No event is more anticipated, with both excitement and nervousness, than the Quinceañera at Safe Passage. This is a special event where all the girls who are turning 15 celebrate together with their families and teachers. This year we had the privilege of honoring 19 girls and celebrating with more than 250 people.
What may sound like a simple birthday party is actually a rite of passage for these girls, marking their transition into womanhood. To emphasize how these girls are growing up and becoming young women, Safe Passage arranged workshops in the months leading up to the big day. These workshops were based on different social themes including: Being a Professional Woman, Self-Esteem, and Pregnancy Prevention. Through these workshops, the girls not only learned about the significance of this milestone, but they also became closer to each other.
As the months passed, the girls were fitted for their dresses and shoes, the menu was chosen, and the venue booked. As more things fell into place and the day crept closer and closer, the excitement buzzed in the air.
Each year, to make this monumental occasion a success, one of our Support Teams offers to host the event. This year, a group from the First Parish Congregational Church in Yarmouth, Maine stepped up to the plate and raised the entire budget of the party. Because of their hard work, we were able to host a beautiful Quinceañera, the kind that every girl deserves.
The event was magical. One of the most heartwarming moments of the party was witnessing the pride on all of the families' faces when the candle was passed (literally) from mother to daughter, signifying the step from childhood to womanhood. I will never forget this touching scene. Angelica, one of the quinceañeras, said that the moment was so significant to her that she had to hold back tears of happiness.
There was hardly a dry eye at the party when the waltz started and the girls danced with their “chambelanes”, their escorts. Watching some of the girls waltzing with their fathers and sharing the intimate moment was something I will never forget. With the majority of Safe Passage families made up of single mothers, seeing the fathers involved and taking an active role in their daughters’ lives was especially touching.
Speaking with the girls after the party, they said their favorite parts were the beautiful gardens and decorations at the venue, as well as the dancing and taking silly pictures in the photo booth. In the words of Angelica, “It was like a fairy tale that I wished wouldn’t end.” You can see our Quinceañera Facebook photo album here.
-Jessa Coulter and Christiana Jones
Support Teams Coordinators
Safe Passage would like to give a special thanks to the many people who made this day such a success. First, we would like to give a big thank you to the First Parish Support Team for all of their hard work and making this day possible. Thank you to the staff and volunteers at Safe Passage who worked so hard and gave so much of their time in the months leading up to the big day, especially Jessa Coulter and Christiana Jones who organized the event. A special thank you to the venue, Granja Lucita, for giving us a sizable discount and donating beautiful decorations which made the party feel so luxurious. We also thank the service club at Falmouth High School for fundraising and purchasing the supplies for our girls’ “Beauty Bags” and their jewelry. Thank you to Otto Aquino for giving us a discount for the dresses. Thank you to the INTECAP beauty school for styling the girls’ hair at no cost. Thank you to Kenneth Meza for donating his services as MC and for providing a donated cake. Thank you to the DJ for donating his services and playing the perfect beats to get everyone dancing. Thank you to Olga Carranza for donating the transportation to the event for all of the girls. Thank you to Javier Villatoro for donating his photography skills and documenting the special day. Finally, thank YOU for your continued support of Safe Passage, we couldn’t do it without you!