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
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Silvia E's Story

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Oye Tocaya, que bien estas, por eso no voy a ir a las reuniones, pues yo estoy picando los 60 y quisiera estar como tu, yo me miro en el espejo y llamo a mi esposo y le pregunto BABY TU NO ME VEZ TAN VIEJA VERDAD? el solo se rie y me dice no BABY tu estas lindisimaaaaaa!!!despreocupate que tu eres la unica que te vez de 20!!!tus hermnitos(as) de PP son ellos los viejos. Ja,Ja,Ja,...Sil p.d. y casi todos tenemos la misma edad, un anito menos o mas, pero estamos todos igualitossssss!!.

Message by Silvia Budejen Trujillo | Sep 3rd 2009

Oye quedastes muy bien en la foto de pronto no te reconoci, la verda que estoy muy mal que fallo jaja

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Sep 3rd 2009

Did you dream with Charlie last night and woke up thinking your were Jaclyn Smith? Me cojistes celos porque pongo mis fotos misteriosas y querias hacerme la competencia. For your info, Jaclyn and I are like twins!!!!! Eat your heart out!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 3rd 2009

Silvia: Dejame contarte algo de una coincidencia con un night launching del shuttle about 3 or 4 years ago. Adonde yo vivo es una municipalidad pequeña del condado Seminiole. Cerca tengo al fire department y la policia. Todos los años estos preparan un flat bed truck donce ponen un huge sleigh with a Santa and Elfs y vienen por todas las calles tocando las sirenas y le tiran caramelo a los niños y treats a los perros. Mi hijastro mayor estaba de visita con su esposa y los niños. Los cruce para la cera del frente para que vieran el shuttle y en ese mismo momentos nos pasaba Santa por delante con sus caramelos...It was a sight to be seen..Santa and the sleigh and the shuttle in all it's brilliance going into space as a background. Ay, es que algunos todavias somos medios niños por que yo tambien salgo afuera todo los años a ver a Santa!!!! Que guanaja!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 2nd 2009

OYE TOCAYA, EN QUE LIO ME HE METIDO, TU SABES QUE COLLADO ENVIO UNA INVITATION PARA DESKTOPDATING Y YO TRATANDO DE NO ACEPTARLA, PUES SE LA ENVIE POR ERROR A TODOS MIS CONTACTO Y ESTO HA SIDO UN DESASTRE, POR FAVOR SI LO RECIBES INNORALO O.K. BEZOS, SIL

Message by Silvia Budejen Trujillo | Sep 2nd 2009

Silvia: Me han despreciado tanto la foto que puse aqui de cuando yo bailaba en los follies, que ya no me atrevo a poner alguna otra y que me ignoren....asi como un cero a la izquierda.....efectivamente, me despedi anteriormente pero era de mi oficina. No hiba a prender la computadora en la casa pero necesitaba buscar algo y como un 'magnet' the website pulled me and forced me write again. Por favor,, se prudente y no me descubras de mi verdadero oficio. Yo soy un agente secreto de Nasa y voy 'incognito' en todo los viajes como parte de homeland security. Por eso es que no puedo descubrir mi cara y mucho menos mi precioso cuerpo. Ellos me obligan a usar un traje de gorda, vieja y fea para no darle la tentacion a los demas astronautas en el viaje ya que estando in 'close quarters' la tentacion es demasiado. Y si sigo en esta, I'm going to have to put on my boots to walk thru the bs. Goodnight!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 1st 2009

Muchas gracias por tu mensaje. Esto ha sido muy emocionante para mi. No se hacer ni acentos en este computer- es Apple- Mira si el site es adictivo que lo estuve chequeando en el lunch y ahora en el break! Es un honor compartir este espacio virtual con otros cubanos que pasaron las mismas vicisitudes.

Message by Adrianne Miller | Sep 1st 2009

Les quiero saludar a cada uno de uds desde aca Las Vegas. Gracias a Dios llegue ayer y aun no he salido; saben que se toma un dia adaptarse a un nuevo horario, pero no obstante ya manana si Dios quiere empezaremos a salir...los quiero e inviten mas Pedro Paneros a entrar a www.pedropan.ning.com grupo..Bendiciones.. ileana/Minico

Message by Ileana Arriola (Minico) | Sep 1st 2009

Silvia querida: Gracias por los empujoncitos, porque con ellos viene un cariñoso calor de amistad. Yep! It's been really busy here today. I've written several messages that did not even click in. --Isn't it wonderful to have Yolie/Adrianne in this bonche? Now I wonder how I will not burst with joy from having all of you to laugh, cry, reminisce, dream with and tell stories to !!! How will I keep up and sleep and eat too? It's a glorious challenge to have. I'm ready for it. Keep it going! Un besote p'a ti tambien. yo

Message by Yolanda Cardenas Ganong | Sep 1st 2009

Hola Silvia, gracias por el aviso ya que si no es por ti se me escapa esta, pero nunca es tarde cuando la dicha es buena. Fijate que ya logramos comunicarnos con nuestro hermano pueblo Hondureño ya que al menos Condesa sabe que estamos en solidaridad con ellos. Este website es una maravila. Tenemos que ponernos de acuerdo para el sabado. Un besote, Carmen

Message by Carmen Valdivia | Sep 1st 2009

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