Dominican Heritage Month, January 21 to February 27, is a New York State celebration of New Yorkers’ Dominican heritage.
New York Governor Cuomo proclaimed the celebration in 2016. Thank you Governor Cuomo!
Dominican Heritage Month Is One Long Party
The celebration starts with the Feast of Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia on January 21. It ends with Dominican Independence Day on February 27, but a Caribbean party never stops. Dominicans celebrate Altagracia, founding father Juan Pablo Duarte’s birthday, Carnival and Dominican Independence all February long.
New York City is Dominican Starting With Its First Immigrant
Today Dominicans are one of New York City’s largest Latin communities, but New York City, the city of immigrants, is itself Dominican from the very beginning. The first immigrant to what has become New York City was Juan Rodríguez from Santo Domingo. He was Portuguese African from Santo Domingo and arrived on a Dutch ship in 1613.
Rodríguez didn’t want to go to Europe so he set up shop at the old Native American trading post where the New York branch of the National Museum of the American Indian is now.
Upper Broadway from 159th St in Washington Heights to 218th St in Inwood was renamed Juan Rodríguez Way by Mayor Bloomberg.