The Mariel Boatlift

Mariel Boatlift

This searchable database, a five month-long project by the newspaper, is the creation of database editor Rob Barry and web developer Stephanie Rosenblatt. The two worked with reporter Luisa Yanez, who gathered the data.

To form the database, Barry and Rosenblatt worked with a massive U.S. government list of all Cuban exiles who arrived in Key West during the Mariel boatlift, more than 130,000 refugees landed there between April and September 1980. They matched that list to one of 1,600 boats used during the exodus. The list is part of long-forgotten U.S. Coast Guard records and was supplemented by an arrival log maintained by Key West exile Arturo Cobo.

Barry and Rosenblatt blended the two lists into one, in effect, creating a Mariel community for those refugees.

Now, we need your help building the community. Search for yourself, your family and loved ones, find the boat you arrived on and share your memories of the voyage.