Culture

Latinos Just Don’t Do Anything Basic And These Over The Top Quince Centerpieces Prove It

Fiesta Party Shop And Rental / Facebook

We Latinos aren’t the most subtle or tame when it comes to major life milestones. A standard quinceañera is the perfect place to understand that we just don’t do anything basic. Here are 25 quince centerpieces that show just how far we go to celebrate a milestone.

1. You’ve definitely seen a centerpiece like this.

CREDIT: Andrea Ojeda / Facebook

They definitely want you to know that their daughter is going to be a star. In case you weren’t sure who she was, they made sure to include a photo of their daughter on every centerpiece.

2. There is always that one quince where “15” is plastered everywhere.

CREDIT: Bodas Y Eventos CSR / Facebook

Sometimes people get confused when it comes to a quince. How old are they? Is this a birthday party? Some people have so many questions. Good thing we brought the giant “15” sign to let them know that this is a young lady’s 15th birthday party.

3. Dolls galore.

CREDIT: Carolins Princess Dresses / Facebook

Just using numbers on the centerpiece can come off as tacky. Luckily, there are dolls in carriage tops to really elevate your quince centerpiece. Plus, it looks really good if you have a doll on every table because they aren’t the cheapest.

4. Flowers on heels is always eye catching.

CREDIT: Dianna Garcia / Facebook

Nothing says “I made it” like shoe centerpieces. They are some of the easiest centerpiece to make because you can just get a bunch of shoes from the thrift store, cover them in glitter and add some flowers. BOOM! Classy af centerpiece.

5. Candelabras are still alive and well at quince celebrations.

CREDIT: Dreamy Parties / Facebook

Chances are there won’t be any candles in the candelabra because you don’t want to ruin the centerpiece with wax. Instead, you have to come up with a way to hang things off of the candelabra that will really make a statement, like crystals.

6. One word: Balloons!

CREDIT: Everyday Is A Fiesta / Facebook

Balloons are always a good material to use to make a centerpiece that makes a mark. Balloons are fun and colorful ways to get someone’s attention without spending a lot of money. Good thing is you can use any color you can find.

7. Lights and water make for a great centerpiece.

CREDIT: Felicia Muniz Madrid / facebook

If you want to make a really dramatic reveal of the birthday girl, this will allow for you to keep the lights off while everyone finds their seat. Then, when she makes the entrance, the lights go up and there she is.

8. Let them know that her future is very bright.

CREDIT: Fiesta Party Shop And Rental / Facebook

Imagine lighting all of these candles on every table. Yeah. That’s never going to happen. You don’t want to ruin all of the little bows and how is your abuela going to be able to keep it if you burn it?

9. A favorite animal is always a good place to start.

CREDIT: Irma Cortez / Facebook

Anything the quinceañera wants, the quinceañera gets. Nothing is too much for the young woman on her special day. She’ll probably even get brought to her quince on horse back.

10. Miniature dresses for the flowers is a nice touch.

CREDIT: Josy’s Creations / Facebook

While everyone else is wearing some basic dresses and suits, the quinceañera is always going to shine. Having all of her centerpieces match her is definitely going to make her shine more. Basically, she will be seen as a trend setter.

11. The more elements you can include the better.

CREDIT: Kelly Gutierrez / Facebook

As you can see, here we have a doll framed with a giant feather and some well place tulle. Of course, there has to be something that is unexpected so some zebra print ribbon is definitely the way to go.

12. Did we already mention the love of stars?

CREDIT: Leah’s Party Decor / Facebook

Once again we are seeing the use of a star to show just how amazing the quinceañera is. She is a star. She is the best. She is the reason everyone is here tonight so you need to show her love.

13. “Wicked” reimagined as a centerpiece.

CREDIT: Magnolia Event Center / Facebook

We aren’t sure if “wicked” was the inspiration for this centerpiece but it is really easy to see how the two could be from the same thought. The black and the green definitely give you the vibe of the incredible Broadway show.  It isn’t just the centerpieces that are outrages. Here’s a look at some over-the-top quinceañera photoshoots.

14. Neon is never to be overlooked.

CREDIT: Manitas Creativas / Facebook

You don’t even have to light these things to see them shine. If you ever lose power in your home for whatever reason, you’ll be happy to have these stashed away in one of your drawers.

