9-year-old Gun Barrel City girl keeps Christmas tradition alive with her tamale business

Lili, local business owner making her famous tamales
Lili, local business owner making her famous tamales
Updated: Dec. 20, 2018 at 7:07 PM CST
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GUN BARREL CITY, TX (KLTV) - Tamales are popular Christmas tradition here in East Texas.

Nine-year-old Aaliyah Nahara, or as her fans know her, Lili, is East Texas' best little tamale chef around. Lili has taken close to 4,000 orders this so far this Christmas season.

“I love tamales. I love to eat them,” Lili said.

It’s a booming business in the hands of a 3rd grader.

“I wanted to start something like this because it would help my college fund,” Lili said.

“It’s just such a blessing. Since she was little, she has showed such an aptitude for business and wanting to work,” said Lili’s Jose Villarreal, Lili’s great-grandfather.

Lili’s great grandparents have consistently supported her as she dreams of becoming a doctor.

“When they have to go to surgery, and they have to put the medicine in them, so they can fall asleep with their surgery, that’s what I would like to do,” Lili said.

With such big hopes and ambitions, crafting a perfect tamale becomes a labor of love. It’s filled with centuries-old tradition and pork or chicken.

“They’re not just any tamales, they’re Lilis hot tamales,” Lili said.

Lili’s Tamales is located in Gun Barrel City, and Lili said she is still taking orders for Christmas.

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