Mexico was a destination for escaped slaves — one woman risked everything to get them there

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ALAMO, Texas — Along the winding Rio Grande in South Texas lies a history many have never heard, of a southern route to freedom for enslaved people on the Underground Railroad into Mexico. 

“It’s so close, but yet it was so far for so many people,” O.J. Trevino said, peering across the river at the Mexican side of the border from his family’s property. “Knowing that they just had to get there.”

Trevino, who grew up just 5 miles from the border, was shocked to learn that his fifth-great-grandmother helped ferry escapees across that river to freedom. 

“I come from a Mexican family, but then to understand, she was formerly enslaved. They helped other people that were enslaved into freedom,” he said. “It’s a sense of pride knowing that you had family that did that.”