Miami Dade College’s Museum of Art + Design Presents the inaugural Exhibition at the new Cultural Legacy Gallery, Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres MOAD - Cuban Diaspora Celia L Credit: Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in collaboration with Tico Torres Miami, July 28, 2014 - The Museum of Art + Design (MOAD) at Miami Dade College (MDC) presents Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres. The inaugural exhibition will open to the public at 6 p.m. Friday, September 19, at the new Cultural Legacy Gallery, a permanent space dedicated to the impact of Cuban culture on South Florida and throughout the world, housed at the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in Downtown Miami. Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in collaboration with Tico Torres features what have become iconic photographs of Cuban figures living outside the island, among them performers, composers, designers, writers and artists. The Cuba Out of Cuba series was shot over the last twenty years in Miami, New York, London, Paris, Florence, Venice and Los Angeles. The exhibition will take a unique and historical approach in surveying the legacies of individuals such as Celia Cruz, Bebo Valdez, Gloria Estefan, Cristina Saralegui, Andy Garcia, Cundo Bermudez, Nilo Cruz, and Paquito d’Rivera, among other Cubans who have influenced the greater culture of their time. Alexis Rodríguez-Duarte was born in Havana, Cuba. In 1968 he and his parents were among Cuban exiles who left the Island aboard the humanitarian air lifts called the Freedom Flights. Once arriving to Miami, his family and many thousands of other Cuban exiles came through the doors of the Freedom Tower that served as a processing and assistance center for the exile community. For many, the tower provided nothing less than their freedom from Castro and the hardships Cuba had come to give them, rightly earning its name of the Freedom Tower. Rodriguez–Duarte’s family settled in Miami’s Little Havana community. At the age of 10, he was given his first camera by his grandfather, which led to his love affair with photography. Today, he is a New York and Miami-based internationally renowned photographer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Town & Country, and Harper’s Bazaar, among other major publications, and has exhibited his work at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., Museum of the City of New York, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London and The Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach among others. Rodriguez-Duarte and his husband of 31 years, Tico Torres, have been documenting the Cuban diaspora since 1993. Torres, a photo stylist who is a master of the mise-en-scene, helped create with Rodriguez-Duarte the joyous image of Celia Cruz standing amid the towering palms of Fairchild Tropical Garden in a traditional ruffled Cuban gown. He was also there to set the mood in the London flat of Guillermo Cabrera Infante, one of Cuba’s most famous authors. Torres and his family were also among Cuban exiles who settled in Miami’s Hialeah community. Rodriguez-Duarte and Torres are thrilled to be returning together, full circle to the historic Freedom Tower for this inaugural exhibit, after separately setting foot there as immigrant children so many years before. The inaugural exhibition kicks off the Museum’s fall season scheduled for Friday, September 19, 2014 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. in conjunction with SIDE BY SIDE: MDCULTURE STANDS AS ONE, a one night event held at the College’s historic Freedom Tower, featuring performances, exhibitions, film screenings, the public unveiling of 2014 Book Fair Poster, and the long awaited Cuban Exile Experience at the Freedom Tower. Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres will remain on display at the museum through August 30, 2015. All exhibitions are free and open to the public. MDC’s Freedom Tower was operated by the U.S. Government as a reception center for Cuban refugees from 1962 to 1974. “The building is significant because it represents the important story of the Cuban exodus to America and resettlement during the Cold War,” reports the U.S. Department of the Interior, which has also called the Freedom Tower the “Ellis Island of the South.” Though it operated in that capacity for only 12 years, the building has become an icon representing the faith that democracy brought to troubled lives, the generosity of the American people and a hopeful beginning that assured thousands a new life in a new land. WHAT: Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres WHEN: Friday, September 19 –Opening Reception from 6 – 9 p.m. September 19, 2014 – August 30, 2015 Museum Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. WHERE: MDC Museum of Art + Design Cultural Legacy Gallery The Freedom Tower at MDC, First Floor 600 Biscayne Blvd. About MDC Museum of Art + Design MDC Museum of Art + Design (MOAD) is Miami Dade College’s flagship institution dedicated to the presentation and exhibition of visual art and design, housed at the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in Downtown Miami. The mission of the Museum is to promote the appreciation and understanding of art and its role in society through direct engagement with original works of art from within the College’s extensive permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. Furthermore, the Museum presents year-round lectures, symposiums and art related events to expose, educate and engage the greater public through related creative processes. The MDC Museum of Art + Design provides its patrons and visitors access to unique cultural, historical and educational exhibitions that enrich the greater community while building and preserving an expansive permanent art collection. Miami Dade College has been collecting art since the 1960s. Over the years, the collection has grown contain more than 1,600 works in all mediums and genres, specifically within the movements of minimalism, pop art of the ’60s and ’70s, conceptual art and contemporary Latin American art. The College and Museum actively acquire works by emerging and under-recognized artists, as well as major figures in modern, post-modern and contemporary art. About The Cuban Exile Experience & Cultural Legacy Gallery The Cuban Exile Experience & Cultural Legacy Gallery is a historical division of the MDC Museum of Art + Design. In addition to visual arts, the Museum supports exhibitions and programs that collect, preserve, research and interpret stories and artifacts that help build a better community understanding and appreciation of the Freedom Tower’s history. For more information about the exhibition, events or VIP Opening Reception at MDC Museum of Art + Design, please contact the Museum at 305-237-7722 or Event contacts: Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director Tere Estorino Florin, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366,, media specialist Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

Maria Petronila Hernandez Valdivia

General Information
Current Name
Maria Petronila Hernandez Mills
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Maria Petronila Hernandez Valdivia
Age on Arrival
Date of Arrival
Friday, January 5, 1962
Relocated To
St. Patrick's Home, 5961 Franklin Blvd., Sacramento, CA
Stayed With
Blanca & Ramon Gordon, Florida City

Maria Petronila's Story

I was delivered to Florida City on January 5 1962, by “George” a name, my father made sure I knew upside down and sideways. I remember the night he told me I was to leave Cuba and come to the United S...

