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Hope Quintana— Santa Fe crowns new reina

In May 2017, Hope Quintana of the Actinide Engineering and Science group (MET-1) earned the title of La Reina de la Fiesta de Santa Fe. Hope intends to bring la fiesta to those who cannot attend.
August 28, 2017
  • Hope Quintana
  • Hope Quintana
  • Hope Quintana
“Just before the announcement, I took a deep breath. I said in my head, ‘please say Hope, please say Hope,’ and then I heard my name. For a moment, I wondered if it was just me in my head again, but when I saw everyone looking at me, I realized I had earned the title of La Reina.”

Santa Fe crowns new reina

hope quintana

In early 2017, Hope Quintana of the Actinide Engineering and Science group (MET-1) decided it was time for her to compete for the title of La Reina de la Fiesta de Santa Fe. Hope’s preparations included crafting a Spanish and English speech, brushing up on her Spanish and knowledge of Santa Fe history, and working on her poise and stage presence. On the day of the competition, Hope realized the experience would be nerve-racking, but she also knew through her hard work and preparation that being La Reina was her calling.

“It’s the dream of every little girl growing up in Santa Fe,” explains Hope. “I remember when I was growing up—once September came, it was time for La Fiesta de Santa Fe. It was an opportunity for me to dance with Bailé Español on the Plaza, but more importantly I was able to see the beautiful queen and her court representing the City of Holy Faith and giving back to the community. It really made an impression on me.” 

On the night of May 6, 2017, Hope attended Santa Fe’s annual Bailé de Mayo at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. After a great evening spent listening to live music and dancing, Hope learned that she would represent Santa Fe as 2017’s La Reina.

A queen of the people

Held September 1–10 at various locations throughout Santa Fe, the Santa Fe Fiesta has been going strong for more than 300 years. The annual fiesta commemorates Don Diego De Vargas’ peaceful reoccupation in 1692 of the City of Holy Faith. The first Spanish settlement in Santa Fe did not go well. The 1680 Pueblo Revolt culminated with the burning of the city and the exile of the Spanish colonists, who spent the next 12 years in what is now known as Juarez, Mexico. 

Although many people attend and participate in the annual fiesta every year, there are some who are unable to attend. One of the key duties of La Reina is to bring the festival to them.

“During fiesta week, I will visit many of the schools throughout Santa Fe and explain to the kids what’s behind the cry of ‘Viva La Fiesta,’” Hope says. “I will visit many of the nursing homes to bring the light and joy of La Fiesta to those who cannot get out and attend. I also will attend masses at various churches throughout Santa Fe and neighboring communities to spend time with members of our faith community.”

A passion for helping the next generation

hope quintana
Hope Quintana and her parents at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, where she was crowed la reina by the Most Rev. John C. Wester, the twelfth Archbishop of Santa Fe.

During the Pueblo Revolt, Spanish colonists managed to rescue from a burning church a 29-inch carved Marian statue of La Conquistadora, the oldest representation of the Madonna in the United States. Missionary Fray Alonso de Benavides brought the statue to Santa Fe in 1625. This venerable statue currently resides at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe.

“I volunteer as a youth catechist for confirmation at this very church,” says Hope. “I also serve as the Chair of the Pastoral Council at Cristo Rey Catholic Church, and it was here that my community involvement was strengthened. I have performed many duties for my church by serving in various ministries. I think such contributions help me serve as a strong role model for our youth so that I can pass on many of the traditions found in our community.”

Outside of church, Hope served as the head cheerleading coach at Los Alamos High School in 2016, where her squad covered football, basketball and even volleyball and soccer games. The squad successfully participated in four different competitions throughout the state before qualifying for the state competition. For the first time ever, Los Alamos hosted its own cheerleading competition.

“It was gratifying to watch as the girls unified into a single unit,” Hope says. “This team attitude and commitment made it possible for us to volunteer at so many events, like providing concessions at games and creating various routines for pep rallies and events like Homecoming. I hope to bring a similar sense of commitment, unification and volunteerism to the community during my reign as 2017’s La Reina de la Fiesta de Santa Fe.”

hope quintana
Coach Hope Quintana (left) and the Los Alamos High School cheerleaders.

Hope Quintana works as a research and development engineer for the Actinide Engineering and Science group (MET-1). She received her BS and MS degrees from New Mexico State University in Chemical Engineering.


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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the Employee Spotlight articles are solely those of the featured employees and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Los Alamos National Laboratory.


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