5 Benefits of a Spanish Immersion Adventure for Your Child

Have you been struggling to convince your child to speak Spanish? You are not alone, I have been through the same with my son. Keep reading because I think I have found the way to help you, I am talking about a Spanish immersion adventure for your child.

There could be plenty of reasons why your child won’t speak, from a lack of language skills to a lack of confidence, but simple boredom often creates the biggest obstacle. It may seem farfetched but boredom simply makes our little ones lose their attention and reject learning Spanish.

I found that a Spanish immersion adventure provides an excellent opportunity to overcome all of these challenges by creating an environment where your child will love to learn.

I know it could be out of your budget however, if you are planning a vacation you may fit in a Spanish speaking destination making it a perfect opportunity to do a Spanish immersion your style!

5 Benefits of a Spanish Immersion Adventure for Your Child

Whether your child has Spanish class in school or you teach your child Spanish at home, this type of academic instruction only goes so far. A Spanish immersion adventure provides a richer experience with many benefits. Consider these 5 benefits to plan an immersion adventure for your niño.  Spanish immersion adventures:

Make Spanish Relevant

Kids often complain that the things they learn in school seem boring and completely useless in real life. A Spanish immersion adventure offers the opportunity to change that.

The promise of the adventure can provide motivation for your child to excel in their Spanish studies before the trip, while also serving as proof that for some fun activities you have to know Spanish.

Get Real World Spanish Practice

An immersion adventure offers excellent Spanish language practice. Your child will hear many different accents, learn new vocabulary, and even begin to pick up grammar by example.

As a family we have been in countries like Mexico, Dominican Republic, Colombia and Spain which provide the diversity in accents and words usage.

I explained to my son the differences in accents and pronunciation he was going to experience in the south of Spain. I knew the usage of s, c and z, which was going to throw him off for sure.

I also found that being in an environment where they must speak Spanish to be understood can also help build confidence, as your child learns that even if their Spanish isn’t quite perfect, people are still happy to talk to them.

Improve Cultural Understanding with a Spanish immersion adventure for your child

Spanish immersion adventure for your child

My son sitting at a street vendor’s spot in Cartagena , Colombia.

If you plan your Spanish immersion adventure in another country, your child will get an up close and personal experience of that country’s culture.

It can be very rewarding for a child to experience a way of life and a way of thinking that is different from their own. It enriches their worldview and helps teach tolerance.

Improve Cognitive Skills

According to the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, research has shown that kids who become fully bilingual display improved cognitive skills in areas like divergent thinking, pattern recognition, and problem solving.

Immersion adventures make an excellent tool for helping your child practice and maintain their bilingual language skills and hopefully reap these cognitive benefits.

Have Fun!

 

Spanish immersion adventure for your child

My son horse back riding on his Spanish immersion adventure in Medellín, Colombia.

Don’t forget to let your child have fun on their Spanish immersion adventure! While the adventure might include attending school or classes in Spanish, don’t let that be the only activity.  When we do it we mix it with beach and horseback riding time and my son loves it.

Some parents are skeptical about Spanish immersions; I say this is nonsense and if you want to know why, read the article Language Immersion Myths. Also plan some travel or activities your child will enjoy, like going to fútbol games, exploring beaches, hiking ruins or visiting relatives.  Those activities can create the perfect Spanish immersion adventure for your child.

Jorge Ramos Biography

The Jorge Ramos biography begins in Mexico City, where the future media star was born in 1958. Young Jorge grew up enjoying track, soccer, and tennis. Even as a high school student, he had a grand vision for his future, wanting to become “indispensable” to his community.

He studied communications at Mexico City’s Universidad Iberoamericana and soon earned a post as a reporter for the Mexican media conglomerate Televisa. Unfortunately, Ramos found that Televisa often censored his stories in an effort to appease Mexico’s then-ruling party, PRI.

In search of freedom of speech, Ramos secured a student visa and moved to Los Angeles in 1983. After a year of waiting tables to pay for his studies at UCLA, Ramos got his big break when a local Univision TV affiliate hired him as a reporter. This in turn led to another job on the morning news in Miami Florida, and finally to a spot on Univision’s national broadcast.

