East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy

The Tamale Lady

East L.A. has a lot of strong-hearted people, some who are considered celebrities are the people who are inspirations or role models for success. An example of such a person is Mrs. Vasquez, who sells tamales with her husband. With that position you may not think she can be an inspiration, but she and her husband are owners of their own tamale business. Before that, she worked for another business, but soon quit to sell on her own for a better opportunity for her family. They continued selling tamales because they had no skills for other jobs. She started selling on the streets as a vendor, but the County would always try to stop her. After 10 years, she finally had enough and started her own business with her husband. She has continued her successful restaurant named, Tamales Los Angeles, for 4 years now. What intrigued my partner and me was how brave she was to keep selling on the street even though the County always tried to stop her. It shows she is a determined and dedicated person who cares for her family’s well-being. Also, what makes her stand out is how she is most proud of just keeping her restaurant open. She took what she was good at and turned it into something successful that people can be inspired by.

Around one-quarter of people in East L.A. are below the poverty level. Many people struggle to survive. People should know about these role models that aren’t noticed who did the best with what they had, and fought what was against them head-on. Their family was their motivation, and that’s something that should be highlighted to show everyone it is possible to be successful in any way. You don’t need to be a pro-athlete or a movie star. That’s why we picked this celebrity, to show everyone an example of someone who can be followed. Our culture revolves around  growth, change, challenges, and opportunities. Mrs. Vasquez can be a reflection of our culture because she never gave up on growing her business. She struggled for her family’s survival and fought challenges she faced from the County head-on, going for a better life. That’s what makes a celebrity. In East L.A. we have our own that carries our spirit.