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...

Click here to read the full story

Maria del Carmen's News Feed

Leave a public message for Maria del Carmen.

<< 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 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 Next >>

Carmen: On your message to Jose Antonio....YEP! I think I need another college course to follow the instructions...He did a great job.!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Aug 12th 2009

Hola Carmen: No puedes imaginarte la felicidad que senti cuando hable contigo. Es increible los sentimientos que se despiertan cuando regresamos al pasado con una conversacion o una foto. Eres muy especial. Tienes la facilidad de traer inspiracion y felicidad a muchos. Gracias por la foto.Tu sabes que no logro recordar quien es la de la esquina. You made my days two days in row. Now I'm waiting for the surprise. Tere Noy me contesto el email pero por mi email ya que no lo pudo hacer por aqui, y por supuesto esella. Que Bueno, ya .tenemos varias Teresianas Pedro Panners. Bueno recibe un doble abrazo. I'll see u Sat

Message by Silvia Portu | Aug 12th 2009

¡Mágnifica idea, Carmen! El libre intercambio de ideas siempre es sumamente provechoso. La ideas más geniales por lo general nacen de ese intercambio. Queda de ti, agradecido de todo corazón, José Antonio Amaro Reyes

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Aug 11th 2009

Estimada Carmen, muchísimas gracias por dar respuesta a mi pregunta. Me imagino que la única pregunta que me queda por plantear entonces es la siguiente: ¿Qué gestiones se pudieran hacer para conseguir mediante el gobierno local, municipal o, si necesario fuese, estatal, que en algún lugar del antiguo campamento se colocara una lámina o placa que indicara oficialmente nuestra presencia en éste? Creo que valdría la pena investigarla. Las municipalidades y estados pueden ejercer su autoridad sobre la propiedad privada para fines del bien común. Quizás fuera útil compartir con miembros de la alcaldía de Florida City nuestro interés en colocar una placa en algún lugar del antiguo campamento. Es posible que la ciudad le pudiera sacar algun provecho económico o simplemente histórico al hacerlo. Lo importante sería mostrárselo y convencerlos. ¿No crees? Con un afectuoso saludo, José Antonio Amaro Reyes.

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Aug 11th 2009

Carmen, me he pasado la mañana en este website gracias a que tengo buena ayuda con mami, pero ya se me marcha dentro de un rato, así que miré una vez mas y ví tu mensaje. Chica, yo oía lo de los desayunos y reuniones, pero no me había ubicado bien en lo regular que son. Esta de noviembre me parecia que era alguna fiesta que alguien daba en particular. Poco a poco me voy enterando, por fin! Gracias! Yolanda

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Aug 11th 2009

Pues yo no me acuerdo de ninguna manera de tales pedruzcos. Tambien estuve por Florida en el 73 y mas recientemente, como por el 93, y tampoco recuerdo ver el tile place. Curioso en lo cada cual se fija. Anyway, me voy a verlo otra vez en GoogleEarth. Thank you for the tip! One of these days I'll think to go to the new technology first. I confess I still miss the old card catalogue and the know-it-all reference librarians of 40 years ago. Sigh!

Message by Yolanda Cardenas Ganong | Aug 11th 2009

Hi, Carmen...could you give me perimeters so I cn also pull up Fla City camp on google earth? I don't have any idea of what the address is. Thank you in advance.

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Aug 11th 2009

Carmen, gracias una vez más. Por medio de GoogleEarth no sólo he podido ubicar el campamento de Florida City, como me lo indicaste, sino que he logrado navegar por la calles de éste. ¡Cuántos recuerdos! A juzgar por lo que he visto hasta el momento, casi todos los edificios permanecen intactos. Gracias mil. ¡No sabes cuánto te lo agradezco!

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Aug 11th 2009

Estimada Carmen, un millón de gracias. Llevaba unos cuantos días rompiéndome el coco con los mapas de Google y no dí pie con bola. Por cierto que en el año 87 u 89, en un viaje que hice a Miami, salí en búsqueda del campamento y lo hallé intuitivamente, sin tener que pedir direcciones ni consultar un mapa. Lo que me sirvió de guía fue el triturador de pedruscos al que te refieres. ¡Las cosas que se quedan impregnadas en la mente!

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Aug 11th 2009

Es un poco tarde en Louisiana donde vivo pero me dejastes frio con lo de Trinidad & La Boca. Hay mucho que intercqmbiqr y escribir. Dios mediante lo hare lo antes posible. Jose Angel

Message by Jose A. Gonzalez Guardado | Aug 9th 2009

<< 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 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 Next >>

Leave a message for Maria del Carmen

 
Your message
Your name
Your e-mail