Juan Puerto Lagarza


Juan's Story

After a short stay in Matecumbe, on April 18, 1962, I boarded a flight with my younger brother and older sister, along with other Cuban children . Our destinations were orphanages in St. Louis, Missouri; Denver, Colorado and Helena, Montana.

As our plane banked at the Stapleton Airport in Denver, we thought the city had burned, as the trees had no leaves and the snow on the ground was grey and appeared to be ashes.

My brother, Jose and I stayed at the St. Vincentís Home For Boys, and our sister, Consuelo, stayed at the Queen of Heaven Orphanage a mile away. Cuban boys at St. Vincentís, who had sisters in Queen of Heaven, were allowed to walk over and visit them once a month, weather permitting.

I graduated from the University of Colorado, received a medical degree from Michigan State University, and now practice medicine in southwest Florida.

Juan's News Feed

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hello Juan, my son registered my brother and I on this site. I did see a message saying you had a picture of Vicente and some other boys. I would love to have it. if you get this message please answer me.

Message by Ana G.Simanca | Nov 28th 2012

Juan has updated their profile.

Status update | Aug 20th 2011

Juan, Sorry it's taken me so long to reply. Yeah, that would be my brother, although he's Julio instead of Carlos (his 2nd name). I will let him know you were asking about him.

Message by Aida Cabrera | Aug 30th 2010

Juan I just read your story and I had to comment, because I got a laugh reading your recollection of how Denver looked like to you when you got there. We had a similar reaction when we got to Helena, MT. We went from hot, sunny, beautiful skies, palm trees and sand, to freezing, gloomy skies, dead looking trees, grey, mushy and wet ground to walk on. What a shock!!!

Message by Vivian A McCombie y Salort | Jun 21st 2010

Thank you Juan for responding, but my brother and I got to the U.S. in Aug.of 62, and a week later we were sent with a big group of kids to St. Joseph's Orphanage in Helena, MT. When we got there in Aug. of 62, there were already a lot of Cuban children there. Thank you again.

Message by Vivian A McCombie y Salort | Jun 21st 2010

I saw you left a message for Vicentico Simanca. I am sorry to inform you that he passed away in December of 2006 or 2007 while residing in Florida. I was in Queen of Heaven with his sister Ana Gloria. She is also registered at this site. I will pass on your information to her and inform her you were searching for Vicentico. I probably was at the orphanage with your sister Consuelo. I am trying to remember her. Is she registered at this site? I was called Martica.

Message by Marta Valero | May 27th 2010

Juan says: Reminder, On Thursday, May 27th at 9pm on MSNBC a special on the Pedropan story will be televised.

Status update | May 25th 2010

Juan has updated their profile.

Status update | May 16th 2010

Juan, el nombre de los tres ninos en esa foto son: de isquierda a deracha, Carlos Cabrera, Alfredo Granada y Wilfredo Fernandez aka "T... Rica". No recuerdo quien es el cuarto nino en la foto.

Message by Jose Puerto | Dec 28th 2009

I was at St. Vincent's April/1962-1964. I now live in SW Florida. When were you at the home? Are you still in Colorado?

Message by Juan Puerto Lagarza | Dec 28th 2009

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