Quinceañera party for 5 Coronado students at school

       Five Coronado High School Hispanic female students celebrated their Quinceañeras (15th birthdays) in traditional style May 8 in the school's auditorium and cafeteria.
       The event included live music, food and and dancing and such ceremonies as el cambio de los zapatos (the changing of the shoes), in which the fathers remove sneakers from the feet of their formally dressed 15-year-old daughters and replace them with high heels, symbolizing the girls' transition to womanhood.
       Well over 100 people were in attendance.
       The Quinceañera, which possibly dates back to the Aztecs, “remains as one of the rites of passage that keeps the bonds of the Mexican family firmly cemented,” according to an essay by Dale Hoyt Palfrey.
       The essay was made available by Elaine Doudna, the Coronado Spanish teacher, who worked with the school's Spanish Club as well as the Quinceañera girls' parents to plan and fund-raise for the event for the second time in the past two years. The five girls - Krystal Atchison, Juanita Chavez, Tessa Valdez, Denise Rodriguez and Jessica Rodriguez - turned 15 during the past year, Doudna said.
       The teacher has focused on the event because of its ties to Hispanic culture and because of its potential to “elevate people's ideas of the culture,” she said.

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