Skip Navigation
Get Involved
Grants & Programs About
Contact Donate

Get Involved



Background Image Cutting the cake at Quinceanera

Traditions Celebrate "Womanhood"

Photo Essay by Bethany Wood

The fiesta de quince años in honor of a girl's 15th birthday, also known as a Quinceañera, represents the transition from girlhood to womanhood. The tradition, rooted in Latin American culture, is widespread in Latino communities in the United States. Humanities Kansas invites you to take a peak into a recent celebration in Liberal. 

Photographer and Seward County Community College student Bethany Wood documented the Quinceañera of Bryanna Banuelos in Liberal. 

About Bethany Wood

Bethany Wood lives in southwest Kansas with her husband and five children. She aspires to capture the beauty of life through the window of her camera lens





Church Ceremony for QuinceañeraView
The celebration of Bryanna Banuelos' Quinceañera began at the St. Anthony's Church in Liberal, Kansas. This portion of the Quinceañera is mostly for family, though a few friends attended. In this ceremony, Bryanna commits herself to God and the Church and also receives blessings for her life moving forward. Photo by Bethany Wood.
Boy and girl rehearse dance routineView
Bryanna and her court of honor, known as Chambelanes, practiced for two to three hours at a time to learn eight dances for the Quinceañera. Photo by Bethany Wood.
Parents kissing daughter on the cheekView
Bryanna receives a kiss from her parents, Nereida and Emmanuel. "Bryanna is special because she is our only girl and is very helpful at home. She works hard and is a good girl. Bryanna has wanted a Quinceañera since she was a small girl," said Nereida. Photo by Bethany Wood.
young man and woman dancingView
The Vals (also known as the Waltz) is a traditional dance style common at Quinceañera events. Byranna danced the Vals to Halo by Beyonce.
Young woman dressed for a QuinceañeraView
Bryanna Banuelos poses for her Quinceañera portrait. Photo by Bethany Wood.
changing of the shoes ceremony at QuinceaneraView
One of the most popular Quinceañera traditions is the Changing of the Shoes. Emmanuel changes Bryanna's flat shoes and replaces them with high heels. This symbolizes that Bryanna is now a young lady. Photo by Bethany Wood.
Quinceanera eventView
Bryanna's Quinceañera reception is held at the Activity Center in Liberal. Emmanuel and Nereida hired Wilkens Events to decorate and cater this celebration. Food from Big Bites, a local mexican eatery, was served. Wilkens Events reports that they are hired to decorate and cater 10-20 quinceaneras every year. It is estimated that families spend on average $7,000-$15,000 for Quinceañera events. Photo by Bethany Wood.
Father and Daughter dance at QuinceañeraView
The Daddy/Daughter dance is another important Quinceañera tradition. There were two parts to this dance. Throughout the first song, "Ya No Crescas Mas" by Tercer Cielo, girls of varying ages represented different stages of Bryanna growing up. Each girl danced briefly with Emmanuel. The song talked about how no matter the age, his daughter would always be his little girl. Photo by Bethany Wood.
Young people raise their glass in toastView
A toast for Bryanna celebrates the person she is is and all the achievements yet to come. Photo by Bethany Wood.
Young girl cuts Quinceañera cakeView
The cake for the birthday girl is elaborate with five decorated tiers. Bryanna's father helps her cut the cake and relatives serve the guests. Photo by Bethany Wood.
Young woman and young man danceView
Bryanna and Armando Ramirez wow the crowd during the Surprise Dance. This dance was choreographed but it was in the style the teenagers chose. Photo by Bethany Wood.
Bethany WoodView
Bethany Wood, Photographer


Kansans Have
Joined the Movement