'Tamales with love': How a nonprofit is giving back to Bay Area farmworker families

Lauren Martinez Image
Tuesday, December 19, 2023
Tamale making party in San Jose to give back to farmworker families
Nearly 100 volunteers rolled up their sleeves in San Jose to make 2,400 tamales which will be delivered to 200 farmworker families in Half Moon Bay.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Nearly 100 volunteers rolled up their sleeves on Monday in San Jose to make 2,400 tamales.

The tamale-making party was a labor of love by the nonprofit Farmworker Caravan.

On Wednesday the organization will deliver these tamales to 200 farmworker families.

Darlene Tenes is the executive director of Farmworker Caravan.

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"Everybody is family here today and we're making tamales with love to deliver to these people who work for us 365 days of the year delivering food to our tables so today we wanted to deliver food to their tables," Tenes said.

Hundreds of hands helped prepare the filling, the masa, folding and eventually steaming.

There was even a tamale-making 101 class.

The Mexican dish is a tradition in many Latino households around Christmas time.

Aside from the assembly of tamales, small business owners held a Christmas market.

Sandra Martinez Andres started Garcia's E-Market by making bracelets first and then adding items made by her grandmother in Mexico.

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"She makes this napkin cloth she actually hand stitches them and so I thought it would be really great to also make her a part of all this. I feel like all the creativity came from her," Martinez Andres said.

Claudia Lopez sells handcrafted jewelry and home goods from Guatemala and Mexico.

Her storefront, The Guatemalan Boutique, LLC, is in San Juan Bautista.

"I really want to show everyone - share the culture and show that we have beautiful handcrafted items. For me it's just a great opportunity to be here to market myself, my business, support and give back to the community that way," Lopez said.

By Monday evening, volunteers were still cooking and packaging the tamales that will be gifted to farm-working families in Half Moon Bay.

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