Jorge Ramos Biography – Career with Univision

Jorge Ramos biography

Foto: EFE/Archivo

Experts consider Jorge Ramos one of the most recognized and respected journalists in the Hispanic community, not only in the US but also in Latin America. Ramos has his partnership with Univision to thank for this.

When Univision promoted him to their evening news anchor in 1986, Ramos became one of the youngest news anchors America had ever seen. Yet he conducted himself with the utmost professionalism, taking on serious social and political issues in his stories and speaking with eloquence, power, and credibility.

Ramos has interviewed every US president since George Bush Sr. as well as dozens of Latin American presidents, including such controversial figures as Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro.

He has earned a reputation for being “the voice of the voiceless,” willing to ask tough questions and shine light on issues others would perhaps prefer not to discuss.

Even after getting punched by a bodyguard for asking Fidel Castro a tough question about democratic elections, Jorge Ramos has continued to uphold his high standards of journalistic integrity on his daily news show, his weekly political show, and in countless guest appearances on English stations from CNN to PBS to Fox News.

Notable Accomplishments

Today Jorge Ramos’ Univision show reaches six times as many Hispanic homes as any English news station.

He has earned countless recognitions for his influence in the Latino community and in the world of journalism, including:
• 8 Emmys for excellence in journalism
• Maria Moors Cabot Award for excellence in journalism
• Ruben Salazar Award for positive portrayal of Latinos from the Council of La Raza
• Featured in Time magazine’s Top 25 Most Influential Hispanics in the US
• Featured in Newsweek’s list of Top 50 Political and Media Figures
• Named one of Top Ten Latino Leaders by Latino Leaders magazine
• Received Latino Book Award in 2006

Jorge Ramos Books

Of course, no Jorge Ramos biography would be complete without mention of his writing. In addition to his TV appearances, Ramos writes a weekly column that appears in over 40 newspapers in The New York Times Syndicate.

Ramos has also penned 10 books, many which explore a topic very close to his heart, namely immigration. These books include:

• The Latino Wave: How Hispanics Are Transforming Politics in America
• No Borders: A Journalist’s Search for Home
• Dying to Cross: The Worst Immigrant Tragedy in American History
• The Other Face of America: Chronicles of the Immigrants Shaping Our Future
• What I Saw
• Hunting the Lion
• Behind the Mask
• The Gift of Time: Letters from a Father
• A Country For all: An Immigrant Manifesto
• I’m Just Like My Dad/I’m Just Like My Mom (children’s book)

If you would like to learn more about Jorge Ramos, his autobiography, No Borders: A Journalist’s Search for Home, makes an excellent place to start.

Wanting to know more about other famous Hispanic people?  Visit my article Famous Hispanics here.

My Child Won’t Speak Spanish

Even if you have the complain: my child won’t speak Spanish, don’t give up! Speaking a second language can be a huge asset to your child.  Through my experience I can share that It will not only help broaden their understanding of and appreciation for Hispanic culture, but also help them in their future careers.

Kids at a young age don’t really understand this. So they need different motivation and encouragement for speaking Spanish. With some patience and consistent practice you can overcome this challenge. Consider these 10 reasons why you might be saying “my child won’t speak Spanish” and ideas for how to overcome them.

Your Child Won’t Speak Spanish – How to Fix the Problem

1. Your Child Doesn’t See a Reason to Speak Spanish.

Often, parents successfully teach their kids to speak Spanish at a young age, but as the child matures they abandon their Spanish because they don’t see any reason to keep it up.

In other words, there is nothing special about speaking Spanish that they can’t get by speaking English. To keep your child interested and engaged, set up Spanish-only activities like Spanish immersion trips or visits to Spanish-speaking family members that will make them excited to use their Spanish.

2. Your Child Won’t Speak Spanish Because Your Spanish Use is Inconsistent.

child won't speak Spanish

Learning to ride horses in Colombia
All in Spanish

I am guilty of this one. I used to be more consistent when my son was younger. I now know that if you don’t use Spanish consistently, your child won’t either!

