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 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
Date of Arrival
Wednesday, August 8, 1962
Relocated To
CWB Florida City
Stayed With
Casa Suarez
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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Maria del Carmen, me parece mentira que ya han pasado tantos anos. Yo soy Celia Capote, la que fue novia de Fernando, vivo en Hialeah tengo 2 hijos y 4 nietos. Espero mantenernos en contacto.

Message by Celia Capote | Jun 20th 2009

It is strange that you know someone but know little about them. I had no idea you and Isa were part of the Peter Pan History. Now more than ever I bow my head to you, and all of the Peter Panners, it takes great courage being so young to indure such faith. We have family from our other side Rodriguez) Carmencita, that were Peter Panners also, Orlandito and Fernando. This is good what you are doing, to connect with people that were part of what you and Isa that have gone thru, reach out to let the world and most of all those places that are going thru much of the same process Cuban began to open their eyes and not allow the Sick,Egotiscal, Governments of their countries have them put thru what Cubans had to endure.

Message by Amina | Jun 8th 2009


Message by RUSS AND MARCINE WHEATLEY | Jun 5th 2009

i received your message but i could not answer soon because i do not enter in the computer every day since my older son had a car accident and is still in the hospital rehab i go there every day . i was in perez plana house and later went to another house i do not remember if was castillo or rodiguez-walling.i remember you for the camp.

Message by Alejandra Gutierrez Ramos | Jun 4th 2009

Maria del Carmen, cuanto siento pero no tengo fotos de cuando etabamos con Mama y Papa Baldor; si recuerdo que era la ultima casa a la derecha cuando ibamos para el parque que NO queriamos ir por las dichosas serpientes, pero tratare de poner alguna foto de esos tiempos pues yo como era y soy la mas pequena de las 3 NO tenia las cosas si no mis hermanas..eso es la desventaja de ser la baby..LOL...pero te la pondre lo que nos deberian quitar el limite de fotos como en otras network community pages I made the suggestion to Pedro Pan Adminitrator..let' live in Pinecrest so does my well keep in touch...

Message by Ileana Arriola (Minico) | Jun 2nd 2009

I read your story and it sounded so much like mine that I began to cry. I do not think I will be able to write mine for a while...never realized just how emotional I still felt about such things. I began to cry when I got to "la pecera" and am still crying. Yours is the first story I read. I think it will take me a while to get my thoughts together. Hope to see you very soon. Love Terry

Message by Teresita E Reuter | Jun 2nd 2009

Carmen, Your story is beautiful.. I'm sorry your sister is no longer here to share your life, but she will always be part of your heart. Our blessings are many!

Message by isa brown | Jun 1st 2009


Message by Alejandra Gutierrez Ramos | May 30th 2009

Ma Del Carmen, thanks for bringing tears; again; to my eyes... OUr stories are always the pain; worse than the telenovelas de Miami; but we lived through it all, and you know what if we cried; which I know my two sisters and I; were the Maria Magdalenas of Casa Baldor because we would sit every single afternoon on the steps (the third one to be axact) of the stairs going up to the 2nd floor, and write letters to Mima, and now that I am a grandma, and when I became a mother I realized more and more the pain that Mima, as other Mimas out there; were going through; because each one of us were missing her, but God almighty she was missing three of us, so her pain and heart must had been greater than anyone of us could ever realize, and for that alone; not to mention for saving me from communism; I am must appreciative for her decision to get us out of our beautiful country, Cuba. Thanks for sharing and making me cry, and even though I don't recall knowing you in person I am so sorru about yuor sister Isa; if any condolence would be that God almighty has her in a better place, my prayers for her peace will be on saturday's mass at St Peter & Paul..if you want we can be friends, and hey forget about those three dresses that they only allow us to bring mine did not fit me about two weeks in Florida City...and after all we had Ileana

Message by Ileana Arriola (Minico) | May 29th 2009

Great story! I, too, am a Pedro Pan. I came in September of 1961 with my sister. First we went to Kendall and then to Syracuse, N.Y., where we were first placed in an orphanage, then in separate foster homes, and finally in a wonderful one until our parents came six months later. I am so grateful my parents sent us. Soy Graciela la amiga de Anita.

Message by Graciela Anrrich | May 27th 2009

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