Miami Dade College’s Museum of Art + Design Presents the inaugural Exhibition at the new Cultural Legacy Gallery, Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres MOAD - Cuban Diaspora Celia L Credit: Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in collaboration with Tico Torres Miami, July 28, 2014 - The Museum of Art + Design (MOAD) at Miami Dade College (MDC) presents Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres. The inaugural exhibition will open to the public at 6 p.m. Friday, September 19, at the new Cultural Legacy Gallery, a permanent space dedicated to the impact of Cuban culture on South Florida and throughout the world, housed at the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in Downtown Miami. Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in collaboration with Tico Torres features what have become iconic photographs of Cuban figures living outside the island, among them performers, composers, designers, writers and artists. The Cuba Out of Cuba series was shot over the last twenty years in Miami, New York, London, Paris, Florence, Venice and Los Angeles. The exhibition will take a unique and historical approach in surveying the legacies of individuals such as Celia Cruz, Bebo Valdez, Gloria Estefan, Cristina Saralegui, Andy Garcia, Cundo Bermudez, Nilo Cruz, and Paquito d’Rivera, among other Cubans who have influenced the greater culture of their time. Alexis Rodríguez-Duarte was born in Havana, Cuba. In 1968 he and his parents were among Cuban exiles who left the Island aboard the humanitarian air lifts called the Freedom Flights. Once arriving to Miami, his family and many thousands of other Cuban exiles came through the doors of the Freedom Tower that served as a processing and assistance center for the exile community. For many, the tower provided nothing less than their freedom from Castro and the hardships Cuba had come to give them, rightly earning its name of the Freedom Tower. Rodriguez–Duarte’s family settled in Miami’s Little Havana community. At the age of 10, he was given his first camera by his grandfather, which led to his love affair with photography. Today, he is a New York and Miami-based internationally renowned photographer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Town & Country, and Harper’s Bazaar, among other major publications, and has exhibited his work at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., Museum of the City of New York, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London and The Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach among others. Rodriguez-Duarte and his husband of 31 years, Tico Torres, have been documenting the Cuban diaspora since 1993. Torres, a photo stylist who is a master of the mise-en-scene, helped create with Rodriguez-Duarte the joyous image of Celia Cruz standing amid the towering palms of Fairchild Tropical Garden in a traditional ruffled Cuban gown. He was also there to set the mood in the London flat of Guillermo Cabrera Infante, one of Cuba’s most famous authors. Torres and his family were also among Cuban exiles who settled in Miami’s Hialeah community. Rodriguez-Duarte and Torres are thrilled to be returning together, full circle to the historic Freedom Tower for this inaugural exhibit, after separately setting foot there as immigrant children so many years before. The inaugural exhibition kicks off the Museum’s fall season scheduled for Friday, September 19, 2014 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. in conjunction with SIDE BY SIDE: MDCULTURE STANDS AS ONE, a one night event held at the College’s historic Freedom Tower, featuring performances, exhibitions, film screenings, the public unveiling of 2014 Book Fair Poster, and the long awaited Cuban Exile Experience at the Freedom Tower. Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres will remain on display at the museum through August 30, 2015. All exhibitions are free and open to the public. MDC’s Freedom Tower was operated by the U.S. Government as a reception center for Cuban refugees from 1962 to 1974. “The building is significant because it represents the important story of the Cuban exodus to America and resettlement during the Cold War,” reports the U.S. Department of the Interior, which has also called the Freedom Tower the “Ellis Island of the South.” Though it operated in that capacity for only 12 years, the building has become an icon representing the faith that democracy brought to troubled lives, the generosity of the American people and a hopeful beginning that assured thousands a new life in a new land. WHAT: Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres WHEN: Friday, September 19 –Opening Reception from 6 – 9 p.m. September 19, 2014 – August 30, 2015 Museum Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. WHERE: MDC Museum of Art + Design Cultural Legacy Gallery The Freedom Tower at MDC, First Floor 600 Biscayne Blvd. About MDC Museum of Art + Design MDC Museum of Art + Design (MOAD) is Miami Dade College’s flagship institution dedicated to the presentation and exhibition of visual art and design, housed at the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in Downtown Miami. The mission of the Museum is to promote the appreciation and understanding of art and its role in society through direct engagement with original works of art from within the College’s extensive permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. Furthermore, the Museum presents year-round lectures, symposiums and art related events to expose, educate and engage the greater public through related creative processes. The MDC Museum of Art + Design provides its patrons and visitors access to unique cultural, historical and educational exhibitions that enrich the greater community while building and preserving an expansive permanent art collection. Miami Dade College has been collecting art since the 1960s. Over the years, the collection has grown contain more than 1,600 works in all mediums and genres, specifically within the movements of minimalism, pop art of the ’60s and ’70s, conceptual art and contemporary Latin American art. The College and Museum actively acquire works by emerging and under-recognized artists, as well as major figures in modern, post-modern and contemporary art. About The Cuban Exile Experience & Cultural Legacy Gallery The Cuban Exile Experience & Cultural Legacy Gallery is a historical division of the MDC Museum of Art + Design. In addition to visual arts, the Museum supports exhibitions and programs that collect, preserve, research and interpret stories and artifacts that help build a better community understanding and appreciation of the Freedom Tower’s history. For more information about the exhibition, events or VIP Opening Reception at MDC Museum of Art + Design, please contact the Museum at 305-237-7722 or Event contacts: Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director Tere Estorino Florin, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366,, media specialist Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

