Cuban immigrants share precious family heirlooms to show history of Cuban exiles by Janey Fugate jfugate@elnuevoherald.com Julia Adán Pelegrín, 71, opened a black suitcase full of faded elegant shirts. Those shirts, she explained, belonged to her father, Emilio Adán Silva, when he was a Supreme Court justice in Cuba, and they represented his life before he and 12 other justices signed a letter denouncing Fidel Castro’s government. Eight years later, his family moved to Miami. Those shirts, Pelegrín says, represent the sacrifice her father made for his family and express the pride she feels. “These are not only memories but items of everyday use when Cuba existed as a nation,” Adán said. “[These shirts] were on the streets of Havana. They lived there.” Such feelings of pride and nostalgia prevailed Saturday in the lobby of the Freedom Tower, when dozens of Cubans gathered to donate or lend objects of historic interest that document their exile experience. More than 300 items — passports, documents, photos, clothes — will be part of an exhibit that will open at the tower in September. The inauguration of the exhibit is a key step in the preservation of Cuban history, said Alina Interián, host of the event and executive director of Miami Dade College cultural affairs. “We want to pay tribute to the people to whom this tower means so much,” said Interián, who also was processed at the Freedom Tower when she arrived from Cuba. Between 1962 and 1974, Cuban refugees were processed at the tower, known as “The Refuge.” It was added to the United States National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2008. The exhibit, titled “The Exile Experience: Journey to Freedom,” is a collaboration between Miami Dade College and the Miami Herald Media Company. Its objective is to document, preserve and share the history of the difficulties the exiled Cuban community went through since Fidel Castro’s rise to power. The facility has deserved a project like this for some time, said Luisa Meruelo, 93, who worked for the tower’s immigration service for nine years. “I was always wondering why no one had done something about the refugees here,” Meruelo said. “This is a long story, a beautiful story.” The exhibit is a way to thank the nation that gave them refuge during that turbulent time, she said. “We have to thank the people of the United States for being so generous to us at a very difficult time,” she said. Now, the museum can show items like the first coins earned in this country, the tie that an immigrant was wearing when he arrived, a wedding gown and the tiny dress of a 3-year-old. To the people who wore them, these items are intimately associated with the difficult experience of having to abandon their native country. One of those people was Mercy Advocat, who arrived in 1962 with her brother in the Pedro Pan Operation. That exodus took place between 1960 and 1962 and brought more than 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children to the United States. “The last thing our parents told us before leaving was that my brother and I should never be separated,” Advocat said. “We then boarded the plane and, when we landed, the first thing they did was separate us — the girls from the boys.” Advocat and her brother eventually were sent to the same foster home in Albuquerque, N.M., and they ended doing what their parents had told them. After two years, they were reunited with their mother in New York. The black-and-white photos Advocat brought to the tower show her mother’s tears when she reunited with her children. She is lending those photos and a doll brought from Cuba — some of her most precious keepsakes — to the museum. She is not ready to part with them yet. “I’m not so old to have to donate them,” she said. © 2014 Miami Herald Media Company. All Rights Reserved. http://www.miamiherald.com Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/26/v-print/4257131/cuban-immigrants-share-precious.html#storylink=cpy

Pedro Pan Administrator

General Information
Current Name
Pedro Pan Administrator
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Pedro Pan Administrator
Age on Arrival
Information not provided
Date of Arrival
Friday, January 1, 1960
Groups
Haiti Pedro Pan
Pedro has volunteered to help the children of Haiti. Find out how you can help, too.

Pedro's Story

This is the Pedro Pan Administrator account.

Please feel free to message me and ask me questions. Or you can view our FAQ page by clicking on the Need Help? link at the top of the page.

I c...

Click here to read the full story

Pedro's News Feed

Leave a public message for Pedro.

<< Prev Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 Next >>

Meet the new OPPG Board and Party! - Operation Pedro Pan Group Inc. is having its annual Swearing-In Ceremony & a Dinner/Dance on Saturday, May 15th, 7:30 pm to 11:30 pm. $30 per person includes dinner, open bar, and music. Doral Reception Hall, 10395 NW 41 Street, Doral. To make your reservation, please call 305-554-7196. Please make check payable to: Operation Pedro Pan Group, Inc. & mail to: Frank Echeverria, 9710 SW 6 Street, Miami, FL 33174 - Email:franke18@bellsouth.net. This annual swearing-in event is special this year as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Pedro Pan exodus.

