Culture

She Wanted Her Quinces Party To Be Special So She Added Voter Registration To Fight For Her Future

If you’re a Latina, you probably spent years dreaming of your quinceañera. Questions of the song you’ll come out to, what your dress will look like, and who will escort you into womanhood dance around so many of our heads until the moment we hit the actual dance floor.

Chances are, however, you never considered how to incorporate the current political sphere, freedom and voting rights to your big day.

Quinceañera Aleida Ramos decided to have an innovative addition to her recent quince: voter registration.

Twitter / @NBCNews

On the Houstonian’s big day, she invited Jolt Initiative — the Latinx Youth Advocacy group. Their goal is to register as many Latinx voters as possible. For Ramos’ party, the organization set up Poder Quince booths to assist guests with voter registration.

In between thanking friends and family and celebrating her quince, Ramos encouraged guests to visit the Poder Quince booths. Her father, Marco Ramos, Jr, joined in on urging guests to register to vote. The pair focused on the impact that the Latinx vote can make in the 2020 election and elections to come.

Community was a big focus of this push. Ramos’ motivation for inviting Jolt Initiative was to pay back the community that has supported her and invested in her these past 15 years. Undoubtedly, even this small gesture can have huge outcomes.

“Our vote ensures we continue to protect our community and those who matter to us most,” the quinceañera told her party goers.

With Poder Quince, Jolt has made it their goal to reach potential Latinx voters through quinceañeras.

Twitter / @joltinitiative

The Texas-based advocacy group started their Poder Quince initiative in May of 2019. Thanks to the huge Latinx population, quinceañeras have become mainstream in the Lone Star State. By Jolt’s estimation, around 50,000 quinces are held each year.

With this in mind, these quinceañeras prove to be an untapped resource to connect with Latinx voters. Jolt — which is a non-profit association — recognizes that in order to mobilize a community, we need to be part of the community. Their presence at quinceañeras helps accomplish this.

Ramos’ quince is the first in Harris County to invite Jolt Initiative.

Twitter / @NBCNews

Harris County — which includes the city of Houston — has the second largest Latinx population in the country. At over 2 Million, it’s second only to Los Angels’ nearly 5 Million Latinx population.

Harris County set a new historic turn out record during the 2018 elections — no doubt helped by their large Latinx and Millennial vote. This turnout officially changed the county blue in the traditionally red state.

According to Jolt’s spokesman, Antonio Arellano, Texas is a crucial focus for voter turn out.

As he shared with NBC News, “That’s why we are so focused on energizing the Latino vote in Houston. The Latino vote lives here, and we have to mobilize them and there is so much riding on them.”

While Ramos is still too young to vote, she was intrigued by the other quinceañeras who welcomed Jolt to their celebrations.

NBC News

Ramos shared with NBC News, “I liked their stories and what they said about everything. I wanted to do something that would help us — trying to make a difference in things for our community. It inspired me.”

Her father — who doesn’t consider himself political — has voted in every election since he was 18. His example also heavily influenced Ramos’ decision to incorporate Jolt into her quince.

Ramos shared with NBC News the wisdom that her dad has passed on to her.

“My dad tells me I have to be educated to vote and have to know what I’m voting for and about the person,” she explained. “When people ask you why you are for that person, you don’t stutter. You know because you are educated.”

Jolt also provided a photo booth for the quinceañera and her guests.

NBC News

Guests of Ramos’ quince reported that they enjoyed the presence of Jolt at the celebration. Younger guests had fun with the props and Instagram-able opportunities. Similarly, voting-aged guests appreciated the chance to register and update their personal information.

Ultimately, it was a quince that her guests won’t soon forget. Altogether, it might make a difference in Ramos’ community and ultimately our own.

