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

Olga M Suarez Castillo

General Information
Current Name
Olga M Suarez
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Olga M Suarez Castillo
Age on Arrival
12
Date of Arrival
Tuesday, February 27, 1962
Relocated To
CWB Florida City
Stayed With
Quesada

Olga M's Story

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

Olga M's News Feed

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Hi Olguita, me dio mucha alegria saber de ti. Como esta tu hermanita. Yo se que tu tienes unos jimaguas. Yo vi una vez a Haydee y ella me conto que ella sabia de ti. Tu fuistes muy buena amiga conmigo, carinos

Message by Nancy Alvarez Viana | Feb 10th 2012

Olga cuando puedas llamame pues quiero ponerme en contacto contigo pues voy a Miami par Noviembre y quiero ver como nos encontramos llame al 504 393-0678 or al 504 237-8621 por favor

Message by Alejandra Gutierrez Ramos | Oct 23rd 2010

Olguita fue un gusto verte de nuevo y poderte dar un fuerte abrazo y beso al igual que a tu (hermanita chiquitica) Besos para las dos. Sil

Message by Silvia Budejen Trujillo | Nov 12th 2009

Olguita, veo que Alejandra te escribio dudando sobre la muerte de nuestra hermanita Sonia Baralt, te digo que si murio, pues yo hablo con Bertica la hermana mayor de ella. De Sandra del Toro, pues no se nada, yo tengo muchas fotos de ella pues estabamos en la misma casa de Villar y Delia. Nos vemos pronto, Besos, Sil

Message by Silvia Budejen Trujillo | Nov 4th 2009

LEI TU MENSAJE SOBRE SONIA BARALT Y LA VERDAD QUE NO ME HE ENTERADO DE NADA YO SE QUE LA HERMANA MENOR DE ELLOS QUE VINO CON LOS PADRES DE CUBA FALLECIO HACE COMO 4 O 5 ANOS ATRAS PUES ELLA ESTA ENTERRADA EN EL MISMO CEMENTERIO QUE ESTAN MIS PADRES QUE ES UN PANTION DE LOS CUBANOS Y ES MAS EL PADRE DE ELLA TAMBIEN ESTA ENTERRRADO AHIN JUNTO CON MIPADRE SI YO ME ENTRO DE ALGO TE AVISO ALGUNO DE LOS COSAS QUE DECEN LAS GENTE DEL CAMPAMENTO ES MENTIRA PUES AMI ME DIJERO QUE UN MUCHACHO QUE ESTABA EN EL CAMPAMENTO DIJERON QUESE HABIA MUERTO DE UNA OVERDOSES Y RESULTA QUE EL MUCHACHO ESTA EN COLORADO QUE ME DIJO SU PROPIA HERMANA.VAS A IR A LA REUNION DE ESTA SEMANA YO IRE EL PROXIMO ANO PUES ESTE ANO NO PUEDO IR PUES CON EL ACIDENTE DE MI HIJO NO TENGO NINGUNA VACACIONES. SE QUEMUCHA GENTE QUE ESTAN EN CALIFORNIA VAN A LA REUNION DEL ANO QUE VIENE COMO NIURKA. NO DEJES DE ESCRIBIRME POR FAVOR.

Message by Alejandra Gutierrez Ramos | Nov 3rd 2009

Olga mi hermanita, te voy a mandar la foto por tu e-mail. Besos, Sil

Message by Silvia Budejen Trujillo | Oct 31st 2009

Olguita, que bueno que es tu hermanita la de la foto, ahora mismo voy a poner su nombre, dime en cual casa estabas tu, este proximo fin de semana en la reunion de Fernando Collado y Juanita Garcia nos reuniremos muchos de nosotros y de casa Villar vamos a estar varias de nosotras, que bueno que puedas ir y poder verte a ti y tu hermanita, Besos, Sil

Message by Silvia Budejen Trujillo | Oct 31st 2009

Olguita por favor tienes que llamar lo mas posible nates de la 9.30 de la mañana a JUANITA 305-302-6043 el viernes ya todo esta lleno el unico espasio que quedan unos asientos es el sabado a la comoda y creo que el domingo en el desayuno ok. por no pierdas tiempo que ella hoy sbado a las 10 de la mañana tiene que pagar y darle con segurida la cantidad de personas que viene el sabado a comer y el domingo a desayunar ok. por favor llamala mi cellular si no puedes dar con ella es 847-533-0152. bye FERNANDO el MATANZERO

Message by Fernando L Collado Gonzalez | Oct 31st 2009

Hola Olga, Acabo de leer tu mensaje.. Me acuerdo y no me acuerdo de ti...Pon tu foto, chica...Siempre nos queda algo de la niñez... Trata de ir al próximo desayuno o si no a alguno de los eventos del fin de semana de Noviembre 6, 7, y 8... Un abrazo, Marisol

Message by MARISOL KUTNER | Sep 20th 2009

Olga.yo no me recuerdo de ti, pero entre en la pagina de Arminda Alvarez y veo que le preguntas por si continua con Carlos, ellos se divorciaron hace muchos anos, pero llegaron a tener 2 hijos, uno de ellos creo que es abogado si no estoy mal. Bye Tere

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Sep 2nd 2009

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