After being postponed due to a minor chickenpox epidemic La Hija de la Muchacha had her quinceañera last night. There was a Mass of Thanksgiving, in the pretty little chapel that belongs to the Hacienda de Itzincab (I can’t remember the rest of the name).
Here she is just arriving from the beauty parlor. That’s Husband looking on.

This is her all dressed up and peeking into the church to see who all is inside.
This is La Muchacha and her inlaws, Doña Julia and Don Wiliam. La Muchacha has on the jewelry that I made her.
Here is La Hija and her escorts during one of the traditional dances. The boys are on their knees and she goes to them one by one and dances with each one.
It was a nice party but like many parties here didn´t even get going until after 11pm. There was a toast by La Hija´s godparents and then a traditional waltz. She danced with all her male relatives and then any young man who wanted to got to dance with her. It was all very pretty.
We left after the dance, so La Muchacha made sure that we had a plate of food to take home, the cena (dinner) probably got served at midnight and who knows when the party finally broke up.
Overall, I think it was a lovely party and I wish that I had taken more photos.

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. Joanna,
    Wow,this post is from 2008. She’s married now and pregnant with her 2nd child!

    I think that some things like quinces make sense in this culture. I like the idea as long as people don’t go into debt.


  2. Hi Theresa, a comment on Jackie mentioning Julia Alvarez. She wrote 2 of my all time favorite books “How the Gracia Girls Lost Their Accents” and “In Time of Butterflies” I have not seen her book about Quinceñeras but I will search it out. I too used to be negative towards the whole Idea but like Ms. Alvarez, I have softened.

  3. Sandye,I haven’t been to a wedding here but I have been to a Mexican wedding when I was in California and it was quite an affair complete with champagne fountain.
    I wish that I was a napper, it makes so much sense in this climate.

  4. Sandye in Kansas

    Wow, your last picture looks like a wedding reception…very pretty decorations. The girl and the dress are both lovely!
    Do they spend as much time, effort, and money on weddings? Or are the weddings even fancier?
    I like the party hours SOB, as I also take naps and then stay up until 2:00-3:00 a.m.

  5. Michele, La Muchacha and I had discussed some of the extremes she had heard of people going to for the quince. She said that for her other 2 daughters they had a Mass and a block party, the only reason that this party was a bigger deal was because so many other people helped out.
    It’s interesting that everyone has heard of the extremes but no one knows about it for sure, could this be similar to stories of people going into debt for weddings?

  6. I was at a birthday party the other day (which, FYI, lasted for 6 f-ing hours) and a woman told me that she has heard stories of families selling their homes to pay for their daughter’s quinceanera. She reported that the poorer the family, the more importance placed on this event.
    When I grew up we “came out” at our “cotillion”. I remember just dreading that day. Damned long gloves. Damned waltz. Damned curtsy. Thank god for the cocktails.

  7. Sandy, I love that aspect of it, the potluck. One person supplied the rice, another the turkey, a third the cake, so on and so forth. It feels like a community that way.

  8. Hey,
    About the cost….it cant be too bad because the families are nowhere near wealthy. Up here rental halls are fairly cheap, the food is somewhat potluck, dancing , music, I think all the families(patrons) chip in. They still do them individually. I like the formality of it all, too.

  9. Hi Jackie, I like the idea that the author was open to changing her ideas after doing investigation. I am also impressed with her honesty in admitting it, since she could have just rewritten it without admitting her change of viewpoint.
    Thanks for dropping by.

  10. Once Upon a Quinceanera: Coming of Age in the USA by Julia Alvarez was a very interesting book. Alvarez starts out being very biased against Quinces but softens some after her yearlong research. Alvarez interviewed the young girls, their families, quinces party planners, photographers and dress providers. Different Latin American countries have different traditions for celebrating this event.

  11. Hi Sandy! Do they have the group the quinces or do they do individual ones? I think it is stressful and fun all at the same time. It must cost an incredible amount of money to do one in California!

  12. theresa,
    We still have many Quinces in this area, from our Mexican immigrants. They say their patrones pay for much of the celebration. I like that. The mass is beautiful and the festivities are very grand. I think the California ones start earlier!
    See ya, Sandy

  13. Heather, I could not figure out how to spell it correctly, and spell check says Quincenaria but Quinceañera looks more correct and makes more sense, so I will be fixing it on my blog. The first time I ever even heard of one, I was 21 and visiting my mother’s cousins in Maimi. I was fascinated.
    Steve, I think you hit the nail on the head, I am not really an observer in the way a really great photographer needs to be. Well, I will just have to live with it, because I don’t think I am going to change much at this late date.

  14. I have always wanted to be invited to a quinceañera…when I lived in Chicago I used to see girls in my neighborhood practicing their dances with their gallant escorts.

  15. I know what you mean about wishing you took more photographs. I have a tendency to get involved in events — and forget all about my camera until I start blogging and realize I wish I had snapped along while watching. There is something about a camera that makes me feel like an observer rather than a participant.

  16. Ron, maybe the school could do a group quincenaria? I think different countries have different traditions and even different traditions within the same country but different socio-economic groups.
    Thanks for sending my blog out to a new reader, maybe he will like what he reads and stay.

  17. I have a colleague.

    He and his wife have an adopted daughter from the Marshall Islands.

    She is a 2nd grader at an Spanish immersion elementary school in the US Northwest. I have told him he will have to spring for such a celebration :).

    I will send him the link to this story. Good work Theresa!!

  18. Fned! so did you make up for it when you got married?
    Trixie, the amount of money depends upon the people having the party. Originally, La Muchacha was going to have a block party, but La Hija saved up her own money to rent the sala de fiesta. While the dress looks like it was made just for her,it’s her cousin’s. A whole bunch of people donated stuff for the party as a present to her. One aunt paid the hairstylist.Someone else bought the cake etc. We paid for a couple of things.

  19. Welcome to my blog elsuenoamericano? are you the American dream or the American sound? sueno translates to sound, sueño means dream.
    If you live here you get used to the schedule.It makes sense when it´s hot and also if people are working until 7pm, no one would want to go to a party in their work clothes.
    Thanks for dropping by.

  20. She looks lovely. I’ve heard that lots of money is spent on “Quincenaria’s.” Now I know why the “siesta” is important!!

  21. ahhhhh!!! It reminds me when I was 15 and all my girlfriends were having their quinceañeras (I refused to even consider doing a quinceañera because I was going through a rebellious phase at the time, but I don’t think my parents minded very much they’re not big party goes ;))

    She looks lovely.

  22. What a beautiful Quincenera! 🙂 LoL, I think I’d go crazy at a party that didn’t get going until 11pm. Very nice pics.

  23. Welcome mx-susan, we know about Mexican parties, we’ve been invited to little kids birthday parties that start at 9pm. Husband takes a nap every day, and we had coffee at 6pm, but even then midnight is late enough for us to be out. At Christmas one year we stumbled home at 4am. Thanks for the compliments.

  24. I am in La Paz, and have been here for 8 years. We have been invited to many celebrations, wedings, baby showers, grand openings, business events.
    We have learned to have a nap and a snack beforee we head out, who knows when we will eat?
    Nice fotos, nice commentary.

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