nutrition 


Mango season is on! Juicy, flavourful mangos are a cultural phenomena in Dominica; people of all ages; all walks of life; gather under these beautiful trees looking for the perfect mango. They knock down these mangos by throwing something at the stem that holds the mango. Then they calmly reach out one hand to catch it! Amazing! I have flung many a stone or old mango working to perfect my skills and get that perfect mango – ripe but firm; aromatic; without a bruise or mark. Success is rare but I never give up as I enjoy those mangos a lot more than the ones I get at market!

 Mango (Magnifera indica), known locally as mangue is native to East Asia and now grown in nearly all tropical areas of the world. Locally it is related to the Cashew, Hog Plum and Golden Apple.

  The ripe mango, half ripe mango, unripe mango, unripe small mango (about torch bulb size), mango kernel or seed, the skin, the sap, the leaves, the wood and the bark are used.

 The ripe mango fruit is a nutritional powerhouse; ………….

 (full article)

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” ~ John Dewy

RESPECT to Forestry Division; for their immense contribution to Dominica from their inception. I am so thankful for the parks here; and for preserving those sites that are so unique and special to Dominica. Forestry’s work never ends; with storms and other natural occurrences wiping out their hard work regularly it is hard to get ahead; but they have. In the last 10 years we have up graded our paths and nature sites tremendously. Forestry provides educational programs for children and adults and over the years the books and periodicals that have originated from that office have been some of the only resources available for teachers who wish to teach about the local environment.  ………nuff respect.   



Nature Education – Dominica’s Rainforest Environment


We have one of the last remaining coastal rainforests of the Caribbean.  Our children need to be proud of these forests to help preserve them for future generations.


I found Dominica’s Rainforests to be a dramatic thematic teaching concept that most students greet with enthusiasm.  In my classes in Canada and in Dominica I used the levels of the rainforest as a way to look in depth at the animals and plants that live in the forests. We sang Songs about the Rainforest, did Rainforest Math; Rainforest Language Arts; Rainforest Science; Rainforest Social Studies; Rainforest Eco Education; Rainforest Health and Wellness and Rainforest Cooking.



 I tied everything together using a large wall mural; drawing a cross section of the rainforest showing basic concepts such as the 4 levels; the roots etc.  We drew and labeled the animals, insects, birds and plants of the rainforest and attached them to the levels of the rainforest they lived in. The water cycle is easily added to this same mural too. Most importantly we spent structured and unstructured but guided time in the rainforest.


Rainforest Educational Links



Dominica’s Coastal Rainforest


Dominica’s Rainforest Parrots


Leeward Islands Eco Regions