MIM Service Project Fall 2020: Rafaella Ribeiro


My name is Rafaella Ribeiro. I am currently a junior at FIU. I am majoring in international business and supply chain management. I was born and raised in a small town in Brazil. I have always loved Miami, that love however is fading away. I am taking this class to fall in love with Miami all over again. I love taking pictures, hanging out with friends, and learning a new side of things.


For my service hours I volunteer in cleaning up the Chicken key  with my honos class by  Professor John Bailly. This was a life changing and life blowing experience. I also volunteer at the Bakehouse Art Complex in Wynwood, which was also organized by Professor John Bailly for his Honors class.


This year has been so hard for me. I lost so much, to the point that I lost touch with reality. The opportunities to volunteer gave me a joy that I had not experienced in a long time. It reminded me that there is so much to do out there. The chicken key experience made me realize how damaged our planet is. I love nature and both of these opportunities made me closer to myself and more important to our beautiful planet.  


Chicken key: On October 14th, 2020, Professor John Bailly and Nichole organized a cleanup for our Miami in Miami Honors class. We went to Deering Estate Park. From there we started to prepare for our time on the island. We were assigned groups of two and we canoed to the island, and then back to Deering Estate Park.

Bakehouse Art Complex: On October 28th, 2020, Professor John Bailly we met in the  Bakehouse Art Complex. It was located in  Wynwood, Florida. This was a project about coral reefs. The artist, Lauren Shapiro was there and she told us the meaning behind the project and what she was trying to accomplish from it.


Chicken Key island 

Canoe photo by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CC BY4.0

On Wednesday October 14th, 2020, Professor John Bailly had us meet at the Deering Estate to pick up trash from Chicken Key. The day was beautiful, and the weather was just right for what the day was going to be. We got assigned into groups of two. My partner and I both did not have as much experience cannoung so it made the proces a bit harder. We paddled on our canoes out to the Chicken Key island. I had no idea how much strength it would take to get us there. It was definitely a new experience for me. Once we arrived at the island it looked so untouched. I was wondering where all the trash was at. We tied our canoe and began to explore the island. Once on the actual island I saw how much trash  there was.  To say that I was heartbroken would be an understatement. There was trash everywhere. It was overwhelming to see it. For a few seconds I forgot that I was in the United States and saw myself at a documentary of a 3rd world country where trash is not properly disposed of. It was so easy to fill the bags because there was trash everywhere. We filled our bags but there was still so much trash left behind. I was happy to have had this opportunity and so surprised to see something like that with my own yes. The day was beautiful and once done filing the bags we had the chance to explore the island for fun and swim in the ocean. 

Bakehouse Art Complex

Rafaella And Lauren by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CC BY4.0

On Wednesday October 28th, 2020, we met Professor John Bailly at the Bakehouse Art Complex to help out a local artist, Lauren Shapiro, with her art project. I was super extended for this project but I was also nervous because I had had an experience with clay before and it gave me a bad allergy reaction. I went into the part of the gallery that was home to Shapiro’s project. She introduced herself and I met the rest of my classmates. Shapiro explained that the molds we would be using were made of  actual coral reefs. It was cool to know that they were able to use actual reefs. To a certain extent it made it feel more real. She taught us how to use the mold and it was game on. I loved the compact behind the project. I think it was a clever way to bring awareness while doing something fun. She decided not to bake the clay. With time the project will dry out and fall apart. This is kind of what is happening to the reefs. Her project is a really cool representation of the problem. The experience was really fun and gave me a chance to bind with my classmates. 


Chicken Key by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CC BY4.0

Those two experiences were truly fun and it made me feel connected with my plant. Chicken Key was the most humbling experience I have ever had. I grew up near the water and have always enjoyed being on the boat. Now I appreciate it even more because It is so much work to be in a water vehicle that is not electric. I was so happy to make the island a bit less polluted. I know that we did not fix the problem, but we did our part. This experience  reminded me of something I heard once. I cannot fix the planet by myself, but I can do my part, and if everybody did their pat this would be a much better place. I hope that in the culture I have other opportunities to get involved with a clean up. Bakehouse Art Complex was also a great experience. I loved how chill my volunteering experience was.

MIM Ineffable Miami Fall 2020: Coconut Grove by Rafaella Ribeiro

Photo Rafaella Ribeiro by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CC BY 4.0

Student Bio

My name is Rafaella Ribeiro. I am currently a junior at FIU. I am majoring in international business and supply chain management. I was born and raised in a small town in Brazil. I have always loved Miami, that love however is fading away. I am taking this class to fall in love with Miami all over again. I love taking pictures, hanging out with friends, and learning a new side of things.


