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Making Tamales and Celebrating Culture: Humanities Department Hosts Latin Cooking Class

by Jesus Delgado ’24 Dec 5, 2023
Latin Cooking Class

With a corn husk in one hand and some tamale mix in the other, students were able to make their own delicious tamales during a Latin cooking class hosted by the humanities department.

Sandra Guzman, an architect and Mexican chef, explained to students the history and cultural significance of the traditional Mesoamerican dish. While tamales started as religious offerings by the Mayans to their gods, they are now enjoyed by Latino families everywhere for a multitude of occasions. 

“I love tamales. And even though I’m Mexican, I love hearing the history behind them.”  

 Nallely de Roman Ramos ’24, psychology major and vice president of the Association for Latinx and Ally Students 

However, tamales symbolize more than just a meal to these families. They are communal celebrations that carry with them shared stories of resiliency, unity, and identity. 

“It’s really hard to be far from Mexico. Making this food helps me bring memories back from childhood or when I was in school,” Guzman explained when asked about why she started cooking tamales. 

After sharing with students various recipes and helping them make tamales to take back home, she made sure no one left hungry by letting students try various types of delicious tamales.

Angelica Silva, Ph.D., associate professor of Spanish and Hispanic cultural studies, ran this event in the hope of promoting Hispanic culture and diversity here at DeSales. When asked why she chose a food-centered event, she responded: “Culture is everywhere around us, even in our meals.”

Ultimately, hosting these cultural events helps the community further embody the teachings of St. Francis de Sales. It reminds all its members to openly embrace the cultures and traditions of each other. 

“These events raise awareness of the diverse culture on campus and invite students who aren’t Hispanic to come learn more about our culture,” said de Roman Ramos.