The Sunshine Economy: Financial Statements - Stories Of Money And The Price of Life in South Florida

Nov 21, 2019

The story of South Florida’s economy is more than statistics. Behind the well-known data on income disparity, housing affordability, and low average pay are the voices of people grappling with its adversities and those thriving from its opportunities. These stories are from people who are struggling to make ends meet, and the experiences of others enjoying prosperity. These are personal portraits of real people sharing the role money plays in their lives in South Florida.

You can see all of our collected stories so far by clicking here.

If you are interested in sharing your story, please email us:

In this episode, hear from:

Alexis Martin
Credit Tom Hudson / WLRN Public Media

Alexis Martin was in his early 20s during what is referred to as the Special Period in Cuba. It was the years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and its financial support of the Castro regime. Like thousands of others, he left Cuba -- and has his own harrowing story -- eventually making it to the United States to build a new life in South Florida.

Derek Auguste
Credit Tom Hudson / WLRN Public Media

  Derek Auguste is a veteran who grew up in South Florida. He had trouble readjusting to life after the military, and missing that regular paycheck. 

Kathleen Crampton
Credit Tom Hudson / WLRN Public Media

  Kathleen Crampton had been coming to Florida since she was a kid and her family came down to escape winters up north. Her family was successful in the media and news business, and she also had a successful business career.


Carlos Caballero
Credit Tom Hudson / WLRN Public Media

  On the side of the refrigerator in the apartment where we met Carlos Caballero was a big calendar. He had crossed off each day that passed with an “X”. But instead of the days filled with a work schedule, appointments or family events, the calendar was used for one purpose -- to keep track of bills. 

Alvaro Martinez
Credit Tom Hudson / WLRN Public Media

  Alvaro Martinez grew up around the medical profession. His father was a doctor, and Alvaro knew he was going to practice medicine. He didn’t know what type of medicine to focus on, but he knew he wanted his medical career to be different than his dad’s.