Damaso D. Parets Valdés

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Damaso D.'s Story

I arrived at Kendall, Florida on September 9 1961 at the age of 12 with my twin sister Ana Maria. Within a few weeks we were relocated to Illinois. I went to Freeport, Illinois where I spent a short time in an orphanage and later went to live with the Connor Family, who resided at 849 South Arcade Ave. My twin sister went to Momence Illinois. After the first year, II was reunited with my aunt, who had just left Cuba, in New York City. Another year passed and then I was reunited with my mother who then sent for my sister from Momence, Illinois. We settled in New York City where I attended one year of catholic school and then went on to public education. Upon my graduation from Hunter and City College, where I received a B.A. and two MS degrees I entered the field of education. I became a Foreign Language Teacher and later I retired with 33 years in 2003 as a Principal of a New York City High School. I still reside in the Bronx with my wife Suzanne M. Klein of 39 years and my two daughters Cassandra and Roxanne. In January 8, 2014, I returned to Cuba for the first time in 53 years with Road Scholar on a "people to people" trip. After arriving in Havana, images of places where I once lived as a child began to return to me. I visited my old neighborhood in Havana Central during the one hour we had to ourselves and it was as if I had never left. The Cuban people were very welcoming and understood very well our plight. I am glad I did this. As this was the culmination of 53 years.

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Status update | Apr 14th 2014

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Status update | Apr 13th 2014

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Status update | Mar 20th 2014

Hello Damaso, I was so happy when I came across your story and name on this web-site. I was one of the "Cuban Girls" at St Patrick's Academy in Momence, Illinois at the same time that your sister Ana Maria was there. I remember how sad she was and cried, because she was separated from you and for a few weeks she didn't know where you had been sent. We all felt so bad for her because she was the youngest in our group. So glad you were reunited and were able to move and live with your own family, no more foster care. From your story I see you have done well in your career choice and have a nice family. Where is Ana Maria now? Is she doing well? I stayed in Illinois, it's almost 53 years now, have never gone back to Cuba, no reason to do so! I have my memories from long ago and lots of pictures of my childhood and that is enough. The best to you and your family.

Message by Josefina Mella | Mar 20th 2014

Damaso D. has updated their profile.

Status update | Mar 5th 2014

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Status update | Feb 19th 2014

Damaso D. has joined the Pedro Pan Network. Please welcome them!

Status update | Feb 19th 2014

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