Locals here live off the land
Because the economy is so undependable, the people of Dominica literally live off the land, so it's perfectly normal to see a man walking down the street with a machete. The hillsides and roadsides double as huge public gardens where people plant crops for their own consumption.
"Everybody in Dominica has a machete," said one of my guides, Lionel, who's lived his whole life on the island. "That's how they get their food." He motioned to a man standing by the side of the road, lopping some unseen fruit off a bush. I asked him if anyone ever takes other people's crops.
"Sure, that's just part of it," he said. "But, you know, sometimes they take stuff and it tastes terrible, so joke's on them." He laughed that quintessential joyous Caribbean laugh of someone who lives in paradise.