Bocina and “musicón”: Dominican Diaspora brings a piece of the DR to New York

As if it were any park or street in the Dominican Republic, communities in New York City are dominated by vehicles with a “honking” horn and music typical of this Caribbean island.

Throughout the five areas that make up the “Big Apple”, Dominicans have gradually popularized this pastime, which has become popular even for people of other nationalities.

This was explained in a report in the New York Times, which explores the Dominican car culture, especially the one focused on fixing vehicles to incorporate as many speakers as possible.

“I love to listen to loud music. I love seeing the people…it’s definitely a source of pride. I love representing my country,” young José Manzueta told the newspaper’s reporter Isabelia Herrera.

Manzueta gave these statements during a meeting of people related to this hobby, in which dozens of people gather to listen to music at full volume.

“If (the music) doesn’t feel like it’s strangling you, then it’s not good,” said Carlos, a 57-year-old Dominican who has lived in the United States for several years,

Music is another important aspect, with the most listened to genres being bachata, merengue típico and dembow, which inevitably fight with each other in order to be heard.


This hobby is partly inherited from parents. Manzueta, 20, was born in the United States to Dominican parents and everything he knows about horns and cars he knows from his dad.

Something similar happened with another interviewee, Adrian, who was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to New York as an adult.

Adrian said that his father was a mechanic and he helped him in any way he could. By the time he was 9 years old he could install a car radio and at 13 he was able to modify pasolas.


As in the Dominican Republic, excessive sound is often a focus of attention for the police, who tend to harass these people when they turn on their horns at full volume outside of the regulated competencies.

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