For sure you don’t want to switch between Spanish and English randomly, or else your child will do the same thing, answering you in English when you speak Spanish or vice versa.

Try to set up a consistent pattern for practicing Spanish. You might make your entire home a Spanish-only zone, or you might set up a special daily bonding time to speak only Spanish like during story time or family game time.

3. Your Child Doesn’t Hear Enough Spanish.

We dealt with this one also as my husband is American and speaks a very crude Spanish. Passive listening plays a huge role in language acquisition and is a key part of how to teach your child Spanish at home.

One way to fix the problem is to expose your child to a lot of different Spanish voices and vocabulary by keeping the radio tuned to Spanish music or encouraging your child to watch Spanish TV and movies.

Right on this website I have a great section of Spanish Learning Songs that are a rich source of vocabulary for small children and even kids who are just starting to learn the language.

4. You Treat Spanish Like Homework.

If you’re teaching your child Spanish from a textbook, STOP! You don’ want your child to associate Spanish with boring stuff. Instead, build a love of the language with stories, games, and songs first. Then, as the child matures, you can teach more advanced grammatical concepts. Try to find language teaching moments in your daily life rather than always heading to a textbook.

5. Your Correct Your Child’s Spanish Too Much.

I know, I know, it is difficult to live with the horrible Spanish they may speak however, if you immediately make a picky grammar or pronunciation correction every time your child opens their mouth to speak Spanish, they will quickly stop trying!

Don’t be overly critical. Instead, encourage and reward your child when they try to speak Spanish even if they can’t express themselves perfectly yet.

6. Your Child Wants to Fit In at School.

Your child won’t speak Spanish as an effort to try be like all the other kids at school. Make sure your child feels comfortable talking to you about school problems, and be sensitive to how they are feeling. Maybe you will need to stop speaking Spanish in front of their friends for a while to help them feel comfortable and I say so as an alternative even though I never stopped.

7. Your Child Feels Embarrassed.

Your child won’t speak Spanish because he doesn’t feel confident in his Spanish.  If this happens he won’t want to speak it—especially not with strangers. Make sure your child gets plenty of opportunities to speak Spanish with other people besides you.

Start small to build their confidence. For example, you might prep them by going over a few key phrases and then take them to a Hispanic shop or restaurant where they can practice those phrases.

8. Your Child Feels Pressure from Another Source.

If the child’s other parent, grandparent, friend, teacher, etc. doesn’t approve of Spanish, you child may not want to learn. You can approach this problem from both sides—talk with your child about being an individual and talk to the other person about supporting your child’s learning when appropriate.

9. Your Child Is Bored.

If the majority of your child’s books, video games, toys, and other entertainments are in English, they will naturally prefer English. Be sure to provide a fresh supply of Spanish-only entertainment to engage and excite your child.

I make sure every time we travel to Colombia I buy many books his level to guarantee he has excellent reading material. Also, thanks to the internet you can find tons of options from books for every reading level to songs, games, and DVDs.

10. Your Child Simply Isn’t Ready.

Your child won’t speak Spanish maybe because every child learns differently, making it important not to compare your child’s progress to their cousins or siblings. Don’t stop speaking in Spanish to your child, even if they won’t speak back right now.

You can still get them to have a fluent understanding of Spanish which will add a great benefit and enrichment to their life.  To know more about how their brain changes by learning another language read my article Children Learn Spanish.

Now it is your turn, keep on teaching that beautiful language of ours!  If you want to learn more how to encourage your little one to speak Spanish check out these articles Raising Bilingual in Spanish Children and 5 Benefits of an Spanish Immersion for Your Chid.

Making the Best Mexican Wedding Cookie With Only 5 Ingredients

Today I want to introduce you to a super simple yet easy way for making the best Mexican wedding cookies with only 5 ingredients.  Even if you’ve never visited Mexico or had much exposure to Mexican foods, chances are you’ve tasted a Mexican wedding cookie.  That’s because this simple yet delicious butter cookie goes by many other names and is found in many different cultures, from Russia to Mexico.

