| Evelia's mother, Carmen Solis, cooks asado
de puerco, or
pork with chili sauce, over an open fire outside their home in
Fellsmere, Florida, on the morning of the quinceañera. Family
and friends helped prepare five homemade dishes that fed
hundreds of guests at the reception inside the Ag Expo Center
at the Indian River County Fairgrounds.
| It's after 2 p.m. the day of her quinceañera,
and Evelia Solis
is supposed to be at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in
Fellsmere for the ceremonial Mass that officially declares her
passage into maturity. Instead, she waits at her sister's house
for her parents, who are late because in the chaos of preparing
for the quinceañera, one of Evelia' sisters lost the car keys.
by her father and 10 chambelanes, or escorts, Evelia
leaves her sister's house, where she got ready, and heads for
her chariot, a Lincoln Navigator limousine that her parents
rented for her. "She's the center of attention and you have to
let her go first," said Velia Solis, Evelia's sister.
by all the feminine preparations and tired of wearing
his tuxedo, Ramiro Solis, 13, takes a rest while his sister,
Elia, right, gets ready for the quinceañera.
|Patricia Portugal, left, the videographer for the quinceañera,
curls Evelia's eyelashes with a spoon while the hairstylist,
Doris Vazquez Cano, center, watches her technique.
Evelia's hair and make-up took more than three and a half
hours to prepare.
|Evelia's parents, Carmen, left, and
Ramiro escort her into Our Lady of
Guadalupe Church in Fellsmere for
the ceremony. Walking into the
church Evelia is considered a child.
When she leaves she’ll have been
pronounced a woman.
|During the ceremony Rev. Noel McGrath blesses Evelia.
Following tradition, Evelia's godparents give her a bracelet,
watch, ring, Bible and rosary, necklace and flowers in honor
of her passage into adulthood.