Los Ebanos Woman Resists Border Wall to Preserve Heritage
LOS EBANOS - A woman from a small Rio Grande Valley town fought the government on the border wall in 2006 and won.
Los Ebanos is a small town situated along the U.S.-Mexico border. Many residents in the area live on the river’s edge.
Los Ebanos resident Aleida Flores-Garcia said the special connection she has to the small town motivates her to fight again.
“I was raised here all of my life. I love my little town. It doesn’t have too many people anymore. A lot of people have left us,” she said.
Flores-Garcia said the federal government offered to pay her $18,000 to take half of her property 11 years ago. She defied them until her case went to court.
“I was hurt that my property was going to be cut in half,” she said.
Flores-Garcia got her property back, but construction of the border continued after the small town’s limits. In the years that followed, the small town dealt with an influx of drug and human smuggling.
“It was pretty bad many years ago, and when all this technology - aerostats, sensors and cameras came into the picture, a lot of stuff has really worked,” she said.
The Los Ebanos resident said she’s sad to hear President Trump’s plans to build a wall along the border. She’d like to see more technology spread along the border with Mexico.
“I am very discouraged due to the fact that it’s not really going to help at all,” she said. “The higher-ups should really come down and talk to the people. They should visualize the properties and they should know how it really works in a little town.”
Flores-Garcia said she’s trying to help Los Ebanos hold on to its charm. She said she would like to show the new administration what the border really looks like before they build a barrier.
“I’m actually saving my heritage. I’m defending my heritage. That’s all I’m doing right now. This little town was a beautiful town,” she said.
Flores-Garcia said the stretch of the river in Los Ebanos has a lot of erosion activity. She said building a wall would require continued maintenance to make sure it stays up.