As the name suggests, these cookies are a common sight at Mexican weddings and we call them “Galletitas de boda.”  We normally serve them in addition to the traditional fruity Mexican wedding cake. However, these cookies are by no means limited to weddings.

They are also Mexico’s traditional Christmas cookie, and make an appearance at lots of other holidays and family celebrations.

If you are really looking into the traditionalMexican wedding cakes and cookies I recommend you to read my Mexican Wedding Cake Traditions article.

Fun Facts About Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican wedding cookie

•We find this basic recipe in many countries around the world such as Spain, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, France, and America.
• This cookie is simple to make and has just 5 ingredients.
• The Mexican version of this recipe is unique because we bake it in either round balls or crescent shapes.  That’s how you spot if it is Mexican or not…
• We knew these cookies in the United States as Russian teacakes until the early 1950s, when suddenly cookbooks began calling them Mexican Wedding Cookies instead. Some people think that this happened because rising tensions between the US and Russia caused all things Russian to go out of style.

Best Mexican Wedding Cookie Recipe

Here is a great Mexican wedding cookie recipe adapted from backpocketrecipes.com

Ingredients

• 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter. Be sure to let the butter sit out until it is soft.
• 1 cup powdered sugar. Also set aside some extra to roll the finished cookies in.
• 1 teaspoon vanilla. If you can, try to use real Mexican vanilla.
• 1 and 3/4 cups flour
• 1 cup pecans. Toast these in your oven for a little bit and then crumble them by hand

Instructions to make Mexican wedding cookie

1. Turn on the oven and preheat to 275 degrees F or 135 degrees Celsius
2. Cut out squares of parchment paper and line some cookie sheets with them so the cookies won’t stick.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. It’s best to do this by hand.
4. Add the vanilla.
5. Gradually add the flour.
6. Once the flour is all mixed in, gently fold in the pecans.
7. Dust your hands with flour, remove a bit of dough and mold it into a small ball or crescent. You should get about 2 dozen cookies.
8. Place shaped dough onto the parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.
9. Bake for 40 minutes.
10. Allow cookies to cool just enough so that you can handle them.
11. Pour some powdered sugar into a small bowl, then roll the warm cookies in the sugar and set them aside on another cookie sheet.
12. Place the sugar-coated cookies in the freezer.
13. After 30 minutes, remove the cookies from the freezer and roll each one in powdered sugar a second time.
14. Store cookies in an airtight jar or tin.

If you want to experiment with this recipe, you can try using almond extract instead of vanilla, or using almonds or some other type of nut instead of pecans. You could also try making different shapes.

This is such a simple yet versatile recipe it should be easy to make it your own.  Keep passing down some Hispanic culture through foods!

Wrestling and Latino Culture

When we think of wrestling and Latino culture, we immediately think of Mexican wrestling, aka Lucha Libre. This acrobatic form of wrestling, with its zany characters, colorful masks & costumes, dramatic storylines, and epic rivalries has become hugely popular in many countries besides Mexico.

Many Latin American countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru have their own Latino wresting federations, but it may surprise you to learn that the two biggest international markets for Lucha Libre are the US and Japan. This just goes to show that while wrestling and Latino culture are indeed closely tied, this entertaining sport also has universal appeal.

Wrestling Helps Make Sense of the World

So what exactly is it with Latinos and wrestling? Why do we love it so much? Because the stories and characters presented in the ring help us to make sense of the world around us.

wrestling and Latino culture

 

We can vent our frustrations, cheer for the good guys, boo the bad guys, and reinforce the values that Latino families carry from generation to generation. Here are some of the main types of characters you might see wrestling in Mexico and how they express our culture:

Rudos vs Téchnicos: Every Lucha Libre fight follows the same basic story of good versus evil.  The good guys, aka técnicos, always play fair and serve as role models for heroic and noble qualities. Often, their characters come from folk stories or comic books.

The bad guys, aka rudos, play dirty. They mimic real-life villains like dirty cops, drunks, gang members, mobsters, US border patrol, etc.

