Not the new Pedro Pans

 

Some media have compared the new unaccompanied children arriving in the United States from Central America to the Cuban Pedro Pan children, who arrived in the United States in the early 1960s fleeing Fidel Castro’s regime.

As a Pedro Pan myself, I know there is little comparison to this latest group of children in peril, except that we were all children and our parents wanted a better life for us.

Pedro Pan children arrived in the United States legally. We had a valid passport, a visa or visa waiver, an airline ticket and written permission from our parents to travel alone. Our parents knew that we would be met by representatives of church organizations or family and friends who would oversee our care. Even though there were more than 14,000 Pedro Pans, only half of those did not have friends or relatives in the United States and required foster care.

I just wanted to make the clarification. Still, my heart goes out to the children arriving now unaccompanied from Central America.

Eloisa Echazábal, Miami

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