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Can We Teach Our Dominican Parents and Grandparents How to Use an ATM?

Can We Teach Our Dominican Parents and Grandparents How to Use an ATM?

If there’s anything more frustrating about living in a Dominican neighborhood and being Dominican is watching our querido viejos and viejas distrust banks.

Yes, the idea of people distrusting the highest institutions on earth isn’t a new concept. We all distrust everything from the government to the guy who walks around Dyckman with the ‘Dulce de Leche’ cakes in a supermarket cart claiming they are the best in “el alto” [dique] when they clearly aren’t.

But the one time I need to stand on a bank line because my bank won’t let me withdraw more than a certain amount, I have to show up earlier than Dominicans do for a flight. You know how your parents arrive at the airport at 4am for a 10am flight from La Guardia out of all places? Yeah, I’m starting to think they do the same with the bank because when I get there at 9am the line is out the door.

You show up to Chase on 181st and St Nicholas (aka Dominican Times Square) or the one on Dyckman and Sherman and you are bound to stand in line for hours if you don’t camp out. And yes, 181st is Dominican Times Square. Tell me it isn’t close to as packed as Flushing or Times Square?

I won’t elaborate any further though.

Kids and young adults, please take 15 minutes out of your day to teach your parents and grandparents how to use the machines from the bank; and even the MetroCards for that matter. God knows the MTA is bad enough but when you miss the next two 1 or A trains because someone doesn’t even understand the machine in their own language, it’s a problem.

In final, if our people trust banks enough to use them let’s have them trust the machines as well. Just don’t teach them at the Dyckman ones because you’ll be holding up the machines for 30 minutes at least. Go to 96th street with that lesson…

*EXCERPTS from “Dominican American” by Claudio E. Cabrera


Claudio Eduardo Cabrera

Claudio Eduardo Cabrera is a 34-year-old award-winning writer and audience development expert who was born and raised in the Inwood section of Manhattan to parents from the Dominican Republic. Over the last ten years, Cabrera has worked for some of the digital space’s most notable brands such as CBS and the New York Times. Outside of his professional career, the discussions around race and colorism in Latino communities is something he’s written about extensively, specifically around the Dominican community. He plans to release a book in 2018 focused on his life’s experiences and those of other Latinos of African ancestry.

Follow his Facebook page HERE

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