When the rudos get beat in the ring, we can cheer and celebrate the victory even if in real life many challenges remain. Sometimes, after key experiences, rudos become técnicos and vice versa, further reflecting the real world with stories of downfall or redemption.

Exóticos: Even since the 1950s, characters in drag or exóticos have present in Lucha Libre. These gay characters often use a grappling style of wrestling that is played to comedic effect as the very macho wrestling stars try to evade their advances.

Latino culture is not known for being particularly accepting of homosexuality, especially in traditional Catholic communities, but the inclusion of the exóticos provides a way for people to confront gay stereotypes and work through how to deal with increasingly gay-friendly pop culture.

Cholitas: Female wrestlers often appear in Lucha Libre, especially in Bolivia where they are known as Cholitas. These women often wear costumes based on indigenous Aymara traditions. Though the Cholitas started out as a publicity stunt, they quickly captured an audience, perhaps because we know how tough life is for Latino women trying to earn a living, raise a family, and protect their traditional values and heritage. We like to see women empowered to fight for hearth & home in the ring.

Wrestling and Latino Culture – Famous Latino Wrestlers

Strong family ties link wrestling to Latino culture in yet another way. Wrestling matches often feature tag teams consisting of a man, a woman, and maybe a midget in an odd echo of a traditional family unit.

Family dynasties dominate Lucha Libre, with Mexican wrestling names and characters often passing from fathers to their sons or even grandsons in the case of the Guerrero family. For example, here are some of the most famous families in Lucha Libre:

  •  Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta (El Santo) & his son Jorge Guzmán Rodríguez (Hijo del Santo.)
  • Salvador Guerrero Quesada (Gory Guerrero), his sons Chavo Guerrero (Chavo Classic) & Eddie Guerrero (Máscara Mágica) & his grandson Chavo Jr (Lieutenant Loco.)
  • Miguel Ángel López Díaz (Rey Misterio Sr) & his nephew Oscar Gutierrez (Rey Mysterio.)
  • Aaron Rodríguez (Mil Máscaras) & his brother José Luis Rodríguez Arellano (Dos Caras) & his son Alberto del Rio (Dos Caras Jr.)

Planning Your Galapagos Island Adventure

Why plan a Galapagos Island adventure?  Because the island has so much to offer than many other natural sanctuaries.

Do you know who made this island famous? Legendary naturalist Charles Darwin, who used the local animals to develop his theory of evolution and until today the Galapagos Islands still teem with unique and fascinating wildlife.

One of my favorite things about the island is that because most of the islands are uninhabited, the wildlife has remained remarkably fearless of man. That means that if you travel with your kids they will love getting up close to giant tortoises, sea lions, sea turtles, iguanas, finches, penguins, crabs, and tons of colorful fish while also learning about the history, geology, and ecology of the islands.

For us as a family, Las Islas Galapago are like being in a live National Geographic special instead of watching it on TV!

Know Before You Go to Your Galapagos Island Adventure

Before you plan your Galapagos Island adventure, note these key Galapagos Islands facts:
• Over 620 miles of ocean separate the Galapagos Islands from the mainland.
• The Galapagos consists of 13 main islands, 5 of which are inhabited, plus countless smaller isles. You’ll definitely need a GalapagosIslands map to keep it all straight.
• Because a National Park protects the entire Galapagos Islands, few places outside the towns may be explored without a guide.
• Much of the beauty of the Galapagos lies underwater—the Park boundaries encompass over 19,500 square miles of ocean.
• You may only visit the uninhabited islands during the daylight hours.

Tips for Galapagos Island Adventure Travelers

Galapagos Island Adventure

How to Get There:

So, where are the Galapagos Islands exactly? Well, they are located 620 miles out to sea, almost smack dab on the Equator. Despite their isolation, however, you can get to the Galapagos Islands quite easily. All you have to do is hop one of the daily flights from Quito or Guayaquil.

When to Go to Your Galapagos Island Adventure:

The Islands entice visitors almost all year long, with the exception of a brief off season from September through November when many tour and cruise boats go into dry dock. Most visitors try to come between December and May. Though this is the rainy season, showers are brief and warm days and calm seas make up for the midday drizzle.

