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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Silvia, como estas, ya descansada. se que me llamastes anoche pero no estaba en la casa. me puedes llamar cuando quieras no voy a salir hoy. Saludos

Message by Frank ( Paco ) Echeverria | Nov 12th 2009

Tocaya, solo un saludito y darte las gracias por todo, la pasamos divino, tambien por el lunes ser nuestra chofer, gracias otra vez por compartir junticas, Besos, Sil

Message by Silvia Budejen Trujillo | Nov 12th 2009

Silvia quiero darte las gracias por todo tus cariños que me distes y por aver tenido tanta pasiencia conmigo. que nunca tuve ninguna y si tienes duda preguntaselo a CELIA [ JUST KIDDING] de todos mis viajes que he dado a MIAMI todos estos años atras este hasido el mejor de todos y fue muy emosional verlas a todos[ meno a OENIDA] no se lo vayas a decir ok. prque despues es capaz de matarme. [ estoy jugando ok.] hasta la proxima ok. mantengansen en contacto con este cubano que siempre pasa un frio de madre. vamos a echarle la culpa a CELIA por averse peleado conmigo ok. adios y abrasos para todos FERNANDO su hermano PEDRO PAN

Message by Fernando L Collado Gonzalez | Nov 11th 2009

Silvia que semana!!!!!!!! faltaron mas horas en esos dias. ya que nos encontramos otra ves ahora hay que busacar la manera de poder sumarles mas horas a los dias no crees? y de Oneida que mas te puedo decir. esa mujer sigue igual. empiesen a planear para la proxima ok. abrasos de tu hermano FERNANDO. que te paresio mi guajira vieja? CELIA CAPOTE le dije que si huviera sabido que iva a ser cresido dos pulgadas mas nunca me huviera peleado con ella. la encontre muy bien. al igual que a todas ustedes los años no las han cambiado en nada sigeun como siempre locas todas bye FERNANDO

Message by Fernando L Collado Gonzalez | Nov 9th 2009

Silvia: Great meeting you and our trip to Fla. City will be memorable! Cariños

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Nov 8th 2009

¿Qué tal Silvia? La próxima vez será... Ya yo miré las Yolandas y ninguna me sonó parecida. Yo creo que ella estaba en casa de Sixto. A lo mejor Ma. del Carmen Fdez. se acuerda de ella. Un abrazo, Marisol

Message by MARISOL KUTNER | Nov 7th 2009

Silvia ,me alegro mucho verlas a todas anoche fue una noche especial entre hermanos y familiares, nos vemos de nuevo esta noche. un abrazo. Juanita.

Message by Juanita Garcia | Nov 7th 2009

Te quiero dar las gracias por habernos visto en casa de Juanita en la reunion de los Pero Pan CCC. Fue fenomenal ver tantos Pedro Pan de nuevo. De verdad que estas reuniones de los CCC son anuales pero son especiales. Y mas me diverti cuando fuimos las muchachitas a tomarnos las fotos y cantamos las canciones de Florida City, pero mas fue cuando fueron los muchachitos a tratar de cantar, vaya eso si fue fenomenal.. let's keep it up y seguir asistiendo y viendonos en cuanto podamos.. Recordando siempre a Florida City y esos tiempo de dolor, tristeza y a la misma vez una nueva vida llena de travesuras de ninos sanos de Cuba !!

Message by Ileana Arriola (Minico) | Nov 7th 2009

Hola Silvia, claro que me acuerdo de ti lo unico que los nombres los confundo y hasta se me fueron de mi memoria, pero viendo, los nombres los rostros vuelven los recuerdos y es como volver a vivir todo como si no hubiese pasado el tiempo en fin ya nos veremos el Domingo y compartiremos y recordaremos mas, por lo pronto ya hemos vuelto a reencontranos algunos hermanitos y hermanitas PP te mando un besote. Tere Sanchez

Message by Teresa Sanchez Amado | Nov 4th 2009

silvia my daughter worked for Charlie sometime ago before she finished her Psy D. do you know Annie Proenza?

Message by Maria del C. Marin | Nov 4th 2009

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