Claudia Avila, the new cover girl queen.
Claudia Avila, the new cover girl queen.

Claudia Avila, the new cover girl queen.

Claudia Avila is the winner of the Quinceañera.com cover contest, a 14-year-old with big plans for her party."

Her name is Claudia Avila, she is 14 years old, and for months, she has been thinking of nothing else but celebrating her quinceañera party. She is at that age where nothing and no one seem capable of altering her dream, a longing fueled by winning the Quinceañera.com contest to be the cover girl of its next magazine.

In addition to the privilege of being the main face of the magazine and being able to parade on the Quince Expo runway on March 11 at the Sportsmen’s Lodge Event Center in Studio City, Claudia could choose between a dress and a cash prize of $700.

"I still don't know what I'm going to do with the $700, but I was clear that I preferred the money to the dress because it suits me better," she confesses sincerely. "I can easily get the dress and have it tailored to the design I want. I already have a lady who can make it for me."

Between the $700 and her relatives, she hopes to gather enough money to have a "grand" party, with between 150 and 200 guests, including the most important people in her life.

It's something she's been sure of since her older sister, 20 years old, had a party to celebrate her milestone. "That one was good but not as big," she says with a smile. "I honestly don't remember how many people there were, because it was a few years ago. Although I think there were more than 100 people."

She wants to have her party because "it seems beautiful to me and a good experience, a traditional event, with a dance, a waltz, my surprise dance, my dress, and also going to mass."

For now, she has turned to the internet for ideas and through magazines, where she has learned a lot about the party, despite many details. "I want it to be in a hall, but I'm still not sure where. The truth is that the whole process seems very complicated to me. I haven't even started, and I'm already getting desperate," she says. "I want to make sure I have all the details, what each venue offers, advantages, and disadvantages."

She is doing everything like a good Mexican, born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, and a city where she lived until she was five years old. Maybe that's why she remembers few things, her house in Mexico, the kindergarten she attended, "a very different place from where I live now."

Now she admits that she likes California more and has adapted very well to the lifestyle of her city and neighborhood, Paramount. There, she attends Paramount Middle School, where she indulges in her other passions. "I like to dance and play sports like soccer and volleyball."

And then there are her friends, immersed as she is in the Latino world. "I hang out with pure Hispanics who speak Spanish," she explains. "They speak with a mix of Spanish and English, like Spanglish, an influence that comes from having lived in Mexico until I was five."

These roots have led her to the threshold of her most transcendent party. She has until January 6, when she turns the famous 15. For this, she hopes to be able to work to contribute to paying for everything. "My dad also wants me to work to be able to save money. For now, I'm studying algebra, history, mathematics, and I've been learning the violin for about six months, something I really like."

Her only concern is that something might go wrong in the preparations for the quinceañera. "I fear that the surprise dance won't go well or that the dress will break or tear, or that one of my chambeláns will fail. Such details cross my mind," she certifies.

As for the option of a party or a trip, Claudia has always preferred the party. "My brother also told me that it was the opportunity to fulfill my dream of going to Paris or Italy, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I have to make the most of it," she says. "This can serve as an experience in case I get married, to learn how to organize these kinds of parties," she comments with laughter.


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