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

Caridad Antonieta Campos Gomez

General Information
Current Name
Cari Urbanczyk
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Caridad Antonieta Campos Gomez
Age on Arrival
12
Date of Arrival
Monday, September 17, 1962
Relocated To
CWB Florida City
Stayed With
Casa Alcoz

Caridad Antonieta's Story

I arrived to the USA in March 1962, to stay with family. I was sent to the Florida City Camp in September the same year. My family originally lived in Havana, and I went to the Academia Valmana. My p...

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Cari me alegre mucho que me hayas contestado. donde estas viviendo? stay in touch ok. bye FERNANDO ps. tu sabias que GLORIA PADILLA murio hase unos años de un cancer. yo la iva a visitar a ella y su hermano de ves en cuando en INDIANAPOLIS

Message by Fernando L Collado Gonzalez | Oct 12th 2009

Caruca soy yo FERNANDO COLLADO te acuerdas de mi? yo era el novio de CELIA CAPOTE. es mas tengo una foto donde esats tu JOSE [PEPE ]REYES , GLORIA PADILLA , YO Y CELIA la voy a poner la semana que viene ok. cuidate y espero saber de ti adios FERNANDO COLLADO

Message by Fernando L Collado Gonzalez | Oct 3rd 2009

Tu estas en una de las fotos que you puse. Estamos con rolos fuimos las que se quedaron atras el dia que hubo un baile de los enamorados. Gisela

Message by Aurea Gisela Alma (Palacios) | Sep 20th 2009

Ahora que vi la foto de Fla. City. Si me acuerdo de ti. Como estas? Te ves igual. Me alegro mucho de encontrate. Gisela

Message by Aurea Gisela Alma (Palacios) | Sep 19th 2009

Caruca: este website es algo increible. Te dire que Margarita Palacios es IRS auditor en Miami. Ella vive en Coral Gables. Su hermano, Nestor, vive en Miami tambien aunque dentro de poco se muda para Nicaragua con su esposa. Tania trabaja para una compañia de seguros en Miami. Ella tiene 2 hijas, 3 nietos y desafortunadamente enviudo hace unos 3 años. Todas estamos muy bien y tratamos de vernos por lo menos 1 vez al año. No se si te acuerdas de las muchachas cubanas que vivian en Villa Maria y algunas venian al Blessed Sacrament. Pues, todo ese grupo y las del BSA hemos formado una hermandad muy linda que ya viene fomentandose desde el 1987 que fue la primera reunion de los grupos. Bueno, pues, que gran sorpresa y si Tania no te ha contestado es porque quizas no ha entrado en este website. Voy a tratar de avisarle. Un fuerte abrazo, Magda

Message by Magda M Ojeda | Sep 15th 2009

Caruca: si claro que te recuerdo!!! que alegria saber de ti!!! Te acuerdas de Margarita y Tania? Cada rato nos preguntamos que habra sido de ti. Todo el grupo de Villa Maria y Blessed Sacrament nos reunimos de vez en cuando. Han habido 2 reuniones en San Antonio. Yo me quede en San Antonio. Soy maestra, tengo 2 hijos y 3 nietos. Ya veo que estas en NY; este ano se reunieron un grupo de las muchachitas y salieron en un crucero de ahi de NY al Canada, entre ellas Tania. De quien mas de acuerdas? Un fuerte abrazo. Magda

Message by Magda M Ojeda | Sep 13th 2009

09/13/09 Querida Caruca: Bienvenida al grupo....Siempre es un gusto recibir a una hermana màs......Que Dios te bendiga. Un fuerte abrazo, Otmara

Message by Otmara Capote | Sep 13th 2009

como no me acuerdo. Como estas?

Message by Victoria C Blanche-Young Sanchez | Sep 13th 2009

Hola Caruca, que alegria al saber de ti, viste la foto que puse en mi profile? estas tu y hay dos muchachitas que no me recuerdo el nombre de ellas si me pudieras ayudar con los nombres, yo tengo dos hijas y este ano en Octubre cumplo 43 anos de casada, vivimos 23 anos en Pasadena Calif. y ahora llevamos 21 anos en Tampa Fl. siempre que he viajado a miami esperaba encontrarme con alguien del campamento pero nunca sucedio. pero al ver las fotos de ahora me doy cuenta que no nos hubieramos reconocido. me ha dado mucha alegria saber de ti que tienes una hija y eres feliz. Carino de Maria del Carmen

Message by Maria Del C pardo -Ledesma | Sep 12th 2009

Pues, Cari, no sé nada de Teresita Mier. La última vez que miré ni siquiera la encontré en la lista del website. Todavia queda mucho camino que recorrer en estos recuerdos y re-encuentros. Poco a poco se van llenando los baches de la memoria. yolanda

Message by Yolanda Cardenas Ganong | Sep 12th 2009

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