The Cultural Contributions of Dominican Immigrants

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How Dominican Enriches Culture of New York City

As Dominicans became one of the largest migrating population in New York City, they started to change their surroundings alike where they were from. Several bodegas started to show up, and bachata music could be heard on the street. This change eventually affected their neighbors and consequently began to influence the culture of New York City. Because of their constant contacts with new immigrants from homeland and constant visit to Dominican Republic, they have kept their culture relatively well.


Antony Santos
Antony Santos
As you may have guessed by now, music is an integral part of the Dominican culture. This is why there were sound clips on almost all of the pages in the Wiki, it was to illustrate how music permeates every part of Dominican life. Dominicans listen to a wide variety of music, and there are Dominican artistes in many genres, from Alternative Rock to Calypso. Like other Hispanic communities, Salsa, Merengue, and Reggaeton are very popular - these being the largest genres in the latin music culture. Actually, one of the most famous Reggaeton artistes in the world, Arcangel, has Dominican parents. However, Dominicans also have something special, unique to their culture.

This is Bachata, which has its origins in the Dominican Republic. Bachata usually takes the form of a love ballad, it is slow, sensual music filled with warmth and sexual tension. The most famous Bachatero (a bachata singer, the noun takes the male form because these artistes are generally male, I don't believe there are any bachateras) is Antony Santos. He is responsible for almost singlehandedly redefining the Bachata genre. Before his inclusion of soft, romantic lyrics, the music had a more bawdy, cabaret flavour.

Right here in New York, Bachata has gone through a little evolution as well. Aventura is a Dominican Bachata group (even though only one member was actually born in the Dominican Republic, the other members are second-generation Dominicans) which is arguably the best Bachata band in the U.S. They are well known for incorporating R'n'B, and Reggaeton elements into their songs, and the result has been very well received. Thanks to them Bachata has a growing following both within and without the Hispanic community. Because of the popular support,many restaurants (e.g. Havana Central, Times Square) and clubs now feature Bachata music, even outside of the latin community. Eminent latin radio stations like "En La Calle" (105.9) now play Dominican music frequently, even that by other Dominican artistes such as Omega y su Mambo Violento (merengue group).

But enough writing, music should be experienced, not reported! Below is a selection of four songs from each of the genres mentioned: Bachata, Merengue, Reggaeton and Salsa respectfully. So press play, lean back, close your eyes, and think Spanish thoughts - who knows maybe you too will becme a fan of Dominican music.

Here's a thought, after listening, why not revisit the other sections and see if you can match the genre with the song?

Aventura - Mi Corazoncito
Pitbull ft. Omega - Chosen Few
Arcangel De La Ghetto - Pa que La Pases Bien
Yuri Buenaventura - Bomba Latina


Dominican Dancers at Danza Washington Heights
Dominican Dancers at Danza Washington Heights
Dance is one of the most powerful tool that can express one's culture. For Dominicans, dance is a very important aspect of their culture, and they brought the tradition to the US. Bachata and merengue are both Dominican-made, and many of New York City's sceneries of nightclubs and lounges are associated with these dance moves. Salsa is also very popular as it is popular throughout all the Caribbean countries.


Dominicans are involved in many sports in New York City. While Dominican men are involved in soccer, basketball and football, a majority of their involvement come in baseball. For women, according to an interview with Cara Mejia, its volleyball that is most popular. There have been many great athletes in the USA. They are heroes for Americans but even bigger existence for Dominicans.


Amelia Vega by "akaharry"

Amelia Vega is Miss Universe of 2003, showing off her Dominican beauty. She is a Dominican native from Santo Domingo. She is the first one to win the Miss Universe competition for Dominicans. Miss Universe represents the most beautiful woman of the year, and her victory in the competition symbolizes that Dominican beauty is swaying the standard of beauty of the world.



One of famous fashion designers, Oscar de la Renta, who was born and raised in Dominican Republic, is also Dominican who holds several residences in NYC. He has been giving the fashion world color of the tropical island with his European-trained skill. His website contains his history and where his shops are.


  1. Fashion_Critic_ Fashion_Critics_'s Photobucket