Dominican TV Star Calls NYC ‘Another State’ of the DR

Nikauly De la Mota signs autographs at the Time Warner Cable store, including for fan Ramón Balbuena, who said, "I was so surprised when I got here. All of my friends will be jealous that I got to see her." (Photo by Robin Elisabeth Kilmer/Manhattan Times)

In the Dominican Republic, Nikauly de la Mota hosts Arriba y Alante, a show that Time Warner Cable now broadcasts in New York, bringing a bit of home and culture to some of the city’s over 576,000 Dominicans — the second largest Latino group here, behind Puerto Ricans.

De la Mota visited New York this month and signed autographs at the Time Warner Cable store, ahead of her role as host of the Dominican Day Parade on Aug. 12, reported Robin Elisabeth Kilmer for the Manhattan Times.

As the Dominican Republic’s first female TV producer, De la Mota also serves as a role model for young Latinas.

“I’m the only woman who does this. All of my competitors are men,” said De la Mota.

“If I had to give any advice to young women it would be to not be afraid. Do not be afraid to educate yourself. Now is the best time to be a woman and we have a lot of opportunities, but also a lot of challenges, so you have to be prepared,” she explained.

De la Mota, who said the New York City airing of her show has brought it increased attention on Twitter and Facebook, also had good things to say about Washington Heights, where the largest concentration of Dominicans live, outside of the Bronx.

“I appreciate how Washington Heights has changed a lot,” she told the Manhattan Times. “I’m so proud of my people and the good work they have been doing there.”

De la Mota’s positive outlook reflects statistics in a 2008 study by the City’s Comptroller, which revealed that between 1995 and 2007 crime declined by 61.7 percent, and violent crimes decreased by 52.4 percent, while between 1999 and 2005 the median income increased by 34.8 percent.

She continued:

“In business, Dominicans are building a very good image. They are honest and hard working people. You see someone who gets to New York with no money and five years later they have ten restaurants and supermarkets. Dominicans come here to work.”

De la Mota is always excited to return to New York City, especially Washington Heights, and visits regularly for work.

“Just two weeks ago, I was here. New York is like another state in the Dominican Republic. I have a lot of friends and family here and I am always exploring new places,” she said.

Below, watch a clip of De la Mota interviewing Vickiana “La Maidita,” a Dominican singer and TV presenter.

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