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

Guillermo R Paz Vazquez

General Information
Current Name
Guillermo R Paz Vazquez
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Guillermo R Paz Vazquez
Age on Arrival
11
Date of Arrival
Tuesday, October 10, 1961
Relocated To
Kendall
Groups
Haiti Pedro Pan
Guillermo R has volunteered to help the children of Haiti. Find out how you can help, too.

Guillermo R's Story

The year was 1958, I was 8 years old and my life from my perspective was good. I had two wonderful parents and a loving sister who was 2 years older than I. My father was a self made man who arrived ...

Click here to read the full story

Guillermo R's News Feed

Leave a public message for Guillermo R.

<< 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 Next >>

I know....it felt strange to say "happy' but the truth is, it could have been worse and you couldn't be here at all...so at least, we are happy you are here and we met you......(I hate it when I'm nice)

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Oct 10th 2009

Happy Pedro Pan Anniversary to you, Happy Pedro Pan Anniversary to you,, Happy Anniversary, dear Willie, Happy Pedro Anniversary to you. Little Susy woke up and she's ready to run around.

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Oct 10th 2009

Guillermo, Gracias por tus palabras y un fuerte abrazo despues de 48 anos de habernos separado aquel 10 de Octubre.Si hubiera yo estado al tanto, le hubiera aguantado la mano a mi nino companero en aquel dificil momento.Es increible, Dios nos mantiene viajando juntos en la vida. Afectos: MELVIN

Message by Melvin F Noriega Plasencia | Oct 10th 2009

Willie: Estaba caminando por la calle Luz en camino a Santo Suarez para jugar con ustedes y al llegar a la Calzada 10 de Octubre no pