INICIA celebrates Dominicans in the Diaspora with a book launch

At an event headed by the President of the Republic, Luis Abinader, INICIA launched its twelfth institutional book of the INICIA Collection: Aquí y Allá (Here and There), which captures the vision of Winston Vargas, a Dominican photographer who has been part of the origins of the Dominican Diaspora in Washington Heights.

Felipe Vicini, executive president of INICIA, highlighted that “Here and There is a tribute to the cultural and economic impact that the Dominican Diaspora has had, has and will have on the development of the DR”.

Vargas belongs to the second generation of emigrants to New York and it is through his lens that the book manages to capture and reveal graphic and true stories of the Dominican families that emigrated in the mid-20th century, along with the narrative of Dominican professor and writer Jean Paul Infante.

Aquí y Allá also presents the evolution and transformation over six decades of Washington Heights, today called “Little Dominican Republic”, evidencing how this neighborhood became the enclave of Dominican identity abroad that has adapted to its environment, but without losing its essence. This was also captured in a documentary that accompanies the editorial project, with unpublished images from 1960 to the present day.

Adriano Espaillat, congressman and member of the U.S. House of Representatives, who wrote the prologue to the book, added through an emotional video that he feels proud and identified through Vargas’ photographs and that he is reminded of the challenges and achievements of the Dominican Diaspora, which has transformed Upper Manhattan.

The event included closing remarks by the Minister of the Presidency, Joel Santos, who praised the book as “this book from the INICIA Collection celebrates the pride, talent and stories of the Dominican community in Washington Heights, an area where the Dominican spirit can still be felt in every corner”. And he assured that, “There is no Dominican abroad who does not dream of a sancocho or a little house in the country.”


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