Miami Neighborhood Map: Coconut Grove [UPDATED] - Culture Crusaders :  Culture Crusaders

Coconut grove is also known as The Grove. It is the oldest inhabited neighborhood of Miami in Miami dade county. Coconut Gove’s  geographical coordinates are 25° 42′ 44” North, 80° 15′ 26″ West. It has an elevation of 13’. The neighborhood is roughly bound by North Prospect Drive to the south, Le Jeune Road to the west, South Dixie Highway (US 1) and Rickenbacker Causeway to the north, and Biscayne Bay to the east. It is south of the neighborhoods of Brickell and The Roads and east of Coral Gables. Coconut Grove is known for its green areas, and it’s eclectic mix of restaurants, shops, hotels, and business. Coconut Grove is a place that has a sophisticated style, lively energy, character, and is culturally rich. 


Coconut Grove picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

Coconut Grove was frist established  by  Bahamian immigrants, and it is the oldest permanent settlement in Miami-Dade. In 1919 it became its own city. In 1925 the city of Miami annexed two areas about equal size, and coconut Grove became part of the city of Miami.Before all of that toke place  Coconut Grove was a very popular stop for marines attracted to  bubbling fresh water springs on its waterfront. After the Cape Florida Lighthouse opened in 1825, light keepers and their assistants became frequent visitors to Coconut Grove. Wreckers or salvagers of disabled ships also visited the area. 

By the middle decades of the nineteenth century, Coconut Grove’s first known, permanent residents, Edmund and Ann Beasley, lived along its bay front in the area around today’s Barnacle State Park. When Beasley died, Ann rented a portion of their property to Dr. Horace Porter, a one time Union surgeon. Porter applied for a U.S. Post Office for the area in 1873, calling it Cocoanut Grove  after viewing a couple of nearby Coconut Palm trees. 

  During the 1870s, other settlers  were attracted to Coconut Grove by the prospect of free land through federal homestead laws, entered the region. Most important of the settlers in Coconut Grove were the Pent and Frow families, who hailed from the Bahamas. In the late 1870s, Jack Peacock brought his brother and family from Eangland. During the same time Ralph Munroe, an accomplished sailboat designer from Long Island and Staten Island, came to Miami on a sailing vacation. Munroe met many of the people living on the bay, including the Peacocks with whom he became friends. In 1882, Munroe returned to the area with his young, tubercular wife, Eva, hoping that the subtropical climate would help her convalesce. But Eva succumbed to the scourge despite the loving care of Isabella Peacock, the wife of Charles Peacock. That friendship was the reason why the first inn was opened. In the late 1880’s Munroe discovered that the land had already been named and  the post office was reopened and Coconut Grove acquired its enduring name although it continued to include an “a” in its spelling. The inn continued to grow.  Enthralled with the natural splendors of Coconut Grove, many of the guests of the Inn decided to build homes in the area thereby ensuring an enduring Bohemian flavor through their lengthy presence there. By 1890, Coconut Grove claimed more than one hundred residents ranking it among the largest settlements on the southeast Florida mainland. With that the community started to grow and new doors started to open. They found a yacht club, started sunday school, and much more. Flora McFarlane founded the Housekeeper’s Club (today’s Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove ) in 1891 with the goal of “community uplift,” which it achieved through fundraisers that paid for amenities in the community. The club was a instant hit and gained popularity. . Its members established the first library, which grew quickly in stature while serving a far-flung clientele. Today’s Coconut Grove library, housed in a unique building on the ridge across McFarlane Road from Peacock Park, is a direct outgrowth of the early library.

Everything changed a lot in 1896 when Henry M. Flagler’s East Coast Railway steamed into Miami. With that hundreds of new settlers came to Miami. Coconut Grove feel the changes. In the early 1900s several wealthy and accomplished visitors built splendid homes on or near Coconut Grove’s bay front, thereby creating a “millionaire’s row.” In addition to that , Coconut Grove gained new importance as a farming community, since produce markets became more readily accessible.

