Dominica is an island nation located in the southeastern Caribbean. To the west of Dominica is the Caribbean Sea and to the east is the Atlantic Ocean. North of Dominica is the island of Guadeloupe and south of Dominica is the island of Martinique.
Christopher Columbus named Dominica in 1493, naming it for the Latin word for Sunday, the day on which Columbus spotted the island. France claimed Dominica in 1635 and soon sent missionaries there to be the first Europeans to inhabit the island, making it the last Caribbean island to be colonized by Europeans. In 1763, possession of Dominica was handed over to the British, who controlled Dominica until its independence in 1978.