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The Changing Face of Mexico

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

The quinceañera celebration of a girl’s fifteenth birthday is held to mark her passage to womanhood, to give thanks to God for his blessings, and to present a young woman to the community. In Mexican communities, the quinceañera serves not only to honor the young woman for her maturity, but also the girl’s parents and family, as well as her padrinos or godparents.

The following pages explain the significance of the quinceañera and describe traditional celebrations. Classroom activities and recipes for traditional foods also follow.