The Ideal Venue For All Events
Nestled in Marigot among Dominica’s palm, mango, coconut, breadfruit, and banana trees Classique International is the ideal guest house for overnight stays or extended visits. It is also a venue for hosting both formal and non-formal events. Its sweeping, multi-leveled balconies provide the perfect setting for weddings, anniversaries, birthday parties, proms, concerts, and much more. Classique has been designed with an attention to detail and its beautiful grounds, covered with flowers, looks out over the crashing waves of the Atlantic coast—only five minutes away.
Classique International is located in the village of Marigot just over ten minutes from Melville Hall Airport along the winding costal roads. It is approximately sixty minutes from Roseau (Dominica’s capital) and twenty-five minutes from Portsmouth—home of Ross University. Classique International is centralized and easily accessible.
It is centrally located and in close proximity to the Marigot Credit Union. A short walk past the Credit Union and the road descends on the radiant colors and vibrant atmosphere of Classique International. Classique has become the social center and the place where many people from different walks of life gather to celebrate. This is especially noticeable during the Carnival, Creole festival (music and cultural performances), and Dominica’s Independence celebration. Dominicans living abroad as wells as visitors, fluck to the Island to enjoy the music, cultural performances, exhibitions and other events all over the Island.
“The heights by great men reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight. But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night. “
–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Classique International is the brainchild of Lena Rosanna James of Marigot Dominica—and intrepid soul. By the age of seventeen Lena had already traveled to several countries, including Barbados, Germany and Austria, but her heart and soul beat for her small Caribbean Island—Dominica. She traveled great distances and rose far above her meager beginnings but she has ever desired to return to Marigot and see it transformed.
In 1980 Lena migrated to the United States of America to live with the greater part of her immediate family already living in New York City. Once there she pursued a program of betterment that involved a Word Processing Secretary certificate from the American Business Institute of Technology. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology for two years; gained employment with Blue Cross and Blue Shield Insurance Company, Lever Brothers, and The Federal Reserve Bank in New York City.
In 1990 Lena relocated to Virginia where she worked for the Hecht’s Company (now Macy’s) for nearly six years and in 1995, after the death of her younger sister Martha James, Lena was trained as a Licensed Nursing Assistant by the Loudon Hospital in Leesburg, V.A. eventually working in several retirement communities, nursing homes and a doctor’s office. She eventually took on a private nursing job caring for Lt. Col. Hortense M. Boutell who, though originally from Minnesota, had lived in Washington for many years. In Washington, D.C. Lena cared for Col Boutell (Bo) for seven years until she passed away in 2006. If this were not enough Lena has also studied at George Washington University and the Northern Virginia Community College where she is currently pursuing a degree in psychology with an emphasis on behavioral science.
This has all prepared her for the launching of Classique International and in 2006, with the lunching of the Marigot Development Corporation (MDC) her desire to return to Dominica became more urgent. The MDC was the key promoter of a Marigot reunion and successfully encouraged hundreds of Marigot Diasporas to return home for a community celebration. As a result of Lena’s interest and involvement in the community, during this period she created Classique International. Classique International is a place where people of different races, cultural background, ages, and social economic status, come together to socialize. Through Classique, these various groups can reacquaint themselves with friends and families, some of whom they might not have seen for many years and develop new and lasting relationships.
Although she left the Island several years ago, Lena has never forgotten Dominica and has visited frequently over the years. Her ultimate goal is to spend more time on the island and to become more actively involved in the educational and cultural progression of the community—in other words—to see a positive change occur.