There are many farm workers in the Dominican Republic, often poor and illiterate. But Dominicans who make the daring journey to the United States are usually urban people with some education and skills.
When they get to the United States, they take the jobs available for people with little English: garment worker, factory hand, dishwasher. Those without legal status may accept difficult, low-paying sweatshop labor to avoid detection.
Dominican Americans often live in poor neighborhoods, where lack of hope and opportunity convinces some residents to turn to street crime and drugs. But most Dominican Americans are hardworking people eager to take English-language classes, start businesses, and get ahead.
Dominican-born Oscar de la Renta became a world-renowned fashion designer.
His brand name appears on clothing ranging from expensive, one-of-a-kind gowns to stylish everyday suits and dresses, as well as perfume and luggage.