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Heard On Sundial: A Guatemalan Migrant Camp, A Python Hunter, And Composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich

Daniel Varela
Miami Herald
A migrant child walks through a secret camp in South Miami-Dade.

On this Tuesday, March 3, episode of Sundial:

Guatemalan migrant camp in South Miami-Dade

Deep in South Miami-Dade, tucked between nurseries, vegetable fields and fruit crops there are migrant camps of mostly Guatemalan children. 

“They live like a family, a little village, but in horrible conditions,” says Miami Herald immigration reporter Monique O. Madan.

The South Miami-Dade community and Miami Dade County Public Schools superintendent Alberto Carvahlo have come together to give them clothes, food and an education. Carvahlo, once an undocumented immigrant, has chosen to not alert Immigration Customs and Enforcement. Madan joined Sundial to share the story.

Meet the ‘Python Cowboy’ hunter

Burmese pythons have wreaked havoc in the Florida Everglades and caused major devastation to the ecosystem.

The python has no known predators in the wild and there are estimates that the animals have reduced the population of furry mamals by 99 percent, according to scientists. 

Multiple state agencies have established python hunting programs where individuals are trained and paid minimum wage to capture and kill the snakes, primarily at night. Hal Sundt, reporter for The Bitter Southerner followed Mike Kimmel, a python hunter based on the west coast of Florida capturing snakes in the Everglades. Sundt joined Sundial to talk about his reporting.

Credit Photo by Bill Keefrey

South Florida conductor to perform with South Florida Symphony Orchestra 

American composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich says music is her “lifelong thing.”

Although she didn't come from a family with any musical background, she discovered music when she was a toddler and it became an obsession. In highschool, Zwilich joined the music program at Coral Gables High School and composed a selection of songs for the band. She also conducted. 

“It was key. [Musical education] was very enriching to my life,” says Zwilich.

Later in life, she became the first female composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Now, she’s a member American Classical Music Hall of Fame, the Florida Artists Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

Zwilich continues to compose. She joined Sundial to talk about her musical career and a new concerto for cello and orchestra. She will be performing with the South Florida Symphony Orchestra in Ft. Lauderdale on Thursday, in Miami on Saturday and in Key West on Sunday. You can find moreinformation here.

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