Little Farm of Memories

By: Christopher Gomez


 

In a Little Farm outside of Goulds, Florida is a place where little children can celebrate the harvest season and have fun doing it. 

 

Owner of Little Farm, Kristina Fiorentino told us “This farm has been around for 30 yeards. We are an educational farm for kids.” Because of this Miguel Perez decided to take his family to the Little Farm to spend a fun day with his kids. “My wife had the idea of coming to Little Farm and do a fall experience that we normally would.” said Mike

 

Doing what one would normally do has been difficult recently. Because of COVID-19, the Perez family hasn’t been able to get out of the house very often. This time outside the house is exactly what his kids needed. Mike reiterated “It’s nice. All the parks have been closed and there’s not really much we can do and this is a nice little break for them. It’s going to be hard to get them back home.” It isn’t just getting out of the house for Mike though. Moments like these are what make having kids such a special experience for him. “It’s fantastic, you get off work and its nice to spend some quality time with them.”

 

Even Though they spent this time together on an average farm, it didn’t stop that family connection from growing even with a few moo’s along the way.

 

With contributions by: Joseph Gonzalez 

Swamp Apes Defending the Everglades

By: Christopher Gomez

 

The Everglades, the heart of South Florida is currently under attack from invasive species such as the Burmese Pythons.

 

“The python situation is a new thing that we’re dealing with, with the introduction of non-native species. We have a lot of problems that we’re dealing with. Our ecology is completely changing.” said Everglades Park Ranger Chelsea Nile. The pythons however are not directly affecting the area, but are attacking smaller animals and are hurting predators as they are eating their normal prey. Paleoimnologist Christine Taylot told us “The pythons are the Apex hunter right now, they’re competing against the American alligator and it’s difficult for them to keep up. The [pythons] are at the top of the food web so they eat all of the small mammals underneath.”

 

According to National Geographic the mammal population has decreased anywhere from 90-95% which leaves private hunters and groups to control this problem. “I founded an organization called the Swamp Apes. We’re looking for basking snakes that are warming up after several cold night” said Swamp Apes founder Tom Rahill.

 

The Swamp Apes are currently attempting to manage the Python population, but their main goal is assisting transitioning veterans. Rahill elaborated saying “The Swamp Apes are an organization that is dedicated to serving veterans through serving the wilderness. Our primary focus is involving the veterans and making sure their transition is a good one.” Veterans have begun joining the group and are 100% in to helping the organization and their mission. “They help veterans with PTSD and if ever I can be part of that I’m all in. It’s a good brotherhood and sisterhood, good people fun to hang out with fellow veterans.”

 

The Swamp Apes will continue their mission of helping veterans by catching one python at a time.

 

With contributions by: Kevin Reyes, Joseph Gonzalez, Michael Novo  

The Hills’ Second Act

By: Christopher Gomez


 

Kevin Cordero is a unique student with a wide variety of skills and interests, one such talent is drama. He is the first person in the Columbus Drama Club to write, direct, and star in his own play and through this he is spreading a very important message. “The play I wrote last spring break is about drug addiction and it brings awareness to the severity of this illness and focuses on someone who feels alone and has no support or leadership during this process,” said Kevin.

 

The play however has a much deeper meaning for Kevin Cordero as he’s dealt with these problems in his family life. Kevin said, “My biological dad used drugs and it caused him to not only ruin his life, but to ruin our family.” Thankfully Mayte, Kevin’s mother met a person who was able and willing to be Kevin’s father figure. “When Jason stepped into the picture, he taught us about how negatively drugs can affect your life and he was a role model. He taught about honesty, loyalty, and love.

 

Jason Hill is a guidance counselor and football coach from Columbus HIgh School whose life changed overnight. “I went from having zero kids to having two young men overnight, they were gonna be my kids,” said Jason. Kevin’s mother Mayte also took notice of this relationship. “He’s a much better father figure than what they had and I’m very thankful for that,” Mayte said.

 

Although Kevin and Jason have different interests they can still bond over their commitment to their craft. Jason explained it “Everyone says ‘You’re a football coach, he likes drama and to draw,’ but at the end of the day, when you’re directing a drama play, its equivalent to calling a football play as a coach. So that’s something as a parent that you not only appreciate, but you have to admire it.”

 

Kevin and his brother look to change their last name to Hill, be adopted by their beloved stepfather and once and for all, truly become their father.

 

With contributions made by: Marcus Callegari, Gianmarco Maestri, Juan Pablo Garcia-Casals

Youth Sports are Back!

By: Christopher Gomez

 

After a long hiatus our little ones are finally able to get out of the house and play the sports that they love. As we have begun to understand the effects of COVID-19, parents now feel comfortable with their kids coming back onto the court and field with appropriate regulations. “For kids it’s extremely important for them to interact with other kids. They can do the zooms all they want, but at the end of the day they’re not around other kids; them being able to talk, walk around, and have contact with others is very important to their psyche.” said Youth Basketball Coach Oscar Farinas.

 

All the parents we spoke to came back to the same point. They aren’t putting their kids in sports because they want to, it’s because their kids do. Youth Athlete Andres Garcia told us “I was super excited to come back and play baseball again. It was so fun!” His mom Jennifer reiterated her son’s point “After some time he needed to be back on the field and he’s really excited. Us as parents we’re super stoked about him being out there and playing the sport that he loves.”

 

Most importantly though the safety of the athletes is top priority. “In the game today we have various sanitation for the hands and are keeping social distancing in the dugout and wherever we can.” said Coach Carlos Fernandez. Whether on the court or the fields kids can finally have fun playing sports all while remaining safe from the novel coronavirus.

 

With Contributions made by:

Emanuel Naccarato and  Michael Novo