15. Vases with flowers inside will wow any crowd.

CREDIT: Posh Parties / Facebook

They don’t have to be real flowers. That’s a little pro tip for all of you out there. Some nice satin flowers inside the vase will draw the guest’s eye to the centerpiece.

16. It’s never wrong to block someone’s view with the centerpiece.

CREDIT: Quinceanera.com / Facebook

Now, you might think that making a centerpiece that obstructs someone’s view is annoying, but it is not a faux pas move. This will get people up on their feet to watch the dance and really get into it.

17. Give them something they can wear later.

CREDIT: Raquel’s Party Decorations / Facebook

First, let’s go ahead a celebrate this young man’s quince. Second, how great is it to get a hat when you enter a room? There is never a wrong time to give people hats. As long as the sun is shining, people will need to cover their eyes.

18. Halloween costumes for the frugal partygoer.

CREDIT: Saieda The Party Store / Facebook

If your quince is close to Halloween, give the guests a party favor to wear on the special night. Plus, it’ll be pretty cool to see an army of your quince guests take over social media to remind you of your wonderful night.

19. If dolls are too simple, why not stuffed animals.

CREDIT: St. Wen / Facebook

A nice teddy bear will go a long way. Everyone needs a teddy bear whether to put on their own bed or to give to someone else as a gift. But, if we are bing honest, we know that the bear will stay in the balloon until the air leaks out and it is preserved forever.

20. Sometimes you just have to use giant pillars of light.

CREDIT: Subsonic Event DJs / Facebook

Lighting is the most important part of getting a quince going. You don’t want any photos of the honoree in a bad light. The best way to make things work out for the quinceañera is to make sure that there is always ample lighting at the table.

21. The faux shoe is a money saver and super stylish.

CREDIT: TB Gitrigueros / Facebook

The benefit of this is that you make the party look super stylish and you save money. Just add glitter, plastic pearls and a mirror and it is suddenly the fanciest centerpiece ever.

22. Once again, all the tulle that didn’t make the dress goes to the centerpiece.

CREDIT: Vestidos De 15 / Facebook

This really serves two purposes. One, you get to save money on reusing a material you have extra of. Two, it makes for a great theme since you know the colors will perfectly match the dress.

23. Disney inspo for the centerpiece is appreciated.

CREDIT: Vestidos De 15 / Facebook

She might be turning into a young woman but she is still only 15. Why not give her a little bit of nostalgia on her big day. Maybe her favorite movie is “Beauty and the Beast” and, if so, this centerpiece is perfect.

24. A literal carriage.

CREDIT: Vivian’s Formal Wear / Facebook

Show your princess that she is an actual princess. There are probably places you can go to get dolls made to look like your quince for the special day. Bonus points if the quince actually arrives in the same carriage irl.

25. Shining bright like a diamond.

CREDIT: VL Designs / Facebook

Because Rihanna is not the only woman that shines like a diamond.

Deanna From “Queer Eye” Was Harassed By Neighbors Who Told Her “The Mexicans Are Building Their Own Wall” But The Fab Five Helped Her Overcome Giving Us Another Reason To Love Them

Entertainment

Deanna From “Queer Eye” Was Harassed By Neighbors Who Told Her “The Mexicans Are Building Their Own Wall” But The Fab Five Helped Her Overcome Giving Us Another Reason To Love Them

Netflix

Netflix’s reboot of Queer Eye, featuring the Fab Five, has become a staple of America’s collective therapy. In the days since the fourth season has dropped, we’re all feeling more in touch with our feelings, but never have we been so attacked as when we met Chicana Deanna Muñoz. 

Deanna is a proud second generation Mexican-American who struggles with being “stuck” between two cultures. She doesn’t speak Spanish and can’t cook, making her feel like she’s “not Mexican enough”, and racism felt by her white neighbors makes her feel like she’s “not white enough.” Needless to say, that experience is so relatable for most of us second-generation Latino-Americans.

Meet Deanna Muñoz in all her J.Lo glory.

Credit: @annimal26 / Twitter

In fact, we call it brujería. Deanna had her first child when she was just 16 years old, and had to drop out of school. As her daughter started pouring her heart into creative writing, she wanted to find her a tutor. With none to be found, she founded the Latino Arts Festival non-profit foundation, to showcase and cultivate Latino culture in Kansas City.

We’re giving Queer Eye a 10/10 for shining a light on cultural Imposter Syndrome within the Latinx community.

