32°37′00″N116°10′07″WCarrizo Creek has its source in Jacumba Valley, 1.2 miles north of the California-Mexico State boundary, at 32°38′09″N116°07′05″W at an elevation of 3,210 feet, on the west side of the divide between Jacumba Valley and the valley of upper Boulder Creek. Carrizo Creek flows west then north northwest through Jacumba Valley to its mouth at the head of Carrizo Gorge. Just south of the Jacumba and In-ko-pah Mountains, the terrain consists of large, flat desert plains and hills of granite boulders. The wider region, including the Jacumba Wilderness Area, which sits just east of the valley, has been greatly affected by the construction of the US/Mexico border and has become a site of great numbers of migrations along migrant paths.
The Jacumba Valley is the land of the Kumeyaay people, who have been divided by the border wall built through the region, what is commonly referred to as the US and Mexico. This border divides many people, including the Tohono O’odham Nation and the Yaqui people, as well. Jacumba Hot Springs, located in the valley, has played a significant role in Kumeyaay tradition, specifically within the myth of Tuchaipa and Yokomatis, two brothers who emerge from the land and traverse its terrain. The name “Jacumba” is believed to derive from the Kumeyaay term for “magic springs,” as the region is home to natural mineral hot springs. As ranchers began to inhabit the region in the 19th century, tensions with the Kumeyaay rose, resulting in the Jacumba Massacre of 1870 in which many Indigenous people were killed for stealing the ranchers’ cattle, or cattle rustling. There is still uncertainty as to whether cattle were stolen or not, but the feud resulted in the deaths of more than 19 Kumeyaay people and the son of a rancher. After being pushed out of their land in Jacumba Hot Springs, many Kumeyaay people migrated to Mexico, some returning around 1910 to the Campo Reservation, located just east of the valley. The Indigenous people of the borderlands became subjected to many negative stereotypes in addition to being targeted physically, and many were considered, along with the terrain of the desert, to be “uncivilized.” More recently, the Jacumba Valley has become a cite of civil disobedience for organizations such as Kumeyaay Defense Against the Wall, which mobilizes people along the border to actively oppose its presence, enforcement, and continued construction as well as provide support to Kumeyaay communities on both sides.