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.

All Of The Times Latinos Turned Up For People In 2019

Things That Matter

All Of The Times Latinos Turned Up For People In 2019

@RGANDARILLA99 / Twitter

In our busy and complicated world, we sometimes need to pause and remind ourselves of all the good that humanity is capable of. To make it easier, we’ve gathered ten examples of sincere acts of kindness—some great, some small—to warm your heart and inspire even more compassion this holiday season (and into the next decade, too!).

An elote street vendor in California needed an upgrade and a bunch of people sent him money to support his business.

Credit: Angie Banks/Daily Nexus 

Hijinio Camacho, a vendor who used to set up his cart on the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) campus, posted a sign with his Venmo username so students could pay for their elotes and raspados electronically. A photo of him went viral, and after UCSB prohibited Camacho from selling food on campus in 2017 (his cart didn’t comply with its Environmental Health and Safety policies) people around the world started sending him donations to support his goal for a new food truck.

Sia went undercover at Walmart and paid for people’s groceries.

The singer, who is known for her elaborate yet anonymous persona (she tends to hide her face behind seriously edgy hairstyles), did not reveal her identity, claiming that her name was Cici and she had just won the lottery.

Mystery Kid covered people’s parking costs during last year’s holiday season:

Mystery Kid is the real hero in these streets.

London Heathrow Airport surprised U.S. passengers with pumpkin pies when their baggage was lost on Thanksgiving.

Credit: Heathrow Airport

The UK doesn’t even celebrate Thanksgiving (obvs), yet these attendants still stood by to help brighten what might have been a real bummer for U.S. travelers.

A retired subway conductor was so touched by an immigrant college student’s story that he donated thousands of dollars to help fund her tuition.

Credit: James Keivom/New York Daily News

Luis Hernandez was deeply moved by Angy Rivera’s story. As an undocumented college student, Rivera did not qualify for financial aid, so she offered to exchange handmade bracelets for a donation to her college fund. Each bracelet cost $5, and Hernandez pledged much more than that—in one fell swoop, he paid off the entire $2,500 bill.

Sesame Workshop and International Rescue Committee launched an Arabic version of Sesame Street for refugee children.

Sesame Street came to the Arabic-speaking world back in 2015, after a 25-year hiatus. But this year, the program has centered its focus on engaging with refugee children affected by the Syrian Civil War and other conflicts in the region. Titled Ahlan Simsim, the program seeks to represent refugee children and provide them with the education that violence and upheaval has taken from them. The new program will be broadcast throughout the Arabic-speaking world in early 2020.

An entire town in Colorado housed 700 stranded travelers in the midst of a crazy snowstorm.

Credit: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post

Fairplay, a town of just 762 people, sheltered more than 700 travelers over the course of a very stormy weekend. When volunteer shelters—then, later, hotels—filled up, hotel managers let travelers sleep in lobbies and hallways, providing them with hot beverages and extra pillows and blankets.

Two construction workers found a misplaced wallet from 1957—and returned it to the owner’s grandchildren.

Credit: Getty Images

Two construction workers were removing the sink in an office bathroom when they found an old wallet tucked between the sink and the wall. In it was a cardboard Sears credit card, a paper driver’s license, trading stamps, a note reminding the owner to “wear dress or suit and heels,” and a $107.37 paycheck for a month of nursing work. By the time it was found, the wallet’s owner had been dead for nearly a year. It was ultimately returned to her grandchildren, who got an unexpected and intimate glimpse into their late grandmother’s life as a young woman.

This grandmotherly lady offered runners a handful of moral support.

There’s nothing like a high five from a sweet abuelita when you’re dying from an excess of cardio.

Tyler Perry paid the medical and travel bills of an American couple stranded in a Mexican hospital.

Credit: Tori Austin/Facebook

When a couple went on a Mexican cruise and one of them fell severely ill, they were faced with a $14,000 medical bill. The hospital would not let the couple leave without paying their fees in full, and when he got wind of their situation, film mogul Tyler Perry took immediate action to help them out. Not only did he pay their medical bill—he also paid to get them back home to Atlanta.

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.