An artist works on the "Viva La Tamale Lady" letters above a portrait of Virginia Ramos.

Two artists began painting a portrait of Virginia Ramos (a.k.a. “The Tamale Lady”) in Clarion Alley this morning. Ramos was recently told by Zeitgeist, the bar where she had been selling her tamales out of a cart for years, that she could no longer do business there.

In June, The Tamale Lady announced that she would be launching an Indiegogo campaign to open a brick and mortar location in the Mission. She hopes to raise $50,000.

Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) muralists and organizers are painting the mural in the alley to honor her.

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Molly is a multimedia journalist, editor, photographer and illustrator. She has contributed to dozens of publications, and most recently, served as Editor of the Pacific Sun. To view more of her work, visit

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  1. Virginia Ramos is trying to raise $50,000, not $150,000 (source: