Cuban immigrants share precious family heirlooms to show history of Cuban exiles by Janey Fugate 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. Read more here:

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
Date of Arrival
Friday, March 23, 1962
Relocated To
St. Vincent's Orphanage, Vincennes, Indiana
Stayed With
Velasco family-Florida City
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!

Click here to read the full story

Susana (Susy)'s News Feed

Leave a public message for Susana (Susy).

<< Prev Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 Next >>

Gracias Susy

Message by José Raúl Montes Sori | Jun 19th 2011

Susana (Susy) says: Happy Father's Day to all the Pedro Pan fathers and Happy Father's day to all the mothers that have also taken the roll of father!

Status update | Jun 19th 2011

Es verdad que le cojiste miedo a un grupo de Pedro Panes, despues de que fuiste la primera en ponerlos en estas paginas. Cobarde.

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Jun 13th 2011

Hi Susy, Have you been able to find a new phone # for Bernie. I hope you received my e-mail weeks ago explaining about the phone # for Bernie you e-mailed me. Thank you Susy Carinos...Vivian

Message by Vivian A McCombie y Salort | May 27th 2011

Gracias Susy! I was looking at my year book and I do think I know the family, I attended Mater Dei High. from 1963 to 1966 and graduated from Burbank High in Cal. Ya buscare al grupo en California. Yo vivo en Glendale desde el 1970 después que sali del Army, vivo con mi esposa de 41 años de matrimonio, Estudie arte comercial y Ilustración en Art Center College of Design, Pasadena CA. Quiero hacer un show dentro de poco. mandare anuncios cuando sepa cuando con seguridad

Message by Guillermo/Willy Seoane Gonzalez | May 24th 2011

Go to you Tube and search the name "Carl Rodenberg" this guy was one of my best friends in Evansville...

Message by Guillermo/Willy Seoane Gonzalez | May 24th 2011

Hi Susana!!!! The name sounds familiar...And by the way, my foster sister attended St. Vincennes, but I don;t know if it was an orphanage than, I know it was a big school for girls and she was there only her freshman year. I will look up the Hillenbrands, I still have connections with Evansville, since I stayed until 1966 with the Mooney family. Their home was in St. Joseph area which is the North West part of Evansville, all country or farming area North of the Hwy 66 and west of the 65. Parkway drive-in restaurant was on the 66 near the cemetery on New Harmony Rd. I would like to know more about your experience in Evansville y la de tu hermano. Willy

Message by Guillermo/Willy Seoane Gonzalez | May 24th 2011

OH, well.....HO HO HO!

Message by Manuel J. Izquierdo Rodriguez | Apr 21st 2011

Mijita..... como dice la cancion, veinte anos no es nada, me acuerdo como si fuera ayer y de Tally, a contry boy can survive, te dejo porque tengo que abonar el maiz y los tomates.

Message by Manuel J. Izquierdo Rodriguez | Apr 21st 2011


Message by Carmencita Romanach | Apr 17th 2011

<< Prev Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 Next >>

Leave a message for Susana (Susy)

Your message
Your name
Your e-mail