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

Francisco S Luis Roca

General Information
Current Name
Francisco S Luis Roca
Current Location
Puerto Rico
Name on Arrival
Francisco S Luis Roca
Age on Arrival
16
Date of Arrival
Monday, May 7, 1962
Relocated To
CWB Matecumbe
Stayed With
families in Vienna Virginia

Francisco S's Story

stayed in Matacumbe until oct 1962 then went to live with familes in Vienna Va My parents left Cuba via Mexico two years later

via Mexico. Mexico did not give me a visa so my parents came to the U...

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Francisco S's News Feed

Leave a public message for Francisco S.

fRANCISCO, NO VI TU MENSAJE HASTA AHORA, SI YO ESTUVE EN Puerto Rico con Combined por 24 anoa, ahora vivo en Miami ....saludos ..Jesus Dearmas (pichal)

Message by Jesus T De Armas Sardinas | Dec 7th 2011

En la carpa de Sergio el Curita. Al principio por 2 semanas en la de Enrique Baloira (RIP). La verdad no me recuerdo de ti. Si tienes alguna foto de entonces mandamela a OhRobocop@aol.com y te mandare las mias de entonces y ahora. Recuerdos, Manny

Message by Manuel Perez Capon | Nov 14th 2011

Hola Francisco; Yo tampoco sabia que tu eras Pedro Pan, nunca lo hablamos. Hace tiempo no se de ti. Tengo mi oficina, donde siempre, en Tres Monjitas, Hato Rey. Importo del Oriente "ciertos" productos textiles para el hogar y también mando a fabricar en el Oriente,bolsas impresas para unos pocos detallistas. Eliminaste el cigarrillo ? Saludos Adolfo

Message by Adolfo A Pi Fors | Jun 4th 2010

Hola Francisco como estas,gracias por acordarte de mi, espero que todo este bien contigo y tu familia.Hoy estoy un poco de prisa pero espero un dia nos sentemos a conversar un poco. Angelo(Lito)

Message by Angelo G Jimenez | Sep 6th 2009

Si, estuve en la cabana de Heriberto, sobre todo despues que nos mudaron para el edificio que era como un gym y dividian las "cabanas" con los lockers. No te recuerdo, pero tal vez si viera una foto. Yo tambien vivi en PR desde el 68 al 72, en Hato Rey. He estado en contacto con Alcazar recientemente, mediante esto de Pedro Paneros. Bueno, que te vaya bien socio. Doug Guerrero (El Poste)

Message by Douglas Guerrero de la Barrera | Sep 5th 2009

Hola --- si, soy el mismo, ahora viviendo en Charlotte. Despues de Matecumbe, fui a Wash State y de ahi a Pto Rico (64/66) de donde fui al army. comunicate por email. Para Urtiaga, Hector "el Fuerte" es Hector Alvarez quien estuvo conmigo en Wash. State y ahora vive en Miami. Sigue siendo "El Fuerte", aunque un poco mas "llenito".

Message by Rafael J Alcazar Alvarez | Sep 1st 2009

Francisco: Vi tu nota dirigida a Alfredo Wong. Nosotros fuimos compañeros de la unica clase que se graduo de Matecumbe High School en 1963. Con dolor en el alma te dare la mala noticia que Alfredo fallecio este año en Phoenix, AZ

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Jul 1st 2009

He estado todo el tiempo viviendo aqui en Miami, solamente falte de aqui cuando estube en Nashville. Vivo en Doral.

Message by Santiago J Urtiaga Varela | Jun 12th 2009

He recibido tu mensaje, y he tratado de recordarte pero son muchos anos y le falla a uno la memoria. De todas formas, haciendo algunas anecdotas, te dire que habian unos hermanos en la carpa que le pusieron '' Las Urracas '', no eran muy aseados que digamos, y cuando les llego la noticia de la beca para que se fueran los echaron en la piscina, con maletas y colchones; habian otros personajes como '' Mongo '' que siempre andaba con su primo Carballo, este Mongo era de los buenos, o sea que no abusaba de los demas, estaba tambien un muchacho que llego unos meses despues que yo, se llamaba Andraca LaMadrid, y alli Mongo le cambio el nombre al de Andraca LaMatrona, ya que el muchacho se le veia flojo de piernas, estaba tambien un personaje muy famoso que no vivia en nuestra carpa,'' Hector el Fuerte '' tambien habia otro personaje que no vivia en nuestra carpa pero que era muy famoso, me refiero a '' Isabel La Catolica '' este chico tenia vocacion para ser cura y siempre estaba metido en misa y andaba con un misal, de ahi que le pusieron ese nombre,habia otro que le pusieron Moby Dick, ese se metio con mi hermano que era mas delgado y mas joven y se las tuvo que ver conmigo, esa pelea fue famosa ya que yo no me metia con nadie. Bueno ya me diras si te recuerdas de algunos de ellos; yo tengo muchisimas mas anecdotas para contar, un saludo Santiago

Message by Santiago J Urtiaga Varela | Jun 7th 2009

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