Credit: @Imitate_this / Twitter

Why did Queer Eye do such a good job of this? They created space for Deanna, an actual Chicana, to share her experience to America. So many of us have faced the surprise of both Latinos and non-Latinos alike when we answer that “what are you?” question. In a place like the U.S., where we often come from mixed-culture families, seeing the emotional effects played out on screen is validating AF.

Karamo Brown took Deanna door to door to find neighbors that can counter the racism she experienced by other vecinos.

Credit: Netflix

Deanna’s family had to build a mini wall to reinforce water drainage on their yard, and a neighbor texted her husband saying, “The Mexicans are building their own wall.” 😡

Deanna’s family immediately felt uncomfortable in their own neighborhood. Our favorite Cubano, Karamo, made sure that Deanna went where the love is–and had her create her own welcome to the ‘hood.

And sons and daughters of immigrant parents everywhere sobbed to see the sacrifice.

Credit: @iiiitsandrea / Twitter

Deanna’s parents immigrated to the U.S. to give Deanna a better life. So many of our parents or abuelos left their culture and language behind to give their children a new start in life. Seeing Deanna get that is what it’s all about. #NoWall

Meanwhile, Bobbi created a safe space for Latino artists in Kansas City by gifting Deanna an office space.

Credit: Netflix

Deanna was working out of a tiny space in her home, with the third annual Latino Arts Festival upon her. Bobbi was able to create a studio space for Latinx artists, and made sure that Latinx artists influenced the design of the space. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

There was also this Latino lesson: never reject abuela’s food. She’ll bring it to you anyway.

Credit: Netflix

Twitter user Pamela Gocobachi shared, that “one of my fave moments from the new #QueerEye season was in  Deanna’s episode when @antoni learned the hard way that you never say no when abuelita asks you if you want to eat something– Martha’s face when he said “later”? Antoni’s face when she brought him food anyway? I DIED”

If you don’t speak Spanish but could relate to Deanna’s struggle to ask for help or take up any space at all, you inherited that from Latino culture.

Credit: @ccsaystoomuch / Twitter

Not one of us would question Deanna’s Latinidad, but we internalize so much shame for not living like we grew up in a Latin American country. Language and food are just two ways to define culture. 

Deanna relatably felt intimidated to be in the kitchen with the viejas.. Deanna felt like her Latin style was seen as “childish” in her board meetings and had trouble being taken seriously. These are the Latino-American experiences we have all experienced and they make us Latino.

If you’re feeling inspired, be like Chloe, and donate to the Latino Arts Foundation!

Credit: @festiefood / Twitter

It doesn’t matter if you don’t speak Spanish and couldn’t roast a poblano for your life–your Latinidad is bigger than that. It’s everything that gives us the birthright to claim that identity, especially in a foreign land. Whether your culture looks like the art of cafecito or appreciating Bad Bunny even though you don’t understand every word he’s saying, somos Latino.

What we do to celebrate that is what we pass on to the next generation. Donate to the Latino Arts Foundation hoy.

Puerto Rican Women Are Finding It Difficult To Access Abortion Related Health Care Putting Their Health At Risk

Things That Matter

Puerto Rican Women Are Finding It Difficult To Access Abortion Related Health Care Putting Their Health At Risk

piladeamor / Instagram

For those of you who may have been living under a rock, or just genuinely can’t keep up with the news now that there’s usually a new catastrophe or political gaffe from the Trump administration on a daily basis, it’s probably a good idea to recap what happened around Hurricane Maria.

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, devastating the region and sparking an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. While recovery efforts have been in the works, abortion care has been largely ignored by authorities, leading to another set of problems that need to be addressed before Puerto Rico can really say that it’s moved on from the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Granted: there’s so much more to consider than just simply boosting abortion facilities in Puerto Rico.

According to a 2008 study in the Journal of Population Economics, birth rates increase in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Credit: kylleermell / Instagram

Let’s face it, anyone put in the same position would agree: if there’s no access to power, no way of really going anywhere, and there are zero things to do otherwise … you’re gonna have sex. Even though the world is pretty much falling apart around you! Part of the risks of this behavior, beyond focusing on bonking rather than safety awareness during a natural disaster, is the fact that condoms and other contraceptives aren’t necessarily readily accessible in this time. It means that if you’re not intending on getting pregnant, then this situation could put you in perilous circumstances.

