Local woman sells tamales to support mother’s funeral expenses

Local woman sells tamales to support mother’s funeral expenses

The holiday season in New Mexico wouldn't be complete without tamales, and making them has extra meaning this year for one woman.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In New Mexico, it wouldn’t be the holidays without tamales.

For one local woman, making tamales has extra meaning this year.

Each Christmas, Angelina Montano’s kitchen comes alive with the aromas of masa, meat and, of course, New Mexico chile.

Tamales run through her veins. Since Montano was four, she has been handmaking them just the way her grandparents used to make them.

“The holidays for my family have always been amazing. When my grandparents were alive, it was a time when everybody came together,” Montano said. “My grandma and grandpa always said, ‘if someone’s hungry, feed them. “

This year, there are a few empty chairs around the family Christmas table.

Just before Thanksgiving, Angelina’s mother passed away due to pancreatic cancer. Now, her ashes watch over their dinner table.

Just a few years ago too, Angelina lost her father and her sister, also from cancer.

With each delivery, her tamales take on a new meaning.

“I have been making tamales for donations for my mother’s services next month. So the majority of the proceeds from the tamales are going to bury her next month,” Angelina said.

With a smile on the side, she delivers Christmas cheer despite a tough year.

“Being in the kitchen and doing what I do, as far as giving to others, makes that better. It makes me heal my grief and so cooking is always my love language,” she said.

In the spirit of giving, and her family values, Angelina makes sure not to turn away someone who is hungry.

“If people don’t have money, I’ll just give them to them or I’ll be like, ‘No, no, no, just take them,’ you know? Like you guys got to, you know, enjoy some food on Christmas Eve,” she said.

Healing trauma through tamales this holiday season.

If you’d like to help Angelina with her mother’s funeral expenses, click here. For details on how to purchase tamales from her, check out the poster: