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, estoy de acuerdo. Carmen

Message by Carmen Valdivia | Oct 15th 2009

True.

Message by Nelson Del Valle Caraballo | Oct 15th 2009

Susy creo que la cosa es de viejas y fieras, yo espero que se esten refiriendo a algun animal en el zoologico de la Habana porque si no, va a haber un problema muy grande en el Paseo Pedro Pan. Carmen

Message by Carmen Valdivia | Oct 15th 2009

I'm fine thanks. The Lucia picture always brings a smile to my face. But, how are you going to top that?

Message by Nelson Del Valle Caraballo | Oct 15th 2009

Susana, donde se cae el burro, ahí se le dan los palos. José Antonio.

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Oct 15th 2009

Susana, de noche todos los gatos son pardos. José Antonio.

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Oct 15th 2009

Susana, Dios los cría y ellos se juntan. José Antonio.

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Oct 15th 2009

Susy te fijastes que hoy no me encontraron en ningun hueco? bueno dejame decirte la razon. me pase el dia fuera del trabajo arreglandole un trabajo a un cliente de nosotros y ahora mismo llegue. the moral of the story is. estar siempre afuera y no delante de esta computadora. talk to you MAÑANA. ps no te preocupes seguro que mañana sabes donde encontrarme!!!!!!!!!! en otro hueco

Message by Fernando L Collado Gonzalez | Oct 15th 2009

Susy: Ahora me asomé un poquito por aquí y veo que fuiste a casa a descansar. Espero que así lo hagas y no se te ocurra salir a parrandear otra vez. Mira que tienes que conservar energía para cuando nos reunamos en poco mas de dos semanas. >>Arroró, mi niña. Arroró, mi amor. Arroró pedazo de mi corazón. Esta niña linda que nació de noche, quiere que la lleven a pasear en coche. Esta niña linda que nació de día quiere que la lleven a la dulcería.>> Pero de éso nada: La niña tiene que descansar, así que estése tranquila ya. Un besito de yolinana

Message by Yolanda Cardenas Ganong | Oct 15th 2009

Susy, espero te mejores y duermas un ratico, Cuidate, Sil

Message by Silvia Budejen Trujillo | Oct 15th 2009

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