A large part of the purpose of this blog is to try to share my experience here in the DR with people back home. I like adding pictures, because it lets people see what I'm seeing, but there are four other senses that can't be communicated well through words or pictures. There is a lot of noise around here, and most of it isn't very pleasant: barking dogs, motorcycles without mufflers, people (of all ages) swearing, roosters crowing, and plenty more.
There's also a lot of music, and there are a few songs that get played a lot. Merengue and Bachata are the national genres, and you can also hear a lot of Reggaeton. I have to admit, none of these styles are my favorite, but they are better than whimpering puppies.
Here are some links to a few of the most commonly heard songs. Warning: I don't have a lot of bandwidth (and I've heard all these songs enough already), so I haven't actually watched these videos. Most of the lyrics are in Spanish, and none of the English lyrics are offensive, but some of the Spanish lyrics are not child-friendly, and the videos my not be appropriate for children either.
This guy is pretty clearly the current favorite. It's rare to go a day without hearing at least one of his songs. The most popular are Corazon Sin Cara, Yo Te Ame (also called El Amor Que Perdimos), and Rechazame. He also has a nice cover of Stand By Me which switches back and forth between English and Spanish.
Secreto El Famoso Biberon
These are the songs you'll want to avoid if you're around Spanish speaking children. Ponte El Chaleco and Pa Ke Te De are both heard fairly often.
This is a Christian group, and their song Creere (I will believe) is played loudly and proudly in a lot of homes. It's a favorite of this girl, who sings it a lot.
Another Christian artist. During training, the ringtone on my host mom's phone was the start of her song Yo Sin Ti, which I've now heard several other times.
There are a few others, but this will give you an idea of what this country sounds like. Make sure you turn up the volume as much as possible (especially the base) so you can share it with you neighbors, whether they're interested or not.
PS: I haven't actually heard anyone playing this, but a few kids have spontaneously started singing Shakira's Waka Waka song (complete with dance).