The collection’s biggest series consists of photographs that document the work Bienvenido did within the community, socially and politically. Some of the photos are used to illustrate articles that are published in newspapers and magazines. Others were taken at various events or social gatherings, such as celebrations and parades.
Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are celebrated in the Dominican Republic with family dinners, presents, and dancing. Many of the same dishes served during Christmas Eve, such as puerco asado, moro de guandules, and ensalada rusa, appear at New Year’s Eve meals, along with rum.
It is also customary to decorate homes for the holidays with a combination of traditional decorations and imported motifs. Nacimientos – nativity scenes – and charamicos, creations fashioned from twigs and branches by artisans, are popular. People also display Christmas lights and present friends and loved ones with poinsettia flowers – known as flores dominicana – to mark the holiday.
A bottled herbal mixture called botella (literally, “bottle”) is another festive tradition among Dominicans. Botellas are typically stored in plastic bottles and consist of plant species that have been combined with a variety of non-plant ingredients, such as honey, molasses, condensed milk, animal oils, gin, or schnapps. According to the interviewees, the use of multiple plant species in mixtures increases the efficacy of these remedies for treating respiratory and reproductive health and genitourinary conditions. Many of these herbal mixtures are used to treat ailments that would otherwise be difficult to diagnose and treat with a single plant. flores dominicana