Photo: U.S. Volunteers Give Dozens of Girls a Quinceañera in El Salvador
An American woman named Jenni Ramsey gave a number of women in El Salvador a party to truly remember.
For her sixth trip to the Latin American country, Ramsey brought 19 volunteers with her to help plan and host an epic quinceañeras for girls an orphanage and massive wedding for a number of couples.
Ramsey is the aid and outreach director for All Blessing International, which works through the Kentucky Adoption Services. In July, she and the volunteers were able to give 43 girls from a government orphanage in San Salvador a large quince, complete with dresses.
Noticing the younger children tend to get the most attention from visitors, Ramsey wanted to give the older children attention in a big way.
Through fundraising, donations and help from El Salvador’s nonprofit group His Children, the girls not only had a party, they were given dresses, jewelry, and even makeovers. As they entered the party, each girl also arrived on the arm of a male escort.
One of the volunteers wrote on All Blessings’ blog:
Our day started at the government orphanage, where we finished pampering and transforming these precious girls. Upon our arrival, ten of the girls in protective custody (recently rescued from trafficking), were dressed in their gowns, eagerly awaiting our arrival. The minute I saw them I began to cry (it was more like blubbering, I completely lost it)! I kept thinking that “I am so lucky!”
… As I brushed, braided, straightened, and curled, I not only felt their excitement, but also their gratitude. These girls have been abused, neglected, and abandoned. They never had a dad tell them how beautiful they are or a mother to nurture them or brush their hair. God used us to give them the attention and love they have always deserved, but never received.
Just a few days prior to the quince, Ramsey and the volunteers had also arranged a mass wedding for 14 couples at Cavalry Chapel in San Salvador. Though some had been together for decades, a few even having grandchildren, the couples had not gotten married. For many, cost was the main issue.