How to Get Around:

Organized tours and cruises offer the best way to see and explore the Galapagos in Ecuador. While on one of the many live-aboard Galapagos Islands cruises, you will get to take guided excursions to the shores of various islands.

You also have the option of staying in a hotel and organizing your own tours and excursions. Flights and ferries will take you from island to island, and you can explore the towns and local beaches with rented bikes or kayaks.

Choosing a Galapagos Cruise Ship:

You might be sharing your cruise ship with 16 to 100 people, depending on what type of accommodation and experience you want. The smaller ships offer more intimate excursions and can anchor at certain smaller islets that the big ships won’t visit. The larger ships have more affordable prices and a much smoother ride.

3 Must-Do Activities at The Islas Galápagos

Swim with Penguins and Sea Lions: The Galapagos Islands have a well-deserved reputation for excellent snorkeling and diving. Numerous Galapagos Islands tours can be booked to enjoy the countless dive and snorkel sites.

Even if you don’t book a tour, you may very well get a chance to swim with penguins or sea lions at totally free spots like Concha de Perla near Puerto Villamil. Just keep a lookout for adult male sea lions as they can be aggressive and should be avoided.

See Tortoises: The Galapagos Islands got their name from Spanish explorers who thought the giant tortoises’ shells looked like saddles or “galapagos.” So you can’t visit the Galapagos without seeing the Islands’ namesake species!

While places to see giant tortoises abound, one of the best seems to be Reserva El Chato, where you can see tortoises up close in their natural habitat and enjoy some free coffee or one of my son’s favorite juice: guava. This is a much better experience than visiting the Darwin Research Station where all the tortoises stay in cages.

Visit an Isolated Beach: The Galapagos Islands are already off the beaten path, but sometimes even here you need to get away from the other tourists thronging places like Tortuga Bay. Try visiting one of the lesser-known beaches such as El Garrapatero. This beautiful white sand beach can be reached by bike or car from Puerto Ayora, and then it’s just a short 5-minute walk to the beach.

Celebrating Mother’s Day in Mexico

Since the dawn of recorded history, cultures around the world have recognized the value of motherhood and celebrating Mother’s Day in Mexico honors them. In ancient times, people celebrated with festivals and feasts honoring goddesses or fertility figures.

With the advent of the Christian church, some people began to take a day each year to honor the “mother” church that had baptized them. The idea for day to honor our human mothers came much later, but has since become a treasured tradition for many Latino families.

The History of Mother’s Day in Mexico

The first secular Mother’s Day took place in the US in 1870 with the goal of promoting peace and healing among families and communities after the Civil War. Soon this tradition had spread south of the border into Mexico.

Mother’s Day in Mexico

Thanks to the efforts of social activists who wanted to embrace a holiday to celebrate traditional family values, May 10 became officially designated as Mother’s Day in Mexico in 1922.

The Archbishop of Mexico endorsed the holiday and to this day Mother’s Day in Mexico retains a strong religious element. In fact, many Mexican Mother’s Day cards feature icons of the Virgin and Child.

Main Traditions of Mother’s Day in Mexico

Spending time with Mamá is of course the most important tradition of Mother’s Day in Latin America and throughout the world. But each country does have its own unique take on the meals, gifts, and cards that form the core of the celebration. You might incorporate the following main traditions into your own Mexican Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day Eve Dinner: On the evening of May 9, grown children return to their mother’s home for a special family dinner. Ideally someone besides Mamá will cook, but many Mexican moms take such pride in cooking for their families that they simply can’t be persuaded to take a break!

Morning Serenade: On the morning of May 10, children organize some early morning music to wake up their mothers. They might hire a mariachi band to play outside her window, or simply sing on their own.
Mother’s Day Mass & Breakfast: During Mother’s Day in Mexico the whole family accompanies their mother to a special mass and then they enjoy a community breakfast with other church members.

