It's a cold morning on New Year's Eve in Richmond, at the Home Depot on San Pablo Avenue. A group of day laborers crowds around a white van for free homemade tamales and hot chocolate.
The van belongs to Rosario Tejada, who started this holiday tradition nine years ago. Tejada and a group of friends make hundreds of tamales to pass out to day laborers on either Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve. She says everyone deserves a home-cooked meal this time of year.
"That's why I make tamales for (the laborers). And I teach my kids to share food, too, to the people who have nothing to eat."
The family hands out tamales to all the workers waiting outside the Home Depot, then heads to industrial West Berkeley. A lot of day laborers wait for work near the lumber company Truitt & White.
Many of these workers are undocumented. And while illegal immigration is down nationwide, Zulma Muñoz, Tejada's daughter, says she sees more people coming to the van each year -- especially more young people.
"I've noticed that there's younger kids out here looking for work. They're probably like 14 to 16," she says. "But that's another trend, younger kids looking for work, and just standing outside of Home Depot, or we're on Fourth Street and Hearst now, and just waiting all day for work."
Muñoz says she handed food to one young man who looked about 14.
One man keeps hanging around the van. Muñoz says the family notices when some people are especially hungry.
"We happily give them more. Like this, yeah, he just had three servings," she explains.
The man thanks the family in Spanish, and Muñoz responds with "que dios te bendiga," or "God bless you."