Founded in 1992 by Mary Lou Valencia, Danza Mixcoatl is a San Diego-based Aztec dance troupe. In 2008, Danza Mixcoatl received support from ACTA’s Traditional Arts Development Program to host San Diego’s first-ever Xilonen-Kosoy ceremony, a rite of passage ceremony for young women from 12 to 22 years of age. Xilonen is a Nahuatl word meaning tender corn and symbolizes that in-between stage of life: still a girl not yet a women. Kosoy is the Kumeyaay name for San Diego: place beside the water.
The Xilonen-Kosoy requires a two-year commitment from the young women participating. A curriculum of building self-esteem, leadership training, and community activism is a requirement of all Xilonen-Kosoy participants with family involvement actively sought and encouraged. The Xilonen-Kosoy Ceremony gives tremendous value to the lives of the participating young women as they seek their path to womanhood.