Mom surprised with quinceanera she never had at 50th birthday party

"It was the first time in my life I've ever had a surprise like that."

February 20, 2024, 4:45 PM

A Delaware woman received the surprise of a lifetime when her family and friends surprised her at her 50th birthday party with the quinceañera she never had as a teen.

Merida Garcia Ramirez told "Good Morning America" she suspected her husband and daughters might have planned something for her Jan. 27 birthday, but when she walked into her church and they took off her blindfold, she couldn't help but tear up at the sight of over 200 family members and friends who showed up to throw her a surprise party.

Garcia Ramirez's daughter Cindy Dionicio, who happens to share the same birthday as her mom, said it was a team effort and the surprise was a big success. The 24-year-old captured her mom's emotional reaction in a video, and after she shared it on TikTok on Jan. 29, it quickly went viral, garnering nearly 400,000 views.

PHOTO: For her 50th birthday, Merida Garcia Ramirez’s family threw her a surprise quinceanera, a celebration she never had when she was a teenager in Guatemala.
For her 50th birthday, Merida Garcia Ramirez’s family threw her a surprise quinceanera, a celebration she never had when she was a teenager in Guatemala.
Courtesy of Cindy Dionicio

"We bought her a dress to wear so she didn't really think of anything. She just thought we're gonna go out to a fancy restaurant and that was it," Dionicio said.

Garcia Ramirez, who overcame a childhood in Guatemala that was marked by war and poverty and came to the U.S. when she was 22, said she was grateful to her family and loved ones who helped her mark her milestone birthday, which was complete with cake and a princess-themed piñata.

PHOTO: Merida Garcia Ramirez, who hails from Guatemala, is the oldest of 12 siblings.
Merida Garcia Ramirez, who hails from Guatemala, is the oldest of 12 siblings.
Courtesy of Cindy Dionicio
PHOTO: Merida Garcia Ramirez with her husband and daughters, including Cindy Dionicio, whom she shares the same Jan. 27 birthday with.
Merida Garcia Ramirez with her husband and daughters, including Cindy Dionicio, whom she shares the same Jan. 27 birthday with.
Courtesy of Cindy Dionicio

"For me, it was a very special day," Garcia Ramirez told "GMA" in Spanish. "It was the first time in my life, I've ever had a surprise like that, one that I could have never imagined. I thought it was going to be something small … but my biggest surprise was to see the multitude of people who were there and the majority were my loved ones and close friends, and that was surprising to me."

PHOTO: Merida Garcia Ramirez posed for a photo with her sisters at her 50th birthday party, which doubled as a quinceanera.
Merida Garcia Ramirez posed for a photo with her sisters at her 50th birthday party, which doubled as a quinceanera.
Courtesy of Cindy Dionicio

"Everybody came to see her that day," Dionicio added.

Garcia Ramirez wore a "50 and Fabulous" sash for the celebration, which was held at the Church of God of Prophecy in Georgetown, Delaware.

"It was great because growing up, she always celebrated my birthday, always threw me surprises, and it's her birthday as well but she would always try to make me happy," Dionicio said. "But this year, I'm like, let's make it all about her .. so it was great seeing her happy."