Quinceañera Festivity

     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.

           Followed 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.
           Bored 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.