Fifteen Years in the Making


Courtesy of Neida Guerrero

Neida Guerrero at her quinceañera

Emily Escobar and Diana Nieto, Staff Writers

A quinceañera is a very important milestone is a Latina’s life. It symbolizes a girl entering womanhood. It also marks the point of a girl’s maturity.

To celebrate this birthday, families throw parties called “quinceañeras.” It is similar to a “sweet 16” but a quinceañera tradition has older roots and religious implications. 

Before the party,  a ceremony is held at the church where the quiceañera carries a bouquet of flowers in name of the Virgin Guadalupe.

One of the quinceañera traditions is a “la ultima muñeca” or the last doll, which is a small replica of the quinceañera, all the way down to clothing, dress and hair.   It represents her last toy.  To symbolize the transition into womanhood, the quinceañera receives a new pair of heels from her father. 

Dances follow including the waltz, a surprise dance and a dance with the father.

“Planning a quinceañera is pretty stressful, but in the end, it will be one of the best moments,” said Neida Guerrero, a THS senior who celebrated her quinceañera a couple of years ago.  

It took Guerrero seven to eight months to plan the party, which took place at the Telluride Conference Center. She said her favorite part was the dancing and they decided to go with a Mexico culture themed party. 

Guerrero said she invited about 300 people

“Plan early to make sure it’s the way you want it,” she said.