Getting Started / Frequently Asked Questions


What is Operation Pedro Pan?

14,048 frightened Cuban youngsters.

That's the number sent ahead to the United States nearly 50 years ago by desperate parents convinced Fidel Castro's violent wave of Communism would ensnare their children.

The historic escape famously known as Operation Pedro Pan was concocted by an American school master, James Baker of Ruston Academy in Havana and carried out by an Irish priest in Miami, Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh -- all with the money and blessing of the federal government.

What is the Operation Pedro Pan Network?

The Operation Pedro Pan Network is a place for Pedro Pans, their families and friends to connect and share their memories, experiences and what they've done since their historic flight.

No official computerized listing has existed of the 6- to 17-year-olds who took part in the clandestine airlift, the largest recorded exodus of unaccompanied minors in the Western Hemisphere. It began in December 1960 and ended in October 1962 -- a casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

On Sunday, May 17, 2009, The Miami Herald unveiled the first-of-its-kind Operation Pedro Pan Database -- a searchable listing of the 14,048 youngsters' names, their ages upon arrival in the United States and their immediate destination.

At the same time, in print, The Herald chronicled the story of the secret operation and shared the tales of a handful of Operation Pedro Pan veterans who began their lives in exile alone, as unaccompanied minors who went to live in camps and centers, foster homes and orphanages until they could be reunited with their parents.

Fittingly, the mission was given its name by the late Gene Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at The Miami Herald.

The names in the database come from what Pedro Pan historians call "the Airport Log" -- handwritten names of the children kept by Jorge "George" Guarch, a Cuban exile hired by the Catholic Church to greet the children at Miami International Airport and help with their paperwork.

Great! So, how do I get started?

If you're a Pedro Pan, the first thing to do is to search for yourself in our database. Once you've found your entry, click on your name and you'll be taken to a profile page where you can register your account.

I can't find myself in the Pedro Pan database!

While we're working diligently to add every single Pedro Pan to our database, we're aware that we're missing some information. At present, we have 14,145 of the 14,048 Pedro Pans in our database.

If you've thoroughly searched for your Pedro Pan record and have been unable to find it, you can request that it be added by submitting your record here.

If you haven't searched for your Pedro Pan record, please do so on our search page.

If you still need help, please contact the Pedro Pan Administrator.

I found multiple results when I searched, and they all look like my information. What do I do?

If you see multiple records when you search for your name, please register the one that appears most accurate and contact the Pedro Pan Administrator to let us know there are duplicate records.

I found myself. What do I do now?

You should register your Pedro Pan account. To do so, click on your record in the database and you'll get a page with details and a place to post message. Near your name on the top of the page, you should see a link which says: "register this account". Click the link and follow the instructions.

I tried to register, but it said my date of birth is incorrect.

Some of our records may contain typos. If you're sure you've found your account, but you're unable to register it, please submit your corrected information. We'll take care of the rest. If you give us an e-mail address, we'll let you know when your record has been corrected.

I'm concerned about privacy. Who can see my personal information?

The Operation Pedro Pan Network is designed to let you share your personal information with others. Your Pedro Pan record -- your name at arrival, age, the place you stayed when you first left Cuba and who you stayed with, is publicly available. Any information you provide when you register, including your phone number, e-mail address and your current city, will only be shared with people you connect to.

Your address and date of birth will never be shared with anyone.

What contact information is revealed to the public?

Your Pedro Pan record -- your name at arrival, age, the place you stayed when you first left Cuba and who you stayed with, is publicly available.

What's the difference between being connected and not connected?

After you've registered your Operation Pedro Pan record, you can connect to other Operation Pedro Pan Network members. If you comment on another Pedro Pan's record, you will be connected to that person, and they'll be able to see your e-mail address, phone number and the city where you live. If you don't wish to share this information, please contact the Pedro Pan Administrator.

There are two ways to connect with other Operation Pedro Pan Network members:

  • Comment on another Operation Pedro Pan Network member's page. Once you've commented, your information will be visible to that person.
  • Accept a request from another Operation Pedro Pan Network member to connect. You'll receive these requests after an Operation Pedro Pan Network member comments on your page. Click allow if you want that person to see your contact information. If you don't want to share your contact information, click deny.

How do I delete messages or status updates?

You can delete messages that you've written or appear on your profile page by clicking the "delete" link next to the message.

You can delete your own status updates by clicking the "delete" link that appears on your profile page next to the status update.

What can I customize in my profile?

The Operation Pedro Pan Network allows you to update your Pedro Pan record. Because these entries were recorded almost fifty years ago and The Miami Herald manually transcribed them over the course of three months, there are bound to be errors. If you find inaccuracies in your record, we ask that you update it with the correct information.

If you're already registered and you want to change something -- including your public e-mail address, phone number and address, or you want to change your password, you can edit your profile. Note that you must be logged in to do this.

What is the link that says I loved this story?

When you're logged in as a Pedro Pan, you can read other people's stories and click "I loved this story". The stories which receive the most love will appear on the "featured story" box on the Operation Pedro Pan Network home page.

Remember, you must be logged in to have access to this feature.

What is a status update, and how do I use it?

Status updates allow you to broadcast your thoughts and news to the rest of the Pedro Pan Network.

After logging in, you can enter a status update from any page on the Pedro Pan Network. Simply find the box beneath "My Account Information" and start typing!

Beware: Status updates are public, and can be read by anyone on the Internet.

If you've posted a status message in error, you can delete it by navigating to your profile page, finding the status post and clicking delete.

Please note that status updates are only available to individuals who have registered on the Pedro Pan Network.

I forgot my Operation Pedro Pan Network password. What can I do?

If you remember the e-mail address you used to register your account, you can recover your password here.

If you've forgotten the e-mail address you used to register your account, please contact the Pedro Pan Administrator.

I have another question that's not answered here. Who can I contact?

If you have any other questions, please contact the Pedro Pan Administrator.