People At The FarmPeople at the Farm
Luigi (Gigi) Cocquio -- Born and raised in the northern Italian village of Como, Gigi became an ordained priest in the Catholic church at the age of 25. One of his first assignments was in the Philippines, where Gigi worked with the urban poor in the slums of Manila for a little over five years. In 1976, after a growing number of demonstrations and confrontations with the Marcos government, Gigi was arrested and deported back to Italy. In 1977, Gigi came to Hawai'i in an effort to be as close as possible to the on-going struggle in the Philippines. Eventually he began working as a priest at Sacred Hearts Parish in Wai'anae, and became involved in the Wai'anae RAP Center, a youth rehabilitation program located on 5-acres of Makaha Valley land owned by the Catholic Diocese of Hawai'i. In 1982, Gigi married, officially resigning his priesthood, started a family, and continued farming and working with the Wai'anae RAP Center. The RAP Center eventually closed, but in 1986 the Na Keiki O Ka Aina program began.
Tamara (Tami) Gandt -- Born and raised in Oregon, Tami has been a teacher at Makaha Elementary School for the last 7 years.