Chicago Dreamer is funding her college education thanks to her small-but-bustling tamale stand


Dominican College pupil and DACA recipient Elizeth Argüelles

When she was child, Deferred Motion for Childhood Arrivals recipient Elizeth Argüelles not solely used to rise up at three:30 within the morning to assist her mother put together tamales, however she would additionally exit and assist her promote them, working till it was time for varsity. Her friends then turned faculty into one other chore. 

“I used to get bullied so much for not talking English proper or for the way in which I dressed,” she mentioned. “Different kids referred to as her tamalera—one who makes and sells tamales,” the Chicago Tribune reported. It could typically make her really feel embarrassed concerning the work she did along with her mother. However then one thing modified.

“In highschool, I began to understand how my mother was only a enterprise proprietor,” she mentioned. “I might see my mother struggling to push her cart via the snow and if she will be able to do this, who am I to not attempt or search options?” Now 23 years outdated, her earnings from the tamales “allowed Argüelles to pay for neighborhood school tuition at Morton Faculty in 2014. They’re now serving to her pay tuition at Dominican College, from which she expects to graduate in 2020.” She additionally works part-time as a youth profession information. 

“I’m very pleased with her,” mother Claudia Perez mentioned, “Very proud.” Perez advised the Chicago Tribune that when she first determined years in the past to promote tamales, her husband was skeptical of how profitable she may very well be. Perez used her financial savings—$1,000—to purchase her first batch of substances. “I really feel very proud,” she mentioned, “as a result of I by no means imagined I might accomplish any of this … that my daughter would go to a college. So I really feel very proud. I do know that every little thing is feasible.”

Immigrant households face important hurdles on account of authorized standing, however they’re additionally resilient. They should be to be able to survive. “Greater than something,” Argüelles mentioned, “I want to inform her that it has been a blessing to be a tamalera and to be the daughter of a tamalera, as a result of I’ve resistance working via my veins, and it doesn’t solely come from the tamales, but additionally from the girl my mom is.”


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