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Tamale Tradition from Guatemala

Tamales, recipe below 
In 1996 I spent my Christmas Holidays alone in Guatemala City as a graduate student doing archival research there for a doctoral dissertation in history. From that research I recently published a book entitled Black Labor Migration in Caribbean Guatemala, 1882-1923 http://www.upf.com/book.asp?id=OPIEX001. The Guatemalan Ladino (folks who spoke Spanish and adhered to Hispanic culture and Catholicism) Christmas tradition of eating tamales and drinking punch and setting off firecracker remained vivid in my mind. I enjoyed tamales in Rey Sol, a great restaurant and bakery in Zona 1, Guatemala City across from Parque Centenario, and loathed hearing fireworkers go off at 2 a.m. as I tried to sleep in my humble hotel room also in Zona 1. Recently I used the autobiography of Rigoberta Menchu, a Guatemalan Indian women, in a class I taught on Race and Ethnicity in Latin America. In the book Menchu explains the origins of the relationship between Christmas and tamales. “The Guatemalan Indian custom for a very important fiesta is to make atol [corn based thick hot drink] and tamales,” she writes. Ladinos, continued this custom particularly as part of Christmas celebrations.

Guatemalan Tamale Recipe: http://www.saveur.com/article/food/Guatemalan-Tamales-with-Ancho-Chile-Sauce

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Mexican Corn Bread on Christmas Morning