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Santa Fe's Fiesta Queen

Hope Quintana looks to give back to the community.
December 19, 2017
Hope Quintana

Hope received her bachelor's and masters degrees from New Mexico State University in chemical engineering.


  • Director, Community Partnerships Office
  • Kathy Keith
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"It’s the dream of every little girl growing up in Santa Fe."- Hope Quintana

In early 2017, Hope Quintana, a research and development engineer at the Laboratory, decided it was time for her to compete for the title of La Reina de la Fiesta de Santa Fe.

“It’s the dream of every little girl growing up in Santa Fe,” Hope explains. “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.” 

Held every September at various locations throughout Santa Fe, the Santa Fe Fiesta has been going strong for more than 300 years.

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.

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.

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 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 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 attend masses at various churches throughout Santa Fe and neighboring communities to spend time with members of our faith community.”


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.

In addition to her service as La Reina, Hope volunteers as a youth catechist for confirmation at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe. 

“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,” Hope says. “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 cheered for 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.”

Learn more about Hope