Kumeyaay Nation on the Mexican side of the border are separated by red construction string as the current US/Mexico border is under construction. CAMPO, CA. July 27, 2020


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The American Border Patrol arrived en masse. The Department of Homeland Security circled overhead in a low-flying helicopter; a thunder reverberated through the air, chopping through the dusty ground. A forklift began to replace the empty borderline with the rusty and ridged pieces of the former border wall, closing the latitude of expansive land on either side of the Kumeyaay. A bulldozer parked a few feet away hummed loudly, its driver awaiting instruction. The Mexican military suddenly appeared from behind the flimsy blockade of Vietnam-era metal squares; a soldier at the helm of a machine gun. All the while, the bands of Kumeyaay Nation continued to pray. Their chants rang through the air, musical gourds rattling like a rhythmic rainstorm, while sage burned ceremonially. They danced with a mixture of joy and sorrow, and a tribe member placed a hand over her heart, dancing, as silent tears rolled down her face. 

Written by: Katie Bard

A Border Patrol agent places his hand on one of the Kumeyaay woman leaders in the middle of prayer. In Kumeyaay tradition interrupting prayer is a sign of disrespect. The border patrol agent alleges he is trying to keep everyone safe while in a construction zone. CAMPO, CA. July 27, 2020
A construction worker uses a forklift to move the old landing mat border wall for the construction of the new 18 feet bollard style wall. CAMPO, CA. July 27,2020
Kumeyaay on both the American and Mexican side stand in prayer as the current border wall is being built. CAMP,CA. July 27, 2020.

 “We used to walk across this land for ceremonies and funerals every year. This is Kumeyaay Nation. We can’t see our families unless they get a passport or a green card to cross the land. This is our land.”


- Martha Rodriguez, a protest leader and member of the San Jose de la Zorra band of Kumeyaay.

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