World Heritage Center teaches San Antonio families how to keep holiday traditions alive

The center hosted a holiday art market Saturday

SAN ANTONIO – The holidays are a time for family and friends to come together through traditions, like making tamales or playing Loteria.

However, those traditions are often lost when a family member passes away and the recipe passes with them.

The World Heritage Center hosted a holiday art market on Saturday to teach families holiday traditions.

This was John Medina’s first time making tamales. He said his family has done it for years, but he never learned how.

“My hand to my palm and just trying to stay consistent looking for holes as they call it,” Medina said.

Sabrina Lewis brought her own family tradition to visitors. Her father always wanted tamales on December 24th.

“He didn’t want you to make him before. He wanted them that morning because he wanted to wake up and smell that the tamales cooking because, you know, the women were already up there for a long time making them,” Lewis said.

Lewis said it’s important to keep traditions alive.

“What happens like in our case when your parents are gone and your grandmother or your idea yeah who’s gonna make it? So you have to learn and so we, it’s important enough to us to say let’s get in there let’s do it,” Lewis said.

San Antonio’s history was introduced to visitors too.

Teresa Canales shared the “chili queen recipe,” which is a San Antonio heritage recipe that’s been around for over 200 years.

“In front of Main Plaza, where Main Plaza is today you would have seen what we’re doing you would probably see 50 women doing the same thing and making their chili and so the men who were able to pick from their favorite chili queen,” Canales said.

The instructors suggested recording your loved one make a recipe, so you can see their methods and often recipes are not written down.

About the Authors:

Camelia Juarez is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2022. Camelia comes from a station in Lubbock, Texas. Now, she is back in her hometown. She received her degree from Texas State University. In her free time, Camelia enjoys thrifting, roller-skating and spending time with family and friends.