This lovely park has been bisected by the border wall. hiking and biking trails on the other side are no longer available for use. such an ugly addition to a beautiful landscape. #rgv#borderwall#trumpsucks
Ramiro roberto ramirez stood near an 8-foot wooden cross he constructed for the chapel his great-great-grandfather built here in 1874. “the actual wood, the mesquite, came out of our property. we carved it out, and as you can see there are no nails on this, it's just pressed in there and glued,” said ramirez, who built the cross with a friend two years ago.
ramirez, 70, beams with pride as he talks about rebuilding the 600-square-foot chapel, which was damaged by hurricane dolly in 2008. before then, up to 50 parishioners would crowd the quaint chapel for sunday service.
a designated historical marker, it’s known as the first spanish-speaking methodist church in the rio grande valley. a few feet away from the chapel are headstones he selected, near the graves of his ancestors at martin jackson cemetery, for he and his wife, melinda ramirez.
in 1857, ramiro roberto ramirez’s great-great grandfather, nathaniel jackson, arrived on the land from wilcox county, alabama, along with a caravan of seven families and freed slaves in his care, looking to escape a hostile environment rife with prejudice.
but he fears the church and the graves of his ancestors will soon be relegated behind a steel fence, a result of the trump administration’s continued effort to build border walls along the u.s.-mexico border.
click on the link in our bio to find the story and more photos. 📸: delcia lopez