A Whole Lotta Tamalada at Travis ECHS

Travis Early College High School students and parents gathered around tables with Superintendent Paul Cruz this morning for an important conversation—memories of past tamaladas.

As they participated in making tamales, Cruz talked about how important tamaladas were in his family growing up.

“It’s really about coming together as a family and making memories,” Cruz said. “This is about sharing our experiences. It’s great to keep the tradition alive. It’s hard work. Food brings the family together.”

Board Vice President Geronimo Rodriguez also rolled up his sleeves to make tamales with students and Cruz.

Last year, the culinary class, which is a part of Travis’s Career and Technical Education program, made over 1,000 tamals.

“Sometimes we sell them to benefit the culinary department, but this year we’re sharing them with our families and staff,” said Travis chef and teacher Adam Phillips.

Travis has long had a tradition of using food to bring people together. This is the ninth tamalada the school has held. The culinary arts students at Travis also hosted the first high school Peace Through Pie event in 2012.

The students use their training from culinary classes to get internships and jobs at hotels and restaurants in downtown Austin.

“This is just a special department here. We’re glad we can give them real-world culinary experience to get a job,” Phillips said.