This Family Threw A Quinceañera For Their Cat’s Fifteenth And Even Got Her A Dress For The Occasion

Culture

This Family Threw A Quinceañera For Their Cat’s Fifteenth And Even Got Her A Dress For The Occasion

The Dodo

Cats are little bundles of love that make the world a happier, fluffier place —even if sometimes they scratch us to death and break everything that stands in their way, we still love them. This mom loves her cat so very much, that she threw a whole quinceañera party for her kitty, on the little one’s fifteenth birthday —dress and all.

This family stopped at nothing to give their precious kitty the celebration she deserved.

Credit: The Dodo

If you’re a Latina, you probably spent a good part of your life dreaming up your perfect quinceañera. From the dress, to the music, to your entourage, to the cake. There are so many things to consider when throwing the most important party a girl can have; her official entry into womanhood. Well, the same thoughtful and careful planning went into this kitty’s quince.

Luna is the family’s pride and joy, they adopted her after finding her struggling on the side of a road.

This little one celebrated her fifteenth year with her family. They adopted her when she was only three weeks old after they found her on the side of the road looking for shelter and struggling to live. They named her Luna, and since that day, she’s been the family’s pride and joy. 

“Luna is an absolute sweetheart, loves curling up with people and loves laying on her back on the floor,” Angel Olavarria, Luna’s brother, told The Dodo. “We have spoiled her with abundant love and she has outlived all of our pets. On her 15th birthday we decided to give our little cheese ball a surprise quinceañera.” 

The family wanted to celebrate the fifteen years they’ve spent with Luna by their side by spoiling her with all the treats.

Fifteen years of prowling on this earth is definitely a huge milestone for a kitty, who by this point has a loving and very deep connection with her family and has chosen her allies and human slaves. So we’re not surprised that the family organized a well-deserved pachanga for their little pet: her very own quinceañera.

And no, we’re not exaggerating by saying that they threw the cat a whole quince party, it was a real Mexican-style fiesta celebrating Luna’s womanhood…or cathood if you will. For those of you who might be living under a rock and are not aware of what a quinceañera party is; well it’s only the most important party a Latina girl can get. Traditionally, when a girl turns fifteen it is believed that she has reached woomanhood and so her family throws a party to say goodbye to the little girl and introduce her to society as a woman.

Mom came up with the idea, and she even ordered a quinceañera dress for the birthday girl.

It was all Olavarria’s mom’s idea. She first came up with the idea on Luna’s fourteenth birthday, and began working on plans for the party a whole week in advance. There would be food, a cake, decorations, a guest list and of course a special dress (and matching crown) for the birthday girl. 

That day, like every other, Luna was the queen of the house, only this time it was evident —note the outfit. “My mom found the dress on Amazon,” Olavarria said. “I totally thought my mom was joking when she said she was going to order a dress for her, but my mom never jokes about our pets.”

Luna was set at the head of the table and enjoyed her own cake.

On the big day, Luna’s family put her in her fancy dress and sat her at the head of the table to celebrate the wonderful fifteen years they’ve spent together. The room was decked out with pink tablecloth, balloons and flower arrangements. The celebration even included a little cake with tiny dolls matching Luna’s outfit. There was a huge feast with special cat treats that she probably only ever gets on very special occasions. 

There was a guestlist, an assortment of treats, lots of decorations and a ‘tres leches’ cake.

There was a total of 12 guests, family members and friends were all in attendance, and the party went on for three hours. They all enjoyed the company with lots of food and a traditional ‘tres leches’ cake. It seems like the kitty really enjoyed her party. She licked her whiskers and ate everything that was set in front of her. Her humans didn’t let any detail slide. “She was such a good sport through the whole thing that we think she actually knew we were celebrating her,” Olavarria said “She loved it even more when we opened up a nice can of tuna for her.” 

All we can hope for is that someday someone will love us as much as this family loves their Luna.