Mother’s Day Gifts: As in the US, Mexican kids give their mothers gifts to thank them for their love and support. Younger children might put on a little program of skits and songs organized by their school and give their moms handmade gifts, while older children typically give store bought gifts of cards, candy, flowers, jewelry, etc.

Family Lunch or Dinner: Mexican families always have at least one big meal together on Mother’s Day. It could be lunch or dinner. Many families make reservations months in advance so they can go out to eat, while others will bring dishes to mom’s house to enjoy together.

Phone Calls: Any family members that can’t be present at the Mother’s Day celebrations will call to wish all their relatives—not just their moms—a happy Mother’s Day.

How Mexican-Americans Celebrate

Many Mexicans can’t go back to their country of origin to celebrate a proper Mother’s Day in Mexico therefore most Mexican-American families celebrate Mother’s Day twice—once on May 10, and once on the second Sunday in May as American families do. With two days to honor mothers, it’s no wonder that Mexican-Americans tend to have such close-knit families and strong family values!

How to Choose the Perfect Quinceañera Cake

Your quinceañera party should feature the perfect quinceañera cake or the cake of your dreams! To create this masterpiece think about the meaning of the cake:  A single item that represents your style, brings friends and family together to celebrate and provides the best taste of sweetness.

Beautiful and delicious, quinceañera cakes come in many shapes, styles, and of course flavors.  I can just imagine you trying to figure out what style, color, type of ingredients, shape, etc., for your pastel de quince.

How to Choose Your Quinceañera Cake?

Start from the basic function of the cake: The cake serves as the focal point of the food area and plays a big role in the overall decor of your party. Remember it will obviously be featured in the cake cutting ceremony.

When thinking about your cake sure that you infuse it with your style and personality, and make it match your dress, decor, and party theme.

What You Must know Between Traditional & Modern Quinceañera Cakes

Traditional Cake

quinceañera cake

How to Choose Your Quinceañera Cake?

Often, the bizcocho de quince is a black cake in Colombia or actually a group of separate cakes arranged together on cake stands and connected by miniature staircases.

The staircases hold little dolls representing the honor court of the quince party. A larger doll representing the quinceañera stands atop the tallest cake.

In some cases, this doll doubles as the última muñeca or last doll, which is another important quinces tradition.

Another common style of quinceañera cakes looks very similar to a tiered wedding cake. Typically, these quince cakes have three round tiers and are decorated to match the quinceañera’s dress.

For example, the cake might be light pink or white with frosting pearls, flowers, ribbons, or ruffles for decoration.

Cakes also feature a quinceañera cake topper such as a glittery “15,” a tiara, or a small quince doll. A slightly more modern take on this cake style is to use square layers or even asymmetrical layers.

Modern Quinceañera Cake

Nowadays, more and more quinceañeras are opting for elaborate sculptural cakes that match the theme of their party. For example, the cake might look just like a designer purse, a castle, or a huge butterfly. These kinds of cakes are truly works of art!

When it comes to flavors, just about anything goes. Yellow cake is pretty common, because it is a good neutral base that just about all guests will eat. It complements just about any flavor of frosting or filling.

Another popular cake flavor is tres leches. pasteles de tres leches are light, moist cakes soaked in milk syrup and flavored with vanilla and rum. They work well for quince parties because they will not dry out during the party.

Essentials to Find the Perfect Quinces Cake

Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect quince cake for your special day.

  • Plan ahead because many bakeries take orders up to 6 months in advance, so you will need to finalize your order early.
  • Choose your bakery carefully by:
    • Requesting the bakery’s portfolio to have an idea of what kind of cakes they are good at making.
    • Asking if personalization is an option, if so how much does the price change?
    • Asking if they use pre-made mixes or are all cakes made from scratch.
    • Requesting samples to make sure you choose the right one.
    • Asking if they deliver the cake to the party place and also, if they place and decorate the cake on the food table.  Does it have an extra cost?
    • Tasting the icings too.  Fondant icing (the smooth, flat icing often used in theme cakes) looks great but many people don’t like the taste.
    • Setting up the cake table. Buy cake stands, mini staircases, dolls, and quinceañera cake toppers to complement your cake.