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Quinceaeras: Celebration of Latino Culture or just another party

That dress is the centerpiece of her quinceanera, a tradition imported by people who have Latin American roots. The event, part coming-of-age ceremony and part birthday party, transcends borders and generations to bring people together and its not just a Hispanic version of a Sweet 16 party.

Generally, family and friends want to help make la quinceaneras day memorable. Veronica had 35 patrons. Its a special day for me. Its when I go from being a little girl to a young lady. A DJ costs, on average, 1,000. A live band, whether mariachi or another regional style band, can cost about 200 an hour for a three-person band. The cost increases with the size of the band, and the distance they must travel. But now that she can for her daughters, shes really enjoyed planning and having them. Veronicas will be her second and her last, because Veronica is the youngest daughter of the five siblings. In June, she spent one week with her mom fervently hunting through dress shops across New Castle County. I even tried to change her colors by showing her different dresses, said her mother, Maria Mendez, 42, in an interview done in Spanish.

My dress was so puffy, Veronica said after her quinceanera. I was trying hard not to step on it during the dancing. At the party, she was surrounded by seven escorts, all friends from school, called chambelanes, who also participated in dance routines and sat with her at the head table.

Choreographers charge about 300 for their services, which include three choreographed dances, practices, a dress rehearsal, and showing up for the party to make sure everything runs smoothly. The price increases with the number of performances requested. She has three brothers. What Maria has done is similar to the traditions in her hometown of Mayanalan, in the state of Guerrerom. She tries to retain as many details as she can, but some cant really be adopted with people living so far from churches and family.