by Marvin J. Ramírez
Surrounded by all those who love her, Nicole Marie Santiago-Bermúdez was greated like a princess on June 23, when she celebrated her 15th birthday in a big Quinceañera party at the Sons of Italy hall in the Excelsior District in San Francisco.
At the beat of congas and bongos with Christian music, her father, Israel Santiago, from of Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, beat the instruments with extraordinary mastery, while the band’s other members backed him up with base and piano. Meanwhile, her mother, Adriana Bermúdez-Santiago, who at 15 was a beauty pageant herself in her native Nicaragua, attended and greeted the guests before everyone sat down to eat the delicious food cooked by Anna’s Restaurant.
Born on June 23, 1992 in the city of San Francisco, Nicole, who prior to her quinceañera party graduated from the 10th grade at Living Hope Christian School, a year ahead, and with honor, transferred to San Francisco Christian School, where she plans to graduate with her High School Diploma.
Nicole entered the path from a girl to a teenager status, or ‘señorita according to the Hispanic culture with a vision of some day attend a university and become a lawyer of a doctor.
Twice in her life, accompanying her mother, Nicole visited women prisons in Nicaragua as a missionary, to bring hope and love to those who lost their freedom for crimes committed. Today she has signed up as a volunteer at a local senior citizen’s center.