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Hola Mary, hace dias no se de ti, le escribi a Juany a ver si empezamos a hacer planes para reunirnos para fines de Julio. Me puedes conseguir el e-mail de la Asociacion de Espirituanos en Miami?

Message by Betty Gonzalez Penton | Aug 9th 2009

Mary, I just opened the site and there you are! Glad you're back and that you had a good time. Nine Bears -OH MY! Now rest up and catch up with e-mails. We are fine. Abrazos, Yoli

Message by Yolanda Cardenas Ganong | Aug 3rd 2009

Maria no te preocupes cuando regreses y lo haces a tu gusto, eso no quiere decir desconectarse de esta sino una mas y ahi poder hacer lo que te de la gana y todas las fotos que quieras..oye disfruta de tus vacaciones que yo tambien me voy si Dios quiere para las mias pues le dije a mi novio que nos fueramos en septiembre 22 para california por 5 dias y YO ME PAGABA mi viaje y me dijo que no que no habia dinero & that is bull, pero entonces hable con mi amiga de 17 anos que nos conocemos por telefono y cibernaticamente y le dije que estaba haciendo en agosto 31 hasta septiembre 30 y me dijo que no sabia y le dije estas lista para recibir a tu hermanita como tu has querido por muchos anos y me dijo que me montara en el avion y ya y me desconectara de todo y mi hermana asi hice entre en el internet hice mis reservaciones por 110 cada via mas taxes y por un total de 250$ me voy y por un mes a gozar y para mas ella me va a llevar a la reunion de los Pedro Pan en California el 26 de septiembre y me quiere llevar a Arizona, Utah y no se que otro estado mas pero conocer todo completo a Nevada que dice ella que es hermoso; asi que mi hermanita a gozar y el novio si no quiso ir por ahorrarse el dinero del viaje pues casa tiene alla; entonces el se queda aca.. Y el hermano me dijo que si yo iva a California con quien me iba a quedar que era raro que YO tuviese amistades alla, oye que grande le queda a todos estos hombres machistas..deja que se entere que me voy y no por una semana sino por un mes y a las Vegas y me llevan a todos los lados. Lo unico que quiero llevarle un sillon cubano que yo se donde comprarlo y ese paquete va como mi segunda maleta y la mia sera estilo viaje a Cuba UN GUSANO para toda mi ropa para un mes completo...pienso gozar con ella y con sus dos hermanos..mi novio que me cuide no vaya a ser que del mayor nos caigamos bien jajajaja estoy super contenta aDios gracias y gracias a el las terapias de la rodilla me van de lo mas bien y la cicatriz que era mi problema mental por mis piernas que no es por nada pero las tengo unas piernas hermosas; tenia miedo que me fueran a quedar fea pero la herida ha cicatrisado como un hilito y bonito..y estoy caminando heels, toe bend..vaya azucarrrrrrrrrrrr.. oye goza de tus vacaciones y desconectate de la Florida...besos me envias un post card desde alla mi direccion de casa es 2734 SW 30 ave, Miami, Fl 33133 besosssssssssss

Message by Ileana Arriola (Minico) | Jul 23rd 2009

Mi hermana he creado un network para los Pedro Pan, pero en este uno puede hacer lo que quiera de su pagina y adornarla como quiera. dejaselo saber a todos que conoces y solo tienen que registrarse en y ahi me encontraran. Es buenisima y bonita pueden poner videos de cada uno o del youtube todo es para mejorar las cosas. Te veo ileana/minico

Message by Ileana Arriola (Minico) | Jul 22nd 2009

Hola, Mary. Acabo de leer otra vez tu historia y de nuevo me conmueve. Tambien me han gustado mucho las fotos que añadiste. Me has inspirado a buscar mis fotos guardadas y ayer mismo encontré un montoncito de FL City y de Albuquerque. Ahora tengo que comprarme un nuevo scanner para poder compartirlas. Espero que hayas pasado un alegre fin de semana. Ya seguiremos chachareando. Yoli

Message by Yolanda Cardenas Ganong | Jul 21st 2009

Hi Mary, looking at your pictures gives me a lot of pleasure and bring memories of a childhood that was truly wonderful. The house, your parents your little sister(so cute).That was the last time my brother,sisters and I saw her. carinos, Esther

Message by Esther M Gutierrez Martinez | Jul 18th 2009

OK - se puede borrar el que se envio ahora mismo, pero no los que recibistes antes. Asi que borre el 'test'- los que estan viejos hay que dejarlos. Le voy a escribir al Administrator. Cariños, Betty

Message by Beatriz Amézaga-Wolf | Jul 16th 2009

Mary, lamento lo de tu tio..pero ya tu lo esperabas.. No te escribi antes para darte el pesame pues estaba en el hospital y despues en el rehab hospital pues me operaron de total right knee replacement manana hace una semana que estoy en casa y mi hermana me estou poniendo al dia con los email after all I had only vaya ONLY 1968 emails de pipi !! ;-) y aun tengo muchisimos mas que leer. Asi que mi hermanita lo lamento pero duro decirtelo el ya esta en un mundo mejor que esto.. chaito y se te quiere...

Message by Ileana Arriola (Minico) | Jul 16th 2009

Mary, cuanto me alegro de haberte conocido;eres una gran persona. Cariños, Betty Amezaga

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Jul 15th 2009

Mary, cuanto me alegro de haberte conocido;eres una bella persona.Disfruté tu historia y las fotos. Cariños.

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Jul 15th 2009

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