A Latina Threw A ‘Coco’ Themed Party For Her Quinceañera And It’s The Cutest Thing Ever

Culture

A Latina Threw A ‘Coco’ Themed Party For Her Quinceañera And It’s The Cutest Thing Ever

@rc_olivas / Amazon

It’s an understatement to say that the beloved Disney movie “Coco” has inspired a generation. Not only do the themes of family and acceptance resonate across all age groups, but the movie’s vibrant colors and catchy musical numbers make it the perfect movie to entertain the whole family. As well all know, the film was created as sort of a love letter to Mexico and Mexican culture. 

In some Latinx families, watching it has become a sort of tradition. 

Many “Coco” fans will tell you that the movie isn’t just a movie–it’s a way of life. 

Pixar

The movie has obviously hit a chord with the younger set, inspiring endless amounts of musical covers, artwork, and blog posts. And of course, the movie has also become a huge hit in the theme-party racket. A simple Pinterest search will turn up dozens of photos of children’s’ birthday parties inspired by the hit Disney musical. When it comes to throwing a “Coco”-themed party, the artistic possibilities are endless!

But the most recent act reverence for the acclaimed film may be the most exciting one yet.

While many Latinas have quinceañeras that end up being more of their mother’s vision than their own, it looks like one lucky Latina got to take the reigns on her special day.  Recently on Twitter, a super-fan shared pictures with the film’s director of  a “Coco”-themed quinceañera. The party was complete with calacas, candy, and ofrendas–all of which brought to mind specific parts of the movie.

via @rc_olivas/Twitter

The birthday girl’s cousin shared the pictures to Twitter tagging the film’s director Lee Unkrich and asking Unrich if he liked it. Olivas shared four photos (although we would love to see more), of different parts of the party’s decor.

Needless to say, the pictures are a sight to behold.

It’s obvious from how intricate the decorations are that someone put in an incredible amount of work. We all know that many Latinx families spare no expense when they’re throwing a Quinceañera, but the amount of effort put into this one may just take the cake.

Just look at this beautiful “Coco”-themed ofrenda:

via @rc_olivas/Twitter

If you look closely, you can see that one ofrenda has pictures of what are (presumably) family members that have passed. But on another ofrenda, the people in the photos are all characters from the movie. 

So much thought was put into the fictional ofrendas that the only characters displayed are ones that Miguel meets in the afterlife:

via @rc_olivas/Twitter

As you can see in the display, great-grandma Coco sits in the middle. Then, there are Tío Oscar and Tío Felipe in the background, and Tía Rosita on the left. And of course, we couldn’t forget the infamous torn photo of Miguel’s great-grandfather, Hector, on the right. It looks like this family didn’t leave anyone out!

And of course, it wouldn’t be a “Coco” without Miguel’s guitar being featured prominently on one display:

via @rc_olivas/Twitter

You can truly tell that this quinceañera’s decorations were a labor of love. The amount of detail that was paid attention to is inspiring. We wish this movie had been around when we turned fifteen!

And of course, the true piece de resistance was the cake, that has the signature “Coco”lettering emblazoned on the top:

via @rc_olivas/Twitter

We can just imagine all of the photos the birthday girl was forced to take standing in front of this. And although we know that it’s a tradition in many families, we don’t want to imagine this cake being destroyed at all! It’s truly a work of art.

As for the director, he responded to Olivas’s tweet with the perfect response:

Unkrich must be proud to know that they movie he helped create is helping Latinos truly celebrate their own culture. Latinas from generations past have not been lucky enough to have movies that starred Latinx characters with a well-rounded identity. In the past, Latinos have been sidled with watching stereotypical renditions of themselves onscreen from drug-dealers to “Mexican Spitfires”. “Coco” puts all of those stereotypes aside and simply tells a story where Latinos are shown for their humanity.

It’s moments like this prove that the movie “Coco” is more than just another children’s movie–it’s a piece of art that has touched people’s lives. This further proves that seeing art that reflects you and your culture is so important. Not only does it make  you feel seen in the world, but it can make you appreciate your culture so much more. This is especially true for marginalized groups.