Message by Pedro Pan Administrator | Apr 30th 2010

Meet the new OPPG Board and Party! - Operation Pedro Pan Group Inc. is having its annual Swearing-In Ceremony & a Dinner/Dance on Saturday, May 15th, 7:30 pm to 11:30 pm. $30 per person includes dinner, open bar, and music. Doral Reception Hall, 10395 NW 41 Street, Doral. To make your reservation, please call 305-554-7196. Please make check payable to: Operation Pedro Pan Group, Inc. & mail to: Frank Echeverria, 9710 SW 6 Street, Miami, FL 33174 - Email:franke18@bellsouth.net. This annual swearing-in event is special this year as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Pedro Pan exodus.

Message by Pedro Pan Administrator | Apr 25th 2010

Pedro, I went to funeral services for my friend on Saturday. He had a massive heart attack. Like me he came on the Peter Pan Flights (he never filled in his page and it may never be filled in). Some folks sympathetic to the current Cuban government were also at the funeral and said that he always suffered because of the Peter Pan Exodus but that I had overcome the trauma. I responded that I am sure there are ten times as many children and young adults in Cuba that suffered ten or more times the trauma at the hands of the Cuban Government and have stories that can not be recorded because of fear or because of the current media block. I know of two stories because these two made it out of Cuba; my cousin (one year younger) who went to these camps and suffered. I have not been able to ask about the pain or trauma - it is not not freely discussed; and I know an older friend who was in her twenties and tells us many stories to this day of all the trials and sufferings she experienced in Cuba - she could not wait to get out with her Mother. She had to leave her Mother alone in her house and go to these camps to pull crops and become infested with lice and tics for the communist regime. She tells many tales of the suffering she experienced - physical, verbal and emotional. She was fortunate to be in a group from her church who protected each other from abuse and stood up to the injustice but to this day she still suffers the trauma as indicated by her accounts of those many unpleasant months in the 1960's. There are probably many others who have since arrived in the US who have died or can not find a place (like this Peter Pan Site) to tell their stories and get all this off their chest. And others still in Cuba suffering silently. I should have probably shut up at the funeral like I normally do and not react to the twisted logic from the folks sympathetic to the current Cuban government of how bad it was here because of the Peter Pan Exodus but I know in my heart that it would have been far worse for me and my brother and two sisters to have stayed in Cuba. Mami and Papi made a very intelligent, very calculated, extremely painful decision to send us here for our own good because they loved us. It may skip our generation and a few other generations but somewhere down the line parents will have to make this decision again - to love your children so much that you are willing to place them in the hands of God for just a few moments so they will not suffer as you know you will suffer when they are gone and separated from you. This is how I truly feel and I love Mami and Papi with all my heart then, now and always. Love to all - your Brother Benny

Message by Benny | Apr 22nd 2010

I just read your message. I really didn't think of checking this site for messages after I posted my story. I re-connected with Alvarito (I believe his last name was Muniz)when I came to Miami from New York in 1979. His sister's husband gave me a job in his export company. After that, I lost contact, and later on I was told by -I don't remember who- that he has passed on.

Message by George L Carr | Apr 12th 2010

SEEKING HELP FOR ARTICLE ON MARQUETE ORPHANAGE'S ROLE IN OPERATION PEDRO PAN. IF INTERESTED IN HELPING,PLEASE RESPOND TO EMAIL BELOW. Hello, I'm writing an article for Michigan History Magazine about the role the Holy Family Orphan's Home in Marquette, MI played in the lives of Pedro Pans. I am hoping to interview three individuals who lived there. Are you able to communicate my intention on the network website? My contact information is: Carrie Pearson 906-228-4465 carrieapear@aol.com Marquette, MI Thank you.

Message by Pedro Pan Administrator | Apr 6th 2010

Pedro says: Please note that Anonymous messages are not allowed in the PP Network.

Status update | Apr 2nd 2010

Everytime, I try to enter your site my date of birth and password are not accepted. "WHY"

Message by rolando sosa | Apr 2nd 2010

My name is Felix R. Marrero and I arrived in the USA via New York with Peter Pan Visa from Spain , but oridinally from Cuba on January 9th, 1967, and will like to find more of Peters like Me around my area, I currently live in Hudson Coubty, New Jersey.

Message by Felix Ricardo Marrero Ruiz | Mar 28th 2010

I forgot my password and ID. Please send it me. thanks

Message by Sarah Iliana Flores Cambo | Mar 23rd 2010

I am writing a chapter book for children set in our local orphan's home in Marquette, MI where several Pedro Panes lived. I would like to contact these people. Is there a way to search by placement? Or by keyword in text instead of name? How could I find a list of Cubans who stayed in Marquette, MI? Thank you.

Message by Carrie Pearson | Mar 23rd 2010

<< Prev Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 Next >>

Leave a message for Pedro

 
Your message
Your name
Your e-mail