Colihaut is a coastal village on the West Coast of Dominica midway between the towns of Roseau and Portsmouth. The population of approximately 700 people earn a living through agriculture and fishing. Secondary school graduates work for government and the private sector in Roseau. A large percentage of the village’s income however comes from remittances from family abroad: USA, US, Canada, Virgin Islands and Guadeloupe. Many older Colihaut folks, mainly graduates, now reside in Roseau and work for the government in education, nursing and finance. A primary school, sports field, day nursery, post office, Credit Union, Village Council and Health Centre and four Christian churches provide services to villagers.


The young people who do not proceed to secondary school – currently numbering approximately 100 - either emigrate, are unemployed or underemployed. The village offers little job or training opportunities for this group of young people who are not as attracted to agriculture as their grandparents were. They are occasionally employed on short term projects like road construction and maintenance; and construction.


Colihaut, although an attractive, historical village with very hospitable people, has not been placed and has not placed itself on the Dominican tourism map. The visitor attractions, which are many, are taken for granted by villagers and are little known to the rest of Dominica. Some examples are the fresh water lake in the heights of Colihaut, Bann Mové the masquerade folk form practised only in Colihaut, the artisans who engage in endangered traditions like fish-pot crafts, the many unmarked enslavement relics dotted around the villagers, Colihaut cuisine, the history of the village as a major commercial centre and the role of the river in the village’s history.

May 2009
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