You are invited to Rosalba’s Quinceañera


For the 90 percent of Amanalco’s residents who are Catholic, there is also a cultural script of religious maturity built into the sequential rituals of baptism, First Communion, Confirmation and marriage. Some girls also celebrate the Quinceañera (15th birthday). Importantly, from a social point of connection, at each stage along these ritual passages the maturing person acquires a set of godparents (padrinos) who are the sponsors of these events. As the video “Rosalba’s Quinceañera” illustrates, linked in figure 5.5 (control/click on the invitation below), this ritual embeds the godchild in a powerful social triangle. It connects Rosalba not only to her padrinos, but also links her parents to compadres (co-parents), the couple who accepts sponsorship responsibility. Unlike in North America, where the relationship of youth and their parents to a child’s godparents can be relatively weak, in Amanalco and much of Mexico one’s padrinos and especially one’s compadres are among the most important and enduring social relationships in a person’s life.

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