Dominica's Centenarians


Ma Pampo, photo by Sister Katherine 2001

Dominica, the Nature Island of the Caribbean, is gaining recognition as a modern day “Fountain of Youth.”  The island was home to Elizabeth “Ma Pampo” Israel who died in October 2003 at the age of 128. At the time, she was considered by many to be the world’s oldest living person.

Ma Pampo’s neighbour Rose Peter lived to be 118 years of age. (Update Sept. 28, 2001 The Chronicle: Centenarian Dies at 118)

There is clearly something special about Dominica – an island with a population of 70,000 (2010 Census) which is home to twenty-two recorded centenarians.

Related Links

Dominica’s Wildlife

Dominica’s Flora & Fauna

Birds of Dominica

Morne Trois Pitons World Heritage Site

Natural Living in Dominica

Dominica’s Centenarians

Tropical Fruit

The Aloe Vera Plant

Dominica Maps

Life Expentancy for Women

Life Expentancy for Men

Number of Centenarians


Dominica has the second highest longevity in the western hemisphere, second only to Canada and above the United States, according to Janice Jackson, Executive Director of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. “If this is juxtaposed with the major difference in health care expenditures – less than $200 per resident in Dominica, compared with over $3500 in the US, this figure becomes even more significant.” Jackson said.


Life Expectancy

Worldwide, average life expectancy for women is 64 to 67 and for men it is 61.  In Dominica the average life expectancy for women is 78 to 81 and for men it is 75 (2001).

A Tribute to Dominica’s Centenarian Women

An Exhibition at the Old Mill Cultural Centre, Canefield
July 30th to August 3rd, 2001

“Living Ancestors”

Dominica is home to the world’s oldest person, Ma Pampo, who is still going strong at 126! She is not alone as there are more than 20 other centenarians on the island. Come and see their lively faces, read the secrets of what sustained their long, healthy lives.

The intention of this exhibition is to honor these “Living Ancestors” of Dominica and to make their rich cultural and historical legacy more visible. It is also hoped that the exhibition will spark and stimulate local, regional and international interest in these extraordinary centenarians and their caregivers It will be a lasting tribute in portraits, to these women’s immense courage, humor and faith.

South African artist, Gabrielle “J” Le Roux, has created a visual record of these women in the form of color portraits drawn from life.

It is fitting that this inaugural showing of an international tour is here in Dominica, where the project was born and bred. During the next year the show will travel to South Africa and then on to Uganda for the 8th International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women. The international exposure will promote Dominica as a global center for natural wealth and longevity. This is in line with the emerging image of the island as a “Nature Isle.” Show runs to Aug 3rd, 2001. © Gabrielle Le Roux, 2001

Portraits by Gabrielle Le Roux
Photographs by Wendy Walsh
© 2001 All Rights Reserved.

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