Recommended Sites

Delightful Visit and Conversation with Gina B Voices

It was a pleasure meeting and spending time with Gina Bess-Bonilla who shared information about her family history, including Dominican musician Ramón E. García (1907-1989).

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From left to right: Dr. Vanessa K. Valdés, Prof. Sarah Aponte, Gina Bess-Bonilla, and Librarian Jhensen Ortiz, April 3, 2023

To see photos that feature Ramón E. García, you can visit A History of Dominican Music in the United States website:

  1. Press photo of Ramón García's band the Conjunto Típico Cibao, please click here
  2. Ramón García with Angel Viloria y su Conjunto Típico Cibaeño performing at the legendary Palladium Ballroom in New York City with Haydee Malagon in 1953, please click here
  3. Ramón García with Dominican bandleader Josecito Roman and his orchestra Quisqueya in 1949, including his brothers Brunito Garcia (1905-unknown), José Garcia (1904-1965), Tito Garcia, Nino Garcia, sisters Ana Luisa (1905-2002) and Ligia García (1921-2005), please click here
  4. Ramón García with brother Brunito Garcia and Dominican percussionist Luis Quintero in Washington D.C. at the Dominican embassy in 1953, please click here 
  5. Front cover of the concert program for the "Merengue Songbook/Cancionero del Merengue" which took place on September 29, 1951, please click here
  6. Press photo of Angel Viloria y su Conjunto Típico Cibaeño where Ramón García is pictured with the alto saxophone, please click here

 Gina Bess-Bonilla is the voice narrator for the exhibition Juan de Pareja, Afro-Hispanic Painter at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) in New York City. To learn more and hear the Audio Guide, please click here. The exhibit was co-curated by Dr. Vanessa K. Valdés, Associate Provost at the City College of New York (pictured above).

By Prof. Sarah Aponte and Librarian Jhensen Ortiz

Latin American Visuals Online Repository at American University

A short time ago, researcher and American University graduate student Maribel Vásquez visited the CUNY Dominican Studies Archives and Library; she shared with us the recently launched Latin American Visuals Online Repository an exceptional resource featuring materials gathered by Latin Americanist scholars from multiple institutions for use by students and scholars alike. According to its web site, by combining these materials on one web site, individuals will be able to experience the rich culture, heritage, and natural beauty of Latin America and Antarctica. The online repository was made public in June of 2013 and it contains images of the Dominican Republic through the collection of images collected by Jack Child, alumnus and former faculty member at American University. The photographs reflect his two years in the Dominican Republic in 1975 and 1978 correspondingly. This online repository is still being updated with more photographs of Jack Child’s travels throughout Latin America and Antarctica and new content is continuously being added. A major motivation in setting up and populating this digital repository has been to have other institutions and Latin American scholars contribute to the Latin American Visual web site.

You can contribute here:

This video library and web site is recommended viewing to students, researchers, anthropologists, folklorists, photographers, artists as well as the general public. Some of the key themes areas are: The Caribbean region, Latin America, Antarctica, agricultural landscapes, urban scenery, social movements, and daily customs in different Latin American countries.

Jhensen Ortiz

Photographs capture the Japanese migrant’s presence in the Dominican Republic

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Recently, Prof. Mika Miyoshi of the University of Tokyo shared with us an interesting database with photographs of Japanese migrant’s in countries like Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, and the Dominican Republic.The database was created by Japanese Overseas Migration Museum in Yokohama, Japan. The museum displays the history of Japanese emigration and the current status of immigrants and Japanese descendants living abroad. The database is divided into five periods and shown using chronological tables, literatures, photographs, and movies.In the database the photographs are organized in the digital migration space.The photographs are from the late 1950s and probably a good portion was taken in the early years of Japanese arrival and settlement in the Dominican Republic.The initial Japanese migrants that came were settled in Constanza, a town in La Vega, Dominican Republic. Many of their descendants still live in that town, but the Japanese settlement never grew to a very large scale. This online resource also reflects on the agricultural contributions and hardships of Japanese migrants in countries where they help bolster the area’s economy.

