Who would imagine that the best birthday party ever would occur at an orphanage in a Third World country??? Not me! I had always heard Quinceaneras were great parties ~ music, dancing, cake - the usual, but let me tell you, nothing could have prepared me for my sister's 15th birthday this past weekend! My sister Cara, being adopted from Guatemala many years ago, wanted to return to her orphanage and celebrate the traditional "Quinceanera" that Latina girls have for their 15th birthday with all the children, nuns, and nannies in Guatemala. It was unbelievably amazing to say the least!
The birthday began at 7:30am with firecrackers and a mariachi band waking everyone up. All the children came out of their rooms and we danced for a half hour before getting ready for church. Quinceaneras traditionally have a theme color that is spread throughout - dress, flowers, cake, decorations, etc. Cara's favorite color is orange, so naturally that's what she chose, much to the chagrin of many people who tried to talk her into toning it down to a peach or salmon....she wasn't having it :) Anyways, Cara wore a gorgeous orange ball gown with a tiara fit for a queen! She had dressy white high heels for the church service and then changed into comfortable orange All Star shoes, which she bedazzled with rhinestones on the front. Adorable and very much "Cara style." After the 3 hour church service, it was off to the dining room in the orphanage for a delicious meal of Pollo Campero fried chicken, french fries, black beans, rice, fruit kabobs, coleslaw, rolls, and the best cake I've ever eaten! As the meal progressed, we were once again surprised with another round of firecrackers and yes, the mariachi band returned for more dancing. Unbelievable! There were guests from Russia, Guatemala, the US, and the Philippines all celebrating Cara's birthday.