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

Maria del Carmen Valdivia Martinez

General Information
Current Name
Carmen Valdivia
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Maria del Carmen Valdivia Martinez
Age on Arrival
12
Date of Arrival
Wednesday, August 8, 1962
Relocated To
CWB Florida City
Stayed With
Casa Suarez
Groups
Haiti Pedro Pan
Maria del Carmen has volunteered to help the children of Haiti. Find out how you can help, too.

Maria del Carmen's Story

Florida Heritage Landmark Dedication Ceremony, Historical Reference

By Carmen Valdivia,

OPPG Historic Committee Chairperson

OPPG Board of Directors

Florida City Alumni

The state of Florida ha...

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Carmen, me encanta Julio Iglesias y esa cancion tambien. Leistes lo que escribio JA y su despojo a Miguel de la T., fijate que Marcos saco una careta fea, fea. Carmen tu sabes quien me llamo hoy y viene a para la fiesta de Fernan (Mercedita Arjiz) dice que se acuerda bien de ti y esta de lo mas contenta, acuerdate que ella escrbia canciones de lo mas bonita y recita tambien, mira el profile de ella. Sil

Message by Silvia Budejen Trujillo | Oct 13th 2009

Que mal se han portado hoy. No puedo creerlo. Voy a tener que cantarles esta cancion de Julio Iglesias que tanto me gusta a ver si entran por camino: Vida Nadie escoge a su familia O a su raza cuando nace Ni el ser rico, pobre, bueno, malo Valiente o cobarde Nacemos de una decisión Donde no fuimos consultados Y nadie puede prometernos resultados Cuando nacemos no sabemos Ni siquiera nuestro nombre Ni cual será nuestro sendero Ni lo que el futuro esconde Entre el bautizo y el entierro Cada cual hace un camino Y con sus decisiones, un destino Somos una baraja mas De un juego que otro ha comenzado Y cada cual apostara Según la mano que ha heredado La vida es una puerta Donde no te cobran por la entrada Y el alma es el tiquete que al vivir Te rasgan cuando pagas Y cada paso crea una huella Y cada huella es una historia Y cada ayer es una estrella En el cielo de la memoria Y la marea del tiempo Lleva y trae nuestras contradicciones Y entre el regreso y la despedida Cicatrizan los errores Y cada amigo es la familia Que escogemos entre extraños Y entre la espera y el encuentro Uno aprende con los años Que solamente a la conciencia Nuestro espíritu responde Y que una cosa es ser varón Y otra es ser hombre Nadie escoge a su familia O a su raza cuando nace Ni el ser bueno, malo, lindo, feo Inocente o culpable Del nacimiento hasta la muerte Toda vida es una cuesta De nuestra voluntad depende la respuesta Sueno con un mundo diferente Donde nuestro amor nunca se acabe Donde nunca desechemos la razón de los demás Donde jamás olvidemos dar la mano Al que se queda atrás Sueno con un mundo diferente Donde nuestro amor nunca se acabe Y dejar a nuestra tierra Mejor que cuando a ella entramos Con la esperanza de un niño Y ese calor del verano Sueno con un mundo diferente Donde nuestro amor nunca se acabe Y quien sepa mas de todo Que lo enseñe a los demás Para que todos sepamos De la vida siempre un poquito mas Sueno con un mundo diferente Donde nuestro amor nunca se acabe Con cariños de Carmen

Message by Carmen Valdivia | Oct 13th 2009

Carmen, mi hermanita donde estas? te necesitamos, sin ti y sin Yoly estos muchachos nos matan. Besos, Sil

Message by Silvia Budejen Trujillo | Oct 13th 2009

Hola Carmencita, long time no see. Oye, para decirte que hoy Domingo fui a la Iglesia y no he hecho nada malo. Espero que lo pasaras bien en tu reunion. El inocente.

Message by Marcos F. Pinedo | Oct 11th 2009

Good Morning, Carmen . It is "A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL".Just read Alberto Ferran`s story{Guardian Angel, Peoria ,Illinois} and realized that you are familiar with it. My sister Lourdes and I were part of that group. God Bless.Leo I Munoz

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Oct 11th 2009

Hi Carmen, yo aqui con los nietos hoy sabado y manana domingo, pues mi hija se fue con el esposo para la (Regatta) ya le dije que el proximo fin de semana es mio, pues tengo muchos deseos de darte un fuerte abrazo y bezo al igual que las otras hermnitas (o). Bueno un fuerte bezo para ti y Guille, y dile que no ande mas con Marquito que solo hace meterlo en problema con esas muchachas tan feas. Bezos, Sil

Message by Silvia Budejen Trujillo | Oct 10th 2009

Carmen, me alegro mucho que les gusto el envio.Me estan empezando a gustar las expresiones de Guillermo con respecto a nuestra salida de Cuba.Tiene toda la razon al explicar el contenido de ese vuelo.Fijate que los tickets de la loto de Guillermo tienen su fecha de nacimiento, la mia y tambien el dia en que llegamos que es hoy dia del sorteo. Los tuyos se juegan por 5 dias.Este contiene cosas simbolicas a tu penalizada expresion verbal. El de Guillermo es a parte iguales contigo, yo ya tengo el mio."Arrivederci Roma" (Tito Gomez). Carinos: MELVIN

Message by Melvin F Noriega Plasencia | Oct 10th 2009

Yep, Little Susy tossed & turned so got up and came alive for a while...today I'm dragging but getting ready to go to the silent auction charity luncheon. See u around later.

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Oct 10th 2009

Say goodnight, Carmen....Goodnight, Willie...Goodnight, Little Susy (eso es para que Willie me ponga me cancion in the AM 'wake up little susy, wake up"

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Oct 9th 2009

Carmen: Mi abuelita se dio cuenta que me escape y vino con un cinto y me agarro por las greñas y me llevo para la casa. Dice que la niñas buenas no salen a jugar ni a empinar papalote. Yo le dije, "pero abuelita y si soy mala entonces puedo ir" Ni te quiero decir la pela que me dieron..creo que no me siento en una semana. Y no me van a dar los 5 kilo para comprar las goticas de chocolate. Salvame!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Oct 9th 2009

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