In 1917 Coconut Grove became home to one of the nation’s first naval air stations, more than 1,000 aviators trained there.  Coconut Grove citizens however were not happy with the base and it eventually closed in 1919, and the same year “Cocoanut Grove” was incorporated as a town. After six years it was attached to the city of Miami and it became Coconut Grove. Over the years the city continued to develop while maintaining elements of its unique identity. History and heritage are still a big part of Coconut Grove. Today Coconut Grove is known as “ The Grove”. Time has changed but the atmosphere of a free, welcoming, and fun place has remind. The Grove holds many local businesses, restaurants, charming sidewalk cafes, boutiques, parks, and a glittering shoreline decorated by sailboats. 


Demographically, Coconut Grove is split up into “Northeast Coconut Grove” and “Southwest Coconut Grove”, and as of 2000, the total population of both of the neighborhood’s sections made up between 18,953 and 19,646 people. The zip codes for all of Coconut Grove include 33129 and 33133. The area covers 5.607 square miles (14.52 km2). As of 2000, there were 9,695 males and 9,951 females. The median age for males were 38.4 years old, while the median age for females were 40.3 years old. The average household size had 2.1 people, while the average family size had 2.8 members. The percentage of married-couple families (among all households) was 33.6%, while the percentage of married-couple families with children (among all households) was 11.1%, and the percentage of single-mother households (among all households) was 7.6%. The percentage of never-married males 15 years old and over was 18.3%, while the percentage of never-married females 15 years old and over was 14.3%.[4] The percentage of people that speak English not well or not at all made up 8.1% of the population. The percentage of residents born in Florida was 31.6%, the percentage of people born in another U.S. state was 34.7%, and the percentage of native residents but born outside the U.S. was 2.3%, while the percentage of foreign born residents was 31.4%. The education levels are as following: 33% have a masters degree or higher, 31% have a bachelor’s degree, 17% have some college or associate’s degree, 13% have a high school diploma or equivalent, and 5% have less than a high school diploma. 43% of the population is White, 40% is Hispanic, 13% is African American.  The median household income is $108,751. 


Viscaya Museum

Viscaya Museum picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

Viscaya was established by James Deering. Today it is owned by Miami-Dade County. The museum was first used as a winter home for the Deering family. Today the museum is known location of Miami. The museum includes 10 acres of Italianate gardens, waterfront views, a historic house, and artifacts from over the world. The museum is open with limitations due to COVID. Viscaya holds many events thought the year and it is a place that shows the beauty of the original roots of Miami. Viscaya is now recognizing that it could not have been built without black migrant works particularly Bahamians.

Ermita De la Caridade 

Ermita de la Caridad picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

This is a beautiful church by the water. It is dedicated to the Cuban version of the VIrgin Mary. Most of the services are in Spanish. It is a  very peaceful place and the view is breathtaking.  The church was built over 50 years ago. Most of the services are in Spanish.

Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove

This has been around since Coconut Grove was established. The present building, designed by Walter DeGarmo with native oolitic limestone (coral rock), opened in 1921. In 1957, the club changed its name to the Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove. The club aims to bring community together and help their community. 


Peacock Park

Park picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

Peacock Park is conveniently located within walking distance of Coconut Grove shops and eateries. It’s hours are 7am – 10pm seven days a week. The park is always full. People really enjoy this space. Every February, Peacock Park hosts musical performances on its open field area for the annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival. There is a bridge overlooking the water. The park is very calms and family oriented.

Kenneth Myers Park 

Coconut Grove picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

This park is a smaller park but there is a very interesting and colorful sculpture. The park is near the water. It’s a great park to walk dogs. The park is also near the water, and very close to CocoWalk. 

Overall green 

Coconut Grove picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

There is no way to talk about Coconut Grove without talking with the amount of green that is found everywhere. Whether someone is driving around just going for a walk there are a lot of trees. Coconut Grove is known as the greenest neighborhood of Miami. This is definitely something that people see when visiting. 


Coconut Grove picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

Coconut Grove has access to the miami trolley. The trolley goes across the whole Coconut Grove area until other parts of the city of Miami. The stops are near each other. There is also an app to help people find the stops, and the schedule for the trolley. Coconut grove also has stations to rent bikes and scooters. Coconut grove also has a Metrorail station.


Panther Cafe 

Panther Coffee is a Miami Based Specialty Coffee Company. Roaster, Retailer and Wholesaler Specializing in the small-batch roasting of coffee beans and the preparation of coffee beverages. The coffee shop is a very popular stop and they are located in the heart of the Gove. 

