Fifteen-year old, Wendy, recently celebrated her quincenera, a Latin American tradition that commemorates a girl becoming a woman. In Mexico, where Back2Back serves, this tremendous milestone is marked by festivities that are laden with deep cultural significance. Guests of a quincenera enjoy a dinner, dancing, an inspiring message and toasts, all centered on the guest of honor. It is a key rite of passage in the social development of a girl in Mexico.
Wendy, who grew up in a children’s home, had quietly dreamed of having a quincenera but she had never actually attended one. It didn’t take long for her to realize that the day would reach far beyond a simple party. It would be a celebration that connected her deeply to her community, culture, dreams and ultimately to the love of her heavenly Father. Mentors, sponsors, family, Back2Back staff and caregivers worked tirelessly to make her dreams become a reality – decorating the auditorium, cooking the dinner, capturing the day on film, and presenting the symbolic gifts.
On that warm day in mid-October, a timid, teenage girl transformed into a stunning, confident young woman as she stood on the stage, surrounded by a the family of individuals who had supported and cared for her throughout her journey. Wendy concluded the ceremony with gratitude to the children’s home that raised her. Her pastor shared words of wisdom for her future. A distant dream became a reality, which was sealed both by Wendy’s words “Thank you, thank you – you made my dream come true” and our prayers that Wendy would never stop dreaming.