The lack of regional resources after a natural disaster is not only hard af for new families – it’s also hard on people who are seeking ways to terminate their pregnancy. Where Puerto Rico is concerned, of the six abortion clinics on the main island, only one was in operation in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. However, it took nine days for that single clinic to get its doors open again. And from there, the damage from the cataclysmic storms meant that the centre didn’t have two air conditioning units or its heating system, and it had to run on a generator for three months. Because power was so expensive at this time, it meant that the clinic also had to cut its hours of operation. And if you think this is bad – that’s just the trials and tribulations of one clinic. Imagine the difficulty in trying to get others open.

Sure, there’s a problem. But aren’t there more important things to deal with in Puerto Rico, first?

Credit: cunyservicecorps / Instagram

Recovery from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico has been mighty slow. In fact, it took an entire year for power to be restored to the region. Poor sanitation in the area led to the spread of water-borne sicknesses, while spoiled food and contaminated drinking water also harmed the population. Pests and bugs further caused havoc and spread disease, in addition to mold and mildew. Not to mention the fact that cleanup activities also introduced further hazards to locals, and opened the potential for further injury and infections. Natural disasters are associated with a decline in the mental health of a population, too, meaning that psychological services are in dire need in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. 

At this point, you’re probably thinking, ‘why are we worried about access to abortion care when there are so many other, more urgent, things to think about’? And sure, you’re not entirely wrong. But the reality is that access to healthcare services in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria is crucial for reducing further loss of human life. And that healthcare must be holistic. Because while healthcare is great for recovery from injuries and treating disease, these are reactive measures to the issue at hand. Family planning and abortion care fall into the category of preventative measures, to ensure that the unintended pregnancies don’t place further stress on very limited services and resources.

The issues we’re seeing now are part of bigger, systemic problems that must be addressed for Puerto Rico’s wellbeing.

Credit: aaron.fernandes476 / Instagram

As an unincorporated territory of the US, it stands to reason that Puerto Rico should have received considerable support from Washington DC. While no-one could forget the classic shot of Donald Trump basketball-shooting paper towels into a crowd of disaster-stricken Puerto Ricans, it’s been argued that the region was, overall, lacking in support and attention from the administration. And this criticism wasn’t a new thing. Puerto Rico’s been dealing with the Zika epidemic, which affected 1 in 7 newborns between 2016 and 2018, while also contending with the shutdown of 66 of 69 major hospitals in the region due to Hurricane Maria. It also has the highest poverty rate over any US state, while also getting less money and resource from the federal government for health programs. Yikes.

This raises questions around Puerto Rico’s representation in Washington: as it is not a state, it doesn’t have a vote in Congress. And, it only has one non-voting member of the House, known as a Resident Commissioner. Who knows what kind of improvements in assistance could have been made for Puerto Rico, if it had the right kind of political representation?

Beyond the federal level, Puerto Rico must also contend with the rise of conservatism.

Credit: senadora_naydavenegasbrownp / Instgram

Pushback against access to family planning services, which largely draws from pervasive religious doctrine, has risen in recent years. For example, 2018 saw a really aggressive attempts to restrict abortion access in Puerto Rico. While the Senator responsible for the bill, Nayda Venegas Brown, eventually pulled it from consideration, it was designed to institute a mandatory 48-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions, parental consent for minors, and a ban on the procedure outright after 20 weeks gestation. And sure, while these may seem like pretty common laws for those living on mainland US, these kinds of restrictions are basically unheard of in Puerto Rico.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, these kinds of limitations would add even more complexity to unwanted pregnancies in Puerto Rico. For example, without access to appropriate healthcare services, people may not have even known about their pregnancy until much later in their gestational cycle. Another thing to consider is that, should there be complications in the pregnancy, women may have their lives further jeopardized by restrictions on performing abortions. And, minors who may not be in contact with their parents would then become dependent on those same parents to access an abortion. Indeed, it is fortunate that Puerto Ricans were not subject to such blanket laws – particularly while they’re still dealing with the repercussions of Hurricane Maria.

So, for those of you sitting at home wondering what you can do about the predicament facing Puerto Rico, you’ve got a few options. It’s worth investigating charities in your local area that are dedicated towards providing support to Puerto Rico. Voting for candidates in the 2020 elections that have proposed policies to support Puerto Rico is also crucial. Additionally, improving awareness about women’s rights by sharing accurate information on social media – like this piece – can help break down the stigma around family planning.

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