Click here to see the database: 

Click here for the museum website:

This online database and web site is recommended to students, researchers, and historians as well as the general public. Some of the key research areas are: Japanese diaspora in Latin America, Race and identity in the Dominican Republic, migration to the Dominican Republic, cultural differentiation in the Caribbean, agricultural production, and Japan-Dominican Republic Relations.

Jhensen Ortiz

Library Intern

Videoteca Chango Prieto: preserving Dominican oral tradition

Videoteca Chango Prieto [Chango Prieto Video Library] reflects on the continuity of African arts, customs and social life in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean region as well as the new creole culture that emerged out of the uninterrupted interaction of slaves, freemen and laborers in the sugar plantations and other spheres of society molded by both pre-capitalist and modern-day capitalist modes of production.  But this online resource also reflects on the interactions between the islands--Haiti, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Jamaica, Cuba, and Dominican Republic--and the transnational nature of anthropological studies in the Dominican Republic whose center of gravity shifted  from the study of the Taínos indigenous people to the living and breathing legacy of Afro-Dominican people. Following that line of thought, one of the major contributions of the Chango Prieto Video Library is the preservation of oral tradition, an endeavor that took off in the1970s with the birth of the Convite research and musical group.  Founded in 1994 by anthropologist and author Soraya Aracena, Video Chango Prieto is not only an innovative resource, but it is also the first of its kind. According to its web site, the collection is comprised of more than 350 unedited videos.

The audiovisual collection, compiled by Aracena over the years as part of her ethnographic fieldwork research into Afro-Dominican culture, showcases the work of a number of artists, cultural animators, filmmakers, musicians with little or no access to commercial media and financial resources. Shot in cinéma vérité, these digital videos cover the following subjects: musical genres and dances from a diverse ethnic heritage that includes Haitians, West Indians, Cubans and descendants of slaves in the Dominican Republic (wild Indians, gagá,  bomba, , jazz, salves); carnival celebrations, death rituals; harvest celebrations— a legacy of freemen community from the U.S that settled in what is today known as Samaná Province in the northeast; folk medicine, fashion, art, children’s games, body decoration and much more.  

This video library and web site is recommended viewing to students, researchers, anthropologists, folklorists, musicians, plastics artists as well as the general public.  Some of the key research areas are: The Caribbean region, Latin America, colonial history, linguistic differentiation in the Caribbean, afro-Caribbean music, carnival celebrations, funerary rites, syncretic religion systems, sugar production, and West Indian and Haitian laborers in the Dominican Republic.

Amaury Rodríguez/Guest contributor


Dr. Ramona Hernández quoted in Wall Street Journal article on newcomers and small businesses in the US

The Wall Street Journal recently published a very informative piece on the role that immigrants hailing from Latin American, Asian and South East Asian countries have played in keeping small businesses alive. Among the immigrant communities under discussion are Cubans, Vietnamese, Koreans, Mexicans, Chinese, Indian and Dominicans. The WSJ article makes the assertion that immigrants “are more inclined to own small businesses than native-born Americans”. Dr. Ramona Hernández, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Dominican Studies Institute at City University of New York (CUNY DSI), is quoted on the transition of small Dominican-owned neighborhood grocery stores to big chain supermarkets.

Additionally, the article looks at census data from the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) to examine how immigrant-owned small businesses impact the US economy. In that regard, it looks at how mom and pop shops as well as small businesses that provide services have sprung up throughout the United States since the 1980s in areas beyond major urban centers where immigrant populations have traditionally settled.

To read the article click on this link:



"Cosas de mujeres": Nuevo artículo sobre mujeres dominicanas cabeza de hogar

Agradecemos a la Dra. Rosalina Alcalde Campos por enviarnos el artículo que acaba de publicar sobre mujeres dominicanas cabeza de hogares monoparentales en Nueva York y Barcelona. Este es el producto de su primera estancia con el Instituto de Estudios Dominicanos. La Dra. Rosalina Alcalde Campos es Profesora Lectora, Grupo de Estudios de Inmigración y Minorías Étnicas (GEDIME) Departamento de Sociología, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona.

Presione sobre el título para conseguir el pdf del artículo:

Cosas de mujeres: familias monoparentales dominicanas en Barcelona y Nueva York. Revista Internacional de Organizaciones. No.6 (Junio 2011): 109-134.

o el link: