With Easier Travel to Cuba, Quinceañera Business Booms

Now that travel to Cuba is easier than it once was, many girls are traveling back to the island to celebrate their Quinceañera, a trend that also has helped small businesses boom.

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Daniela Santos Torres, 15, waits in a classic American car with her father Ivan Santos to ride to her quinceanera party in the town of Punta Brava near Havana, Cuba.
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Daniela Santos Torres, 15, waits in a classic American car with her father Ivan Santos to ride to her Quinceañera party in the town of Punta Brava near Havana.
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Gladys Barroso Quintana, 15, who lives in Cuba, poses for photographers outside the Russian Orthodox Church in Havana. Cuban reforms permitting small-scale, private businesses and the re-establishment of U.S.-Cuban diplomatic relations have encouraged new photo and event planning businesses for events such as girls’ 15th birthdays.
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Gladys Barroso Quintana, 15, who lives in Cuba, poses for her Quinceañera portraits at the National Hotel as tourists watch in Havana.
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Daniela Santos Torres, 14, breaks for a meal with her father Ivan Santos during a portrait session at EstudioMayer, which they hired to take her pictures and organize her birthday party in Havana, Cuba.
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Camila Lopez Rivas, 14, poses for Quinceañera portraits with Hansel, left, a member of Cuban band group Los Angeles in Havana. Camila lives in Miami, the daughter of a truck driver who left Cuba when she was a baby. She doesn’t remember the island, but wanted to return for the photographs and videos that Latin American girls typically take for their 15th birthdays.
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Barbara Concepcion takes pictures of her daughter Amanda Teresa Betancur, who lives in Cuba, before her Quinceañera party in Havana.
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Daniela Santos Torres, 14, applies lipstick as she gets ready for a portrait session. Daniela left Cuba when she was 3, returning in December for her quinceanera photos and party.
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Estefania Hernandez Perera, 14, who lives in Cuba, is photographed by FotoEcos, a studio that specializes in Quinceañeras in Havana.
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Camila Lopez Rivas, 14, poses for portraits on a beach in Havana as an assistant lifts the train of her dress to make it look like its flying in the wind.
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A soft drink vendor smiles as he watches Amanda Teresa Betancur ride in a classic American convertible on her way to her Quinceañera party in Havana, Cuba.
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A doll and cake sit ready for the Quinceañera party organized to celebrate Daniela Santos Torres' 15th birthday in the town of Punta Brava near Havana.
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Daniela Santos Torres, 15, speaks with her boyfriend Erick before her Quinceañera party in the town of Punta Brava near Havana, Cuba. Daniela left Cuba when she was 3, returning in December for her Quinceañera photos and party. She now lives in Glendale, Arizona, where her father runs a home remodeling business. She said returning to Cuba for her celebration was "a dream," allowing her to include her extended family and friends on the island.
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Amanda Teresa Betancur, 15, who lives in Cuba, practices her opening dance with her boyfriend Erick before her Quinceañera party in Havana, Cuba.
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