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 >>

I have just received my new register number 12846 from Carmen Romanach and I have verified that i am in the Data Base but the computer will not let me log in. What can I do?

Message by Jorge Alonso Navarro | Feb 7th 2010

My brother Carlos and I came to Kendall around April 10, 1961. I was 12 and he was 10. We did not arrive like most Pedro Panes in that we had visas and were brought out of the country by our mother and I believe she handed us. over to Catholic Charities. she returned to Cuba. We stayed in Kendall until August 1961 when the rest of the family was able to come to the US. When we arrived the Prunas ran the place and when we left Father Oriol SJ was in charge of the boys. I registered myself and my brother a couple of years ago but could not find our records searching the website. I want to be included. This is the Ellis Island of my family.

Message by Diego A. Rodriguez Abellon | Feb 5th 2010

My father is looking for his friend Cosme W. Fagundo. Can you help?

Message by Zuleika Perera | Jan 20th 2010

Pedro says: Please visit the Help Haiti page to volunteer to help the children of Haiti in the wake of last week's devastating earthquake.

Status update | Jan 19th 2010

Pedro says: For help on using status updates, please read the frequently asked questions page.

Status update | Jan 19th 2010

Pedro says: Status updates are now available! Please contact me if you have any questions.

Status update | Jan 19th 2010

Pedro has uploaded new photos.

Status update | Jan 19th 2010

We are also inspired by the pedro pan plan soon to be Haitian chldren's plan. We would be blessed and honored to love and care for up to 3 orphans as foster parents or possible adoptions. Please let us know if there is we can do to be of help. God bless!

Message by Nicole spaur | Jan 19th 2010

in l961 the cuban boys came to our school in college park Bishop Moore high they lived at camp san pedro I had a friend roberto miquel amaro. I read he became a doctor but he is deceased. How did he die and did he marry and have a family.. Please let me know what you can. Thank you sandy grimaldi

Message by sandy nielsen grimaldi | Jan 19th 2010

BREAKING NEWS: SPECIAL PEDRO PAN BREAKFAST SATURDAY TO BE COVERED BY THE CNBC NETWORK. THE OPERATION PEDRO PAN GROUP WILL HOST ITS ANNUAL JOSE MARTI BREAKFAST NEXT SATURDAY AT 10 a.m. (sharp) AT CENTRO FELIX VARELA, NEXT TO LA ERMITA DE LA CARIDAD. CNBC, WHICH IS FILMING A DOCUMENTARY ON THE PEDRO PANS EXODUS, WILL BE THERE TO INTERVIEW SOME IN ATTENDANCE. SO COME OUT AND PROMOTE YOUR HISTORY. THE BREAKFAST IS $10 PER PERSON. THE GUEST SPEAKER IS PROFESSOR ROSA L. WHITMARSH. PLEASE RSVP BY WED., JAN. 20 BY CALLING 305-554-7196.

Message by Pedro Pan Administrator | Jan 18th 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