A.C’s Icees

ACs’ Icees by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

They have been around since 1978 and take great pride in their Coconut Grove location near the park. Their frozen lemonade is a known syllable for anybody that has grown near the area. They have flexible business hours and only take cash. The truck has been in the same family since it opened. Their beverages are made fresh every morning by AC himself. 


Jaguar quinoa salad picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

This restaurant has a very free and welcoming atmosphere. Just as you go in there is a sign that says “dress code: If you are dressed you meet the code. We are in coconut Gove.” The service is fast and the food is inspired by latin cosine. The ingredients are very fresh and their menu changes every season to accommodate items that are in season. 


Coconut Grove Cocowalk directory picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

There are a lot of local businesses in Coconut Grove. As you go to CocoWalk you will be able to find  many stores and boutiques, as well as restaurants. Coconut Grove a has a business improvement district since 2009.  The BID develops programs to keep the District clean and secure, funds marketing projects, sponsors special events, beautifies the streetscapes, makes capital improvements, collects and disseminates economic development research, facilitates access to parking, fosters new business relationships, and partners with national, state and local organizations.


Coconut Grove art picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

Coconut Grove is a unique and beautiful neighborhood. It has its own character. There is truly no other place in Miami like it. There is a very chill and welcoming vibe. There is always a lot going on in the Grove. Being the oldest neighborhood in Miami the Gove has maintained its charme while also staying up to date. There is a lot of art everywhere. The green and the view to the water help set the mood. Coconut Grove is now becoming more aware of it’s past and the influence that the pioneer immigrants had in its origin. Coconut Grove is a place that you get to esperice a bit of all eras of Miami. 


Rafaella Ribeiro: Miami as Text

Photo taken of Rafaella Ribeiro in 2019. CC BY 4.0

My name is Rafaella Ribeiro. I am currently a junior at FIU. I am majoring in international business and supply chain management. I was born and raised in a small town in Brazil. I moved to Miami when I was 15. I have known I was going to move to Miami since the first time I visited the city at age 7. I have always loved Miami, that love however is fading away. I am taking this class to fall in love with Miami all over again. I love taking pictures, hanging out with friends, and learning a new side of things.

Deering as Text

Miami in Miami of FIU in Deering Estate. Photo by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CC BY 4.0

Miami’s time-capsule

Rafaella Ribeiro FIU at Deering Estate, 2 September 2020

I was seven years old when I first traveled to Miami. I was just a little girl with a life ahead of me. What I did not know then was that the plane ticket to a summer with my aunt would change my life forever. I soon fell in love with the city, and I knew that one day this would be my home. Fast forward a few years and here I am. What once used to make my heart skip a beat became routine, and after six years in this magical place I began to forget why Miami is such a big part of my life. My visit to the Deering Estate was a much needed reminder of my love for the city. As I had the chance to walk through paths once walked by Tequesta, fellow immigrants, people who builded this city, and dreams I felt such a strong connection to Miami. I had the chance to experience the nature of Miami like never before.

The Deering Estate is a  one of a kind  time capsule of nature and history. In a city full of buildings, changes, music, food, and history it is so incredible to find an untouched place that holds so many pieces of what makes us Miami. I will never know the names, the histories, the dreams of those who walked before me, but that did not stop me from connecting and appreciating them. I got there expecting to see trees and explore the nature, but the journey was much more complex than that. There was something unique about the way the sun hited the place. There was a connection of simplicity and luxury, past and present. As I followed professor Bailly the journey I took was much deeper than the nature hike. Deering Estate allowed me to fall in love with Miami all over again. I left a piece of heart there and took a piece of our history with me. I am beyond grateful for this experience and I look forward to my next visit.

South Beach as text

Miami in Miami of FIU in South Beach. Photo by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CC BY 4.0

Overlooking the City

Rafaella Ribeiro FIU at South Beach, 2 September 2020

Miami once again has made me fall in love. Form the blue water, the warm weather, to the historic building and randomly placed pieces of art. The walk from South Beach to Lincoln Rode was another reminder of the rich and unique history on the city. It was so mind opening to learn that a place that is now know for it’s diversity was once a place of segregation and discrimination. Although that is a chapter of our history, it does not define who we are. Miami means so much for so many.

Mimi is so rich in details and history. I have walked though the area so many times but it wasn’t until I was lecturing on t history that everything fell into place. Ocean drive has always had a special place of my hear. I have always love the aesthetic of buildings. My appreciation for it grew bigger e after learning of the fight for preservation that Barbara Capitan. She fought to keep the building as they were. She was the voice and the reason why we have Ocean Drive as it is. I have been there so many times and have always overlooked her statue. From now on when I appreciate the uniqueness of Ocean Drive I will be thankful for her. She is the reason why we can enjoy so much of our history today. She is long gone but her legacy still stands.  

