NewsNational Latinx Heritage Month

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A look inside Belizean culture and tamale making

Belize October 1, 2021
Posted at 6:36 PM, Oct 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-02 01:44:05-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — As 23ABC continues to cover Latinx Heritage Month it is important to highlight different foods countries and cultures.

This week the highlight is Belize, a country located in Central America. 23ABC’S Rosaura Simone gave a personal look into what being Latinx means to her grandmother, Rosaura Lozano.

Dating back to 1968 President Lyndon B Johnson signed a bill designating the week of September 15 as Latinx Heritage Week.

Now Latinx heritage is a month-long to include all the independence days of the Latinx cultures within the US.

Belize located between Mexico and Guatemala celebrated its independence on September 21, 1981.

“To be Belizean it means a lot, it’s my home it’s where I grew up and as anyone can tell you it’s always there in your heart you know that’s your first love so to speak,” said Lozano.

My grandmother like many other Latinx people immigrated to the United States in the 60’s she said it was not easy, but she knew it was the right move for her family.

“Well, you just have to be persistent and it’s hard yeah because you’re in a new county new culture different people. But it's a good country you know you’ll make it you just have to put up the fight whatever comes your way and just fight the fight, and everything is going to be okay,” said Lozano.

This month holds a special place in our hearts as continue to move forward but never forget where we come from.
Kitchens are heating up across the world in honor of Latinx Heritage Month. This week we have a special treat right from my grandmothers’ kitchen.

“But first we gotta put your headwrap on,” said Lozano. “We don't want no hair in the tamales.”

Before we get started my grandmother likes to go into her garden. There she collects her first ingredients.

“The first step we’re gonna get the chicken out the refrigerator and wash it with some lemon,” said Lozano.

Then she gets the recado special order from Belize because it’s almost impossible to find in the US.

“So, we’ll put this on there and put them in the pot and I’ll add the rest of the seasoning in the pot,” said Lozano. “And then we’ll put it on the stove to cook for about 30 minutes.”

This recipe has been in our family for generations and celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month means a great deal to my grandmother

“I have grandparents and great grandparents that are Hispanic my grandmother is Mayan Indian she’s from Guatemala, so we have a lot of Hispanic cultures that’s what we grew up with,” said Lozano,

My grandmother said during this month it's important to celebrate all Hispanic cultures.

“We’re all one we’re all the same people we all have more or less the same beliefs the same upbringing more or less and family means a lot to us, so this is a time for us to get together and love on each other,” said Lozano.

One way she celebrates that love is by cooking.

“I made tamales today, Belize style,” said Lozano.

While the chicken is boiling, we prepped the masa of course with me as sous chef. Finally, after a few taste tests and making the Coll, we finally laid the tamales.

“Here we go with the tamale now getting ready to make them off, of course, we use a lot of meat and then we top it with the Coll, we fold it,” said Lozano.

You wrap it tight and drop it in the pot for 30 minutes.