By Gloria Quevas Bibby
La Costa Latina
When I turned 15, my parents took me to a local jewelry store where they selected a lovely garnet ring as my gift. My father explained to me, that they could not afford the cost of a quinceañera and that the ring symbolized my becoming a young woman. I was no longer a child, he said, but a joven.
I had responsibilities to my mother, to him, to my family, and to the Church as embodied by the Virgin of Guadalupe. His words left an impression on me.
My father’s words and the ritual of the quinceañera have remained with me. Now, I am a graduate student at the University of West Florida, working on my Master’s thesis, my topic is – la quinceañera.
I know the significance that this ritual held for my parents, but I am interested in finding out what it means to the Latino community in Pensacola.
The Gulf Coast enjoys a large and varied Latino community that delights in exchanging and sharing their cultural traditions with one another. The quinceañera may not mean the same to young girls as it once did for their parents.
This difference may be culturally reflected as Latinos engage in becoming part of Anglo American culture.
So my question to the communidad is, “Is the quinceañera still relevant…”
Gloria Quevas Bibby is an Anthropology Intern at La Costa Latina Hispanic Resource Center