There’s several reasons why 15 year olds never have a quinceañera. They might not be into the whole big dress and chambelan thing, they might not have the money for a huge party, or the timing is not right. But just because you didn’t have a quinceañera at 15 doesn’t mean you can’t have a quinceañera ever again.
Lorena Del Carmen Navarro celebrated her 45th birthday with a huge quinceañera for herself.
“She has been dreaming about a quince since she was a young girl, but never got the chance to have one simply because she knew her parents couldn’t afford one,” her son Saúl Ramírez said. “She wanted to have one when she turned thirty but due to being in bed-rest while being pregnant with her second child, she couldn’t. Eventually, about three years ago, she decided to have the party at age 45.”
Her quinceañera was truly spectacular and very unique to how she wanted to celebrate.
Her party include a special dance with her husband to her favorite song, “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran. Most quinceañera traditions includes parents giving their daughter her “ultima muñeca” — the last doll which signifies her transformation from child to adult. But Saúl said that instead of a doll she received her first walker! And rather than cake, guests were given Lorena’s favorite dessert, donuts from Krispy Kreme.
She also had five chambelans instead of one.
“She had a main chambelan which was my dad, her husband and four others as well as their wives — her two sisters, best friend, and cousin — as the damas. So she had a full honor court,” Saúl said.
Lorena’s quince wasn’t just a party, however. She also had a Catholic quince mass that included padrinos and madrinas.
Her son Saúl also serenaded her with an original song he wrote just for her.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
There seems to be no end to the horrifying stories we’ve been hearing that illustrate the fallout of the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy one which has been the hallmark of his presidency since he took office. Among the headlines that describe the effects of the immigration policy are those highlighting the sub-human conditions at the migrant-holding facilities at the border, or the those telling the terrifying stories of students being taken into ICE custody right before their high school graduation.
And the sad news doesn’t stop there.
Recently, a Latina’s Twitter post went viral when she shared the story of her niece being forced to dance el valz at her Quinceañera with her brother after her father was “taken” by immigration.
so my uncle which is her dad ,was taken by immigration a week before her 15 and sadly he wasn’t able to be there.Her brother had to take his place in the father / daughter dance. It just broke my heart🥺💔 pic.twitter.com/c6u3jSCHoW
Twitter user @prisesaks took to Twitter on Monday to share a video of her young cousin dancing what is traditionally the father-daughter dance while holding her brother and crying. “So my uncle which is her dad was taken by immigration a week before her 15 and sadly he wasn’t able to be there,” @prisesaks said. “Her brother had to take his place in the father/daughter dance. It just broke my heart”.
The heart-tugging video shows the 15-year-old girl holding her brother while slow dancing with him. Her hand covers her mouth as she tries to hold back sobs. Her brother also looks visibly emotional.
The video and Tweet quickly went viral, racking up almost 3.5 million views, over 60,000 retweets, and almost 1,500 comments.
no one is illegal on stolen land. no one is illegal on stolen land. no one is illegal on stolen land. no one is illegal on stolen land. no one is illegal on stolen land. no one is illegal on stolen land. no one is illegal on stolen land. no one is illegal on stolen land.
The traditional father/daughter dance at a Quinceañera is one of the most important parts of the birthday celebration and also a moment that many young Latinas look back on as a defining moment of transition from youth to adulthood. The fact that this Latina’s father could not be there to celebrate it with her is understandably upsetting for many people.
Twitter users responded to the video with a spectrum of emotions ranging from pity to outrage.
It’s understandable that such an emotionally-charged video can bring up a lot of feelings in people. Quinceañeras are supposed to be a day of celebration–a time in a Latina’s life when she gets to be “Queen for a Day” and she officially begins the transition from a child to a young woman. Unfortunately, this young woman’s entry into adulthood was much sadder than she had anticipated.
This Twitter user brought up a valid point about the difference between flashy headlines and the fact that people’s lives are actually being affected:
With all of the political tactics and clickbait articles that go around online, it’s easy to forget that there are humans beings involved in the immigration debate.
This Latina was heartbroken over the separation of a family:
After hearing stories of the appalling behavior of border control agents mocking migrant deaths and making fun of their pain, it’s easy to feel jaded towards immigration officials.
This Latina gave props to where props were due for the younger brother for stepping up for his sister:
The burden of family separation should not have to be placed on the shoulders of young ones.
Even the birthday girl’s older sister took to Twitter to express her appreciation that their story was being told:
Although their family’s situation is a tragedy, it’s a blessing that they have a platform to educate the world on the everyday realities of family separation.
This man educated the public on how important the father/daughter dance is to many young Latinas:
We can’t imagine how the young girl was feeling at the moment.
The video is just more evidence of how Trump’s policy of family separation has a real, lasting impact on Latino families. While statistics and news article tell a part of the story, the numbers and abstract policy discussion don’t illustrate the full picture like these small, intimate glimpses into the lives of Latinx families whose lives are forever changed by the Trump administration. Moments like these are formative in young adults’ lives, and this girl will forever have to look back on what was supposed to be a special day with bittersweet feelings.
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