The Eli Jackson cemetery is the final resting place for Native Americans, war veterans, freed slaves and Christian abolitionists who shaped the cultural, spiritual and racial history of the Rio Grande Valley.
The historic graveyard is next door to the Jackson Ranch chapel, the oldest Protestant church still standing in the valley.
Both sites are only a mile or so from Mexico, on a long and dusty road flanked by sturdy mesquites. This is where, amid local protest and national condemnation, Donald Trump is pushing to start construction of a new border wall, with potentially disastrous consequences.
The wall will be built on top of a levee just north of the 145-year-old Methodist chapel and cemetery, placing them within the 150ft enforcement zone which the government has said it plans to raze. The church and cemetery, which are designated Texas Historical Markers, would be marooned between Trump’s wall and the actual border, just to the south along the Rio Grande.
In an effort to stop the wall, leaders of the Carrizo/Comecrudo tribe and activists live in a makeshift tent village within the shady cemetery. For almost a year, they have burned a sacred log fire, ringed by tribal flags.