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

Silvia E Portu Garcia

General Information
Current Name
Silvia E Portu
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Silvia E Portu Garcia
Age on Arrival
13
Date of Arrival
Thursday, September 6, 1962
Relocated To
1325 SW 87 Ave
Stayed With
Aurora Portu, aunt, Florida City and Lincoln, Nebraska
Groups
Haiti Pedro Pan
Silvia E has volunteered to help the children of Haiti. Find out how you can help, too.

Silvia E's Story

This person has not yet filled out their story about their flight as a part of Operation Pedro Pan.

Silvia E's News Feed

Leave a public message for Silvia E.

<< 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 Next >>

Silvia: Gracias por las identificaciones. ¡Qué buen ojo tienes y qué memoria! Ya sospechaba quien era Esperanza, pero no reconocía a Lidia en la foto. Sin embargo la recuerdo muy bien.-Tengo un cuento de Lidia: Ella y yo estuvimos juntas con los houseparents Quesada cuando nos mudaron para el edificio grande. A Lidia y a mí se nos ocurrió un dia baldear el apartamento al estilo cubano, restregando el piso haciendo espuma de detergente con una escoba y luego echando cubos de agua para enjuagar. Pensamos que sacaríamos el agua por la puerta y el balcón del frente. Pero sin darnos cuenta el agua se empezó a colar por el borde entre el piso y las paredes y de pronto oímos una gritería de la gente de abajo -creo que era un aula- porque agua caían chorreras entre el techo y las paredes de ellos. Nos echaron tremenda descarga, pero yo recuerdo luego atacarme de la risa. ¿Sabes donde está Lidia? ¿Se acordará ella de este episodio? La recuerdo muy dulce calladita, una excelente compañera. --Ay, los recuerdos... yoli

Message by Yolanda Cardenas Ganong | Sep 6th 2009

Tocaya, Muchas gracias, Carino, Sil

Message by Silvia Budejen Trujillo | Sep 6th 2009

Good Morning: No entraba desde el viernes y me parecia que me faltaba algo. La direccion es en la 13 ave de SW y la 20 Calle. El monumento esta precioso. Todo quedo muy bonito y la pasamos super bien. Luego te escribo mas o te llamo porque ya voy a empezar a correr. En mi caso el Domingo no se hizo para descansar. Un beso

Message by Silvia E Portu | Sep 6th 2009

Tocaya, buenos dias, oye dame la direccion donde pusieron el monumento, me gustaria verlo. Carinos, Sil

Message by Silvia Budejen Trujillo | Sep 6th 2009

Se me olvido, ya le escribi a Oneida y le envie muchas fotos que no se le olvide, recuerdacelo, Love tu tocaya, Sil

Message by Silvia Budejen Trujillo | Sep 5th 2009

Hi tocaya, solo queria saludarte, cuentame como la pasaron. Yo corriendo como siempre. Bezos, Sil

Message by Silvia Budejen Trujillo | Sep 5th 2009

Jaclyn: No dejen de tomar fotos mañana y las ponen aqui para verlas...voy a estar esperando que me cuenten....Ya le envie una foto de mi hermano a Carmen para ver si lo localizan alli. No se te olvide contarme.

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 4th 2009

A todos los participantes en la cabalgata los felicito. Todos los caballos estan preciosos. Que pena que Fernando no pueda participar. Yo creo que Juanito Salabarria tiene unos cuantos pasos finos en Homestead y tal vez le pueda donar uno. Mi voto va para el burro de Guillermo. Los dejos porque ando de corre corre Besos para todos

Message by Silvia E Portu | Sep 4th 2009

Hola Silvia, Si soy yo, no sabia que tu eras jimagua de Jaclyn Smith but more power to you.

Message by Isela Monteagudo | Sep 3rd 2009

Sylvia me alegro que hayas puesto tu foto pero no fue nesesario estas igualita como la ultima ves que te vi en FLORIDA CITY cuando estabas saliendo con LUISITO. VEN ACA DIME LA VERDAD aque edad el perdio su VISTA? porque oye dejarte a ti por esa otra mujer. tu sabes que tu deverias de ir AL QVC CHANNEL y vender los productos que tu usas por que te has mantenido mejor fijate que te ves mejor que CINDY CRAWFORD. y ella usa las cascaras de la fruta para sacarle los ingredientes para usarlos en su cara. mira deja que ella siga usando las cascaras y tu siguete comiendo la fruta ok. bye te veo pronto. FERNANDO

Message by Fernando L Collado Gonzalez | Sep 3rd 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 Next >>

Leave a message for Silvia E

 
Your message
Your name
Your e-mail