Last week, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health celebrated its Quinceañera at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. As an intern for NLIRH as well as a west coast native, I was very excited to attend this momentous occasion in our nation’s capital. The night began with the VIP reception featuring fancy hors d’oeuvres, plenty of white sangria, and live music provided by Mariachi Los Amigos. After plenty of mingling and picture posing, we finally moved to the main room where I encouraged many of the guests to participate in our silent auction while trying to make my way towards the food. The chefs at Café Atlantico and Oyamel gave everyone’s taste buds a little piece of heaven with all of their delicious creations. My favorite was the ceviche martinis, which not only looked and sounded delicious, but were jam packed with flavor! The night had officially begun with an opening slide show and speech from our Director, Silvia Henriquez. We soon met our mistress of ceremonies, Maria Hinojosa, who was entertaining, enthusiastic, and had the entire room laughing in two seconds.
However, the highlight of my night was the award ceremony. Gloria Moreno, Maria Luisa Sanchez Fuentes, and Maria-Teresa Kumar (representing VotoLatino) delivered powerful speeches after receiving their awards for SALUD, DIGNIDAD, and JUSTICIA respectfully. Their words left me in tears, but also motivated me to get back to the office and continue contributing in the reproductive justice movement. The night continued with the presentation of the silent auction winners followed by café con leche and some delicious pastries! Although the night was winding down, I could not help but wish it would never end. But alas it did, and I ended my night and my first trip to our nation’s capital with a moonlit stroll down the front of the White House back to my hotel. As I recapped all the events of the night, I could not help but feel very privileged and thankful to have the opportunity not only to attend this wonderful event, but also to be working for such an amazing organization run by powerful, intelligent, and beautiful women! Here’s to 15 years and many more prosperous ones to come!
By Krystal Chan, Development and Communications Intern