My name is Luz Maria.

I’m from Puebla, and I’ve been selling tamales with my food cart for 40 years. Here, the specialty of the tamales is red chilies, tomatoes, con rajas, and cheese. The one with salsa verde has tomato, chilis, and chicken.

It hasn’t always been easy. I’ve encountered many problems over the years, mainly facing the prospect of being kicked out of my spot by the government. I stay while they let me. Right now, if they decide to kick me out, I go. I always obey and look for another place to go.

I raised my kids by selling tamales since they’ve been in school, and now they’re independent. What keeps me here working hard every day is my husband. He’s sick and getting dialysis. He is my primary motivator. Some insist on giving me money when I tell them my situation, but I don’t believe in such a thing as free money. I always work for it, and I always offer my tamales in exchange!