Arturo Cobo's Mariel photo collection

  • Thousands of refugees were temporarily housed in Key West until they could be relocated to other parts of the United States. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Volunteers helped thousands of Cuban refugees who were temporarily housed in Key West during the Mariel boatlift.ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • A National Guardsman gives a young Mariel refugee a piggy back while in Key West. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Some Cuban refugees never made it to freedom during the Mariel boatlift, dying during the dangerous journey across the Florida Straits. Here is a funeral of several Mariel Cubans who died. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • The voyage across the Florida Straits was emotional and grueling for the Cuban refugees. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Mariel boatlift refugees are relocated by plane to other parts of the country or Miami. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Military and government officials look over the logs of the boats that arrived in Key West with Mariel boatlift refugees. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Mariel refugees were temporarily housed in a military aviation hangar at Trumbo Point in Key West. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Military officials try to keep order in Key West as a new group of refugees arrives at night during the Mariel boatlift. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • In 1980 Bay of Pigs veteran Arturo Cobo stands in front of a vacant administration building at Truman Annex that was used by immigration officials to process refugees in Key West. Cobo, who collected these photos, years later also helped in another major exodus, that of the 1994 balseros. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Mariel refugees kept arriving , even at night. Here a vessel pulls up to Key West and U.S. Navy officials and National Guardmen try to keep order in chaos. The man in the center of the photo, wearing a baseball cap is Key West resident and exile Arturo Cobo, who helped the arriving refugees. Years later, he would do the same for the Cuban rafters or balseros. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Mariel refugees arrive in Key West at night during the Mariel boatlift and await to be escorted off their vessel. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION . ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • The National Guard controlled the docks while Mariel refugees kept arriving for six months - from April to September 1980. Here a group is kept onboard a vessel until they can be processed by immigration officials in Key West. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Babies were given bottles as they arrived in Key West during the Mariel boatlift. Do you know this mother and child? ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Many of the Cuban refugees needed medical help after enduring the trek across the often rough and dangerous Florida Straits. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Mariel refugees leave Key West by airplane. Those who had no relatives to claim them where sent to military camps throughout the U.S. like Eglin Air Force Base, Fort Chaffee and Indiantown in Pennsylvania. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • An unidentified Cuban family newly arrived in Key West via the Mariel boatlift pose with exiles relatives at a Key West port. Do you know them? ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Former Miami Herald,WPLG-Channel 10 and CNN reporter Bonnie Anderson is seen here doing a stand-up in front of the 118-foot Red Diamond V, a merchant vessel that turned out to be the biggest to take part in the Marie boatliftl. It arrived in Key West on June 3, 1980 carrying 731 refugees. Anderson's father was among a group of Americans living in Cuba during the 1959 Cuban revolution who was executed by the new Fidel Castro regime. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Mariel refugees are shown here being processed by immigration officials in a hangar in Key West. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Some refugees from the 1980 Mariel boat lift were evacuated from Key West by airplane. Here's a photo of an unidentified family. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Journalists gathered in Key West get an official military briefing from officials during the Mariel boatlift. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Red Cross volunteers in Key West helped the newly arriving Cuban refugees during the 1980Mariel boatlift. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Emergency workers attend to a Cuban refugee shortly after he arrived in Key West during the 1980 Mariel boatlift. The refugee has been taken to a parking lot near the dock. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Among the Mariel refugees there were mentally ill people, like this woman, who had been taken from hospitals and placed on the boats by orders of Fidel Castro, who had declared the 1980 refugees escoria, or the dregs of society. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Mariel refugees try to make the best of the situation while being housed in Key West until they can be relocated elsewhere in the country. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • A National Guardsman awaits another boat arriving to Key West, this time its the Coral Mist, which is pulling up loaded with Mariel refugees. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • A National Guardsman holds one of the younger Mariel refugees to arrive in Key West during the Mariel boatlift. Can you identity this baby or this guardsman? ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Many of the early refugees needed medial attention after braving hours crossing the rough seas of the Florida Straits to make it to the U.S. Here's one elderly man being taken off a boat on a wheelchair by a National Guardman. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Military officials try to keep order in Key West as a new group of refugees arrives at night during the Mariel boatlift. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Journalists from around the country came to Key West to cover the Mariel boatlift. Here is a television crew capturing the arrival of refugees. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION

  • Some Mariel refugees newly arrived in Key West read U.S. newspapers to keep up with the news about the boatlift back in their homeland. ARTURO COBO COLLECTION ARTURO COBO COLLECTION