Hallacas are the traditional Venezuelan tamales. Internationally known, these tamales' preparation and ingredients vary in each region of the country and each family adds its own touch. I learned to prepare hallacas with a recipe that comes from the Venezuelan Andes, since my mother is a native of that region. This recipe differentiates from those of other regions because it uses guiso crudo (which is when the hallaca meat filling is not previously cooked. Making hallacas is always a great excuse to reunite with the family; that's why there is no Christmas for Venezuelans without hallacas. Here I explain the basic steps for its preparation: making el guiso, cleaning and preparing the leaves, making the dough, assembly and cooking. Let's do it!