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

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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
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LOOKING FOR PEDRO PANS LIVING IN GEORGIA. HERE'S A REQUEST FROM ANOTHER PEDRO PAN: How many Pedro Pans families live in Georgia? It will be nice to create a reunion here of all Pedro Pans? Pepe Pinon 678-920-2060 jpinon@bellsouth.net

Message by Pedro Pan Administrator | Mar 22nd 2010

Hi Pedro, I am Cuban from 1962 but not through Pedro Pan. I am interested in attending these events and would like to know whom to contact for the ocassion.

Message by Clayre Diaz | Mar 20th 2010

I saw the information about the CNBC interest in Peter Pan pictures. I just arrived home to get the info. and forward a few, but the paragraph with their contact info. no longer appears. What's up?

Message by Antonio Gonzalez Perez | Mar 11th 2010

CNBC IS LOOKING FOR PEDRO PAN PHOTOGRAPHS AND VIDEO: As some of you know,CNBC is producing a documentary on Operation Pedro Pan to air this May. It will explain the history of the program and profile several Pedro Pans. To assist in telling the story, CNBC would like to use actual photographs and film from Pedro Pans. If you would like to submit photographs to possibly be included in this project, CNBC asks that you send them five favorite photos (that you own) from Cuba or your first few years in the United States. And in that five, please include a headshot, information on the photos and your Cuban passport if you have it.CNBC is also interested in any video or film from Cuba or your early days in the United States. Send your photographs to cuba@cnbc.com. By sending them, you are permitting CNBC to include them in their documentary for worldwide broadcast. Christie Gripenburg , who is working on the project, said they can't promise all photographs submitted will be included in the program. If you scan the photographs please size them any where between 150-300 dpi. If you don't have a scanner, contact Christie and she can arrange to scan them. Feel free to email Christine with any questions at cuba@cnbc.com

Message by Pedro Pan Administrator | Mar 10th 2010

CELEBRATIONS: WITH 2010 MARKING THE 50 TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE START OF OPERATION PEDRO PAN, MANY EVENTS ARE PLANNED. HERE ARE TWO IN MIAMI THAT YOU SHOULD MARK ON YOUR CALENDAR: SUNDAY,MARCH 21. OPERATION PEDRO PAN GROUP WILL HOST ITS ANNUAL FAMILY PICNIC ON CRANDON PARK, SHELTER #6. THE COST IS $20 PER FAMILY OR $10 PER PERSON. PLEASE SEND CHECKS TO OPERATION PEDRO PAN GROUP, 161 MADEIRA AVE. SUITE 61, CORAL GABLES, FL. 33134 SATURDAY, NOV. 13 - OPERATION PEDRO PAN GROUP'S ANNUAL DINNER AND DANCE. THIS WILL BE A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL PEDRO PANS TO COME TOGETHER.

Message by Pedro Pan Administrator | Mar 3rd 2010

MY NAME IS MANUEL I. DE VERA FERNANDEZ, I ARRIVED ON FEBRUARY 16, 1962 WITH MY TWO BROTHERS AND MY SISTER, STAYED ON THE FLORIDA CITY CAMP UNTIL MARCH 9, 1962 WE WERE SENT TO ST VINCENT SCHOOL IN VINCENNES INDIANA, I LIVE IN PUERTO RICO SINCE SEPTEMBER 29, 1962, MY ADDRESS IS: PO BOX 584, SAN SEBASTIAN, PR 00685-0584... MY PHONE NUMBER IS: 787-379-1096

Message by MANUEL I. DE VERA FERNANDEZ | Mar 1st 2010

Dear Sir, I'm a French Friend of Oscar R VEGA. Could you let him know that I have some difficulties to contact him. If he could send me a message, it would be great. Many thanks in advance. Philippe Ollagnier

Message by philippe ollagnier | Feb 20th 2010

Do you have any information on my stay in Florida City? I arrived on March 24/1962.

Message by Joseph L Oroza Ruilopez | Feb 11th 2010

He escrito en numerosas ocasiones, sin recibir respuesta alguna. Deseo inscribirme y no puedo. ¿cómo lo hago?

Message by Orlando González Daniel | Feb 10th 2010

I am trying to upload more photos, however, whenever I try to log in, it tells me that: "user name or pass word incorrect".. Can you help? I register as: desoria@grafiksource.com

Message by Alberto G. de Soria | Feb 9th 2010

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