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

Susana (Susy) Garrandés Gonzalez

General Information
Current Name
Susy Rodriguez
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Susana (Susy) Garrandés Gonzalez
Age on Arrival
10
Date of Arrival
Friday, March 23, 1962
Relocated To
St. Vincent's Orphanage, Vincennes, Indiana
Stayed With
Velasco family-Florida City
Groups
Haiti Pedro Pan
Susana (Susy) has volunteered to help the children of Haiti. Find out how you can help, too.

Susana (Susy)'s Story

Truly blessed for having been raised in the USA!

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Susy, no le hagas caso a Fernandin, lo que el tiene que hacer es organizar otra reunion para los de Illinois y estados circundantes (palabrita de domingo!). La reunion de CF quedo estupenda, fue un placer conocer tanta buena gente pedropanera por las tierras del raton......un abrazo para todos.

Message by Carmencita Romanach | Mar 8th 2010

Susy, congratulations! Your Central Florida PP get-together was a great success! You and Justo make a great Pedro Pan organizing team! I enjoyed meeting the new people and seeing how Pedro Pans who had not seen each other in many years became reconnected again. Great job! ¡Y que se repita!

Message by Eloísa Echazábal | Mar 8th 2010

Susy! Si necesitas un testigo, aquí me tienes para dar fe de que te veías muy bonita, que se te entendía todo lo que hablabas y que le caíste muy bien a todo el mundo. Tambien puedo testificar que los festejos quedaron muy buenos y las gracias se las ganaron Justo y Clemencia y tú por organizarlo todo tan bien. Mi esposo la pasó tan bien que no se quiere perder ninguna otra fiesta Pedro Pan. Ahora quiere embullar a otros grupos a hacer otras celebraciones por todo el pais y así pasarnos el resto del año viajando de acá pa'llá. (¿Qué te parece si buscamos a los Pedro Panes en Hawaii para sugerirles que hagan un Luau a la Pedro Pan?) Muá, muás de Yoli

Message by Yolanda Cardenas Ganong | Mar 8th 2010

Hola Susy, me dio mucho gusto en conocerte este pasado fin de semana en casa de JAM. Ya nos pondremos de acuerdo para reunirnos. Lili

Message by Lidia Gamble | Mar 8th 2010

Susana (Susy) has uploaded new photos.

Status update | Mar 8th 2010

Fueron los otos mosqueteros que me dijeron las otras cosas, que no pude mencionar. Pero me alegro mucho de haber ido y fue una reunion en que nos pusimos al dia con los chismes nuevos y algunos viejos. Gracias a ti y a nuestro distingido JAM, que se veia agitado de todo el trabajo que tubo.

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Mar 8th 2010

Gracias por recordarte de mi,pero ya le mande a la jefa, la señora, todos los calificativos que me han puesto, el embarcado, espia y de unos de los que estubo ahi "que feo". El resto no los puedo poner por respeto. Con amistades como estas quien necesita mas?

Message by Valentin Gomez | Mar 8th 2010

Susy tambien dejame decirte que mi invitasion para ir a esea reunion llego el sabado. ok. oye ni el PONY EXPRESS SE huviera demorado tanto en traerla ok. en el 1885 se demoraba una carta seis dias de ST LOUIS A SACRAMENTO. asi que ahora que tenemos next day air con el POST OFFICE. no se huviera demorado tanto del centro de la FLORIDA A CHICAGO. pero bueno asi es la vida! maybe next year la mandaran un año antes para que seguro llegue!!!!!!!

Message by Fernando L Collado Gonzalez | Mar 8th 2010

Susy me alegro que todo les sdalio muy bien y que pasaron un buen tiempo lo unico que me tiene un poco preocupado es que le hayas caido bien a todas esas personas que fueron a esa reunion. dejame decirte que estoy seguro que dos cosas tuvieron que aver pasado. primera que se fue la luz durante la fiesta y cuando llegaste y hablastes con ellos no te pudieron ver tu CARA!!!!!!!! o segundo que no tenias los dientes puestos y nadie te pudo entender y seguro que les dieron muchas penas contigo. o la unica razon que les caistes bien fue porque CARMEN Y GUILLE. les dijioeron a alguien que no te hisieran caso que te havian traido de la casa DE ANCIANOS ese fin de semana para que la pasaras bien. ahora no te vayas a enojar con lo que te dije acueldate que aparte de tu edad todos te queremos mucho!!!!!!! bueno algunos ok pero de todas maneras cuentame como fue todo ok. si me llamas en ves de escribirme ten la dentadura puesta y habla bien despasio para entenderte ok. cuidate tu amigo que te quiere de verdad. FERNANDO

Message by Fernando L Collado Gonzalez | Mar 8th 2010

Susana (Susy) has uploaded new photos.

Status update | Mar 7th 2010

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