Downtown as Text

Miami in Miami of FIU in Downtown Miami. Photo by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CC BY 4.0

The beginning

Rafaella Ribeiro FIU at Downtown Miami  September 30, 2020

Downtown Miami is a place that I had never really explored before. There have been a few times I had the chance to drive though it but I had never had the chance to see what it has to offer. It is the place where Miami Ave and Flagler st meet and Miami as we know begins.I could easily describe Downtown as a place that is unique, full of culture, and history, but rather I see Downton as a place full of new beginnings. It is literally the place where the city stats, but it goes much deeper than that. 

Downtown holds 60 historic buildings. One of the buildings that caught my attention was Fort Dallas, a rectangular building that holds so much within its walls. It was once the place where the slaves lived. It was also used to  prevent trading between the Seminole and traders from Cuba or the West Indies. It then was used as a place that people would go to socialize. Today, although closed due to the pandemic, it is a place of learning. As I stood before that building I was overwhelmed. I thought about all the people who experience that place with sadness and lack of freedom. I then thought about how many people had a great time in the same place. I wondered how many friendships started, and if people ever feel in love there. It made me realize that over the years people experienced so many different things in Fort Dallas. It made me realize that Miami is a little bit about that, different people, in different times, all with so many dreams, realties,  and goals. Downtown has a strong and powerful energy. It holds so much, it expresses so much. I learned that the city can speak to you. I went to Downtown not knowing what to expect, I left Downton feeling empowered, free, and connected.

Chicken Key as Text

Miami in Miami of FIU in Chicken Keys . Photo by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CC BY 4.0

Eye Opening Experience

Rafaella Ribeiro FIU at Chicken Key  14, October 2020

Chicken Key was a place like I had never been before. A little island off the coast of the Deering Estate that although has never been modified by humans, has a lot of trash. This class was definitely one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in a long time.I grew up around water none of my experiences compared to it. I have always loved being in the boat or the jetski, I had never before experienced any water vehicle that you have to do some kind of work to make it move. As superficial as that might sound the experiences are so different. Going in I had no idea how much physical strength it would take to get it moving.  It was so frustrating because I had no idea what I was doing. I had a partner  who was more experienced but the struggle was real. My arms were not ready for it.

I had no expectations of the island, but as soon as I got there I was blown away by its beauty, luxury in simplicity, and the amount of trash. It was very upsetting to see it with my own eyes. As an Earth lover I realized that I was very ignorant and many times failed to truly see the damages we cause to the planet. Getting there was a wake up call. The place was supposed to be clean and home to many sea creatures, but instead it is dirty and home to piles of trash. My heart was a bit broken and my continence a little shaken. I have always seen pictures of other countries and  I never thought that we had a place like that so close to us. This was an awakening experience and it has changed me in more ways than I could ever imagine.

Bakehouse as Text

Miami in Miami of FIU in Bakehouse . Photo by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CC BY 4.0


Rafaella Ribeiro FIU at Bakehouse  28, October 2020

Bakehouse is an art gallery in Miami that is home to 100 resident and associate artists, deriving from a rich diversity of backgrounds. It is a place where artists can rent gallery space and showcase their art. We had the opportunity to be a part of a project greater than us. Many times it is easy to forget about things we see. It is ever easier to forget about things that are out of sight. Coral reefs are an essential part of our ocean that is rapidly disappearing. Art can  be used to bring awareness, and that is exactly what this project was about. Lauren Shapiro the mastermind behind this project is using her skills to bring the community together, and to make people aware of the current situation of the coral reefs. 

Scientists made silicone molds out of corals.We then have the opportunity to use clay in the molds to make corals. The beauty of this project is that it is so raw, human, and temporary. The clay is never baked and therefore the shape is momentary. The clay does change color and texture because it air  dries but in the end it will all be destroyed. Lauren Shapiro will then recycle the clay into new projects. To many this might seem like a waste of time, why make something that will get destroyed. But the way I see this project is genius. I think Shapiro represents the problem with our coral reefs in a beautiful and unique way. It is a reminder we only have so much time before it is all gone and we cannot restore it. This project is a call to action, I  hope that the people who have the opportunity to be exposed to this project become more aware of our coral reefs and our environment as a whole.