This is a super-cool latin tradition that after years of going to Peru, I finally got to be a part of! The idea is when a girl turns 15, she transforms from a child to an adult. This is celebrated BIG in latin american cultures, and when our sweet Maryoleth from Pat's Place* turned 15, Laura asked if we could host her quinceañera. Being that I love parties, and I adore Maryoleth, I was honored to do it and enlisted friends and family to make it happen. Jack rented the gown, Shannon brought the crown, Tim paid for the cake, Alex bought her shoes, Judy bought her bible, I did her make-up, Eric got her the watch, and her sponsor, Bret, paid for the food. Our group effort put on a special night to remember for all of us.
Here's how it went down: -Maryoleth walked down the stairs, with the poise and elegance of a bride
-We lined the hall holding candles that she blew out as she walked by
-Papa Jack had the honor of the first dance
-Alex, Tim, Eric and the rest of the boys at Pat's Place were next
-Jack gave a touching toast to Maryoleth
-Her mom & sister took off her ballet slippers, and exchanged them for her first pair of heels
-Shannon presented the watch, reminding her to always make time for God in her life
-I got to present her with the bible from Mama Judy
-We had a delicious sit-down meal prepared by Pamela & Laura
-Maryoleth cut the first piece of the beautiful cake
-We danced and took pictures in front of the backdrop with the beautiful guest of honor
The traditions here are symbolic, and it was more than just a party. It was an emotional evening for us all. Maryoleth had a rough start in life, and thank God now she is in a safe, happy environment. This was her night to shine... she is and always will be a princess to us!
*Pat's Place is a shelter for abused women and children in San Juan De Lurigancho, Peru. They rely on support from individuals in order to continue to be a safe haven for families leaving abusive situations. If you would like to be a part of this crucial outreach, donations can be made at amorrealministries.com.