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Quinceañera Reunites With Her Brother’s Heart For The First Time In 10 Years

“Yes, he’s definitely still in there.”

The only thing Monique Salinas wanted for her quinceañera was for her brother Mikey to be present. Unfortunately, Mikey had passed away 10 years before in a car crash. Still, Monique’s mother Melissa Hernandez, was able to surprise her daughter with a part of Mikey – his heart. After he passed, Aubrey Reeves received Mikey’s heart and kidneys as a transplant. The 18-year-old drove from Wichita Falls to Benavides, Texas to meet Mikey’s family for the first time.  Thanks to Melissa, her children’s hearts were able to reunite once again.

Learn more about this surprise reunion here.


READ: 7 Quinceañeras Who Didn’t Settle For Basic Themes

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Quinceañera’s Are Getting A Makeover In The Time Of Coronavirus And One Teen Is Celebrating The Change

Culture

Quinceañera’s Are Getting A Makeover In The Time Of Coronavirus And One Teen Is Celebrating The Change

Jimmy Rodriguez

Coronavirus has put the breaks on pretty much everyone’s plans.

I mean, Coachella was postponed. Even the 2020 Olympics, which were supposed to take place in Tokyo this summer, have been postponed. Major family plans like quinceañeras have largely been put on hold as well – for obvious reasons. A quinceañera is usually a large family affair. They’re usually packed with family and friends, sometimes even the whole neighborhood, a church service, and a photoshoot.

So it makes sense for families to have postponed these very special events, since social distancing is proving to be the only truly effective method at combating the spread of the virus. However, one family got creative and celebrated their daughter’s big day.

This San Antonio teen was able to celebrate her big day with friends and family in a safe and fun way.

Like so many teens, Xóchitl had spent months planning her quince with her mom, Kristie. It’s one of the biggest days in many Latina’s young lives.

“Every little Hispanic girl dreams about her quinceañera and her wedding. Those are your two big days in your life,” Rodriguez, 45, from San Antonio, told NBC News.

“Usually, there is a Mass where the priest blesses you as you get ready for your transition, from being a young girl to becoming a woman, which of course we couldn’t do,” Rodriguez said, emotionally, over the phone.

Xóchitl and her mom had already spent hours shopping for the perfect gown and hours more planning her quinceañera before stay-at-home orders hit her hometown of San Antonio. In fact, her family had already organized both a mass and a fun-filled reception.

Then the Coronavirus hit and the family had to get creative.

Credit: Jimmy Rodriguez

San Antonio, like the rest of the country, had to implement strict stay-at-home orders in order to combat the pandemic. This left the Rodriguez family struggling to figure out how to celebrate their daughter’s big day and continuing with the tradition – despite a global health crisis.

It took some creativity and work, but Rodriguez and her husband, Jimmy, surprised Xóchitl on April 21 with a low-key but unforgettable version of her big day: a drive-by quinceañera. Xochitl was able to share it with her closest family and friends – at a safe distance.

Still, there are aspects of the tradition that families miss.

“It was very different, because our culture is very much about physical affection — you know, the hugging, the kissing, the touching — and it was really hard to see them and not be able to touch them,” Rodriguez said, speaking of the relatives and friends who came to cheer Xóchitl on.

Her quinceañera has gone viral thanks to the family’s creativity and perseverance.

Credit: Jimmy Rodriguez

They managed to keep the idea from Xochitl until the big moment came.

“We had blown up the balloons the night before and had kept them in the garage and then kind of made the mad dash to decorate the yard when it was time for her to go outside,” Kristie said.

Then, the family went outside and greeted her socially-distanced guests in her dress and her tiara. Instead of damas and chambelanes, the family pulled out some of Rodriguez’s old dolls and teddy bears and used them for a makeshift honor court – while friends and family sang “Las Mañanitas” from their cars and from the sidewalk.

She says she was completely thrilled to see all of the people she loved making an effort, despite difficulties, to make her feel special.

“I kind of lost hope of having anyone over or having a normal birthday where I can see my family,” she told NBC Latino. “I feel like my mom and my dad really made it special, trying to get the people that were closest to me.”

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.