René López-Guerrero Meruelo

General Information
Current Name
Rene Luis Lopez-Guerrero Meruelo
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
René López-Guerrero Meruelo
Age on Arrival
Date of Arrival
Wednesday, February 8, 1961
Relocated To
3200 NW 7th Street, Miami Fl 33125
Stayed With
St. Joseph's Villa

René's Story

I arrived in a Pan American flight by myself on February 8, 1961. I was told by my parents that I was supposed to speak to nobody, but that, only if asked, I would respond by saying that I was traveli...

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René has updated their profile.

Status update | Jul 9th 2014

Rene I don't remember you but will like to refresh my memory I was at the villa from jan16 1961 till June 20 1961 then I was sent to Kennedy home 1770 Stilwell ave Bronx 69,Ny b

Message by Raul Montero | Jul 9th 2014

Please, can you call me back? 7863520203

Message by Jose Ariosa | May 14th 2014

René has updated their profile.

Status update | Aug 1st 2010

Buenos dias Dr. Lopez-Guerrero, por favor los alumnos de ESAN que estuvimos en Miami necesitamos su direccion mail para enviarle el cuestionario resuelto. Le agradeceria me lo envie a mi correo: Me llamo Juan Uriol. Gracias.

Message by Juan Uriol | Jul 2nd 2010

Hello Mr. Lopez, I was wondering if you recently sent me something in the mail? I was hoping to respond to you but (if it was you) you didn'tleave a return address. If it does not inconvenience you, please let me know if you did indeed send the package. Thank you.

Message by gloria estefan | Apr 22nd 2010

René: Muy valiente e interesante tu cuento. Yo oí a niños llorar en Matecumbe, donde estaban los "mayores", así que me imagino que en Kendall, Florida City y los orfelinatos sería peor por las cortas edades. Veo que eres médico. Yo tengo un website dedicado a los PP, a encontrarlos y a juntarlos, pero en Dieicmbre, por el Día del Médico, honramos en el Newsletter del mes a todos los PP que se han dedicado a ayudar y a curar. Puedes ir al website a y ver lo que estamos haciendo. !Bienvenido!

Message by Manuel Gutiérrez | Sep 7th 2009

Hello Rene, I could relate so much to your story, because like you I came by myself and cried myself to sleep many, many nights and wondered when I would see my mom again, but I did see her again years later when I turned 15 and today 57 years old and I still enjoy her love and company. We seem to be strong in our experiences and they have made us better human beings. Best Regards. Gladys

Message by Gladys Perez Fleites | Aug 17th 2009

Thanks for a beautiful story an for sharing it with us. Si todos es este mundo se dieran cuenta de la diferencia que una sonrisa o un abrazo puede hacer vivieramos en un mundo mejor

Message by raimundo | Aug 17th 2009

Rene, I also cried when I read your story as many of us have somewhat similar stories to tell. I noticed you said you had not cried until now and I must admit that detail was left out of my story on purpose as I was ashamed to admit that at 15, I would go find a place where I could be alone and cry my eyes out for my parents and for the rest of my family that was left behing in Miami. My brother (who also happens to be a Pediatrician) were sent to Marquette Mich. until our parents arrived in US soil. So many of us PP boys not only went through the separation from our parents, friends and schoolmates, pets and our lifestyle, but went through all that once again in the US as we went away to our destinations all over the US. That early experience has always left me with a sense of loss that only now when I belong to this great website, allows me to be "reunited" with so many brothers and sisters who went to similar experiences and can really understand what it feels like. Anyhow, enough of any sad notions, we are alive and well and what a coincidence, I too love the Moon...have you ever heard the Italian tenor Alessandro Safina sing "Luna", I guarantee you would love it. Chao my brother, and drop me a line if you find time. Robert

Message by Robert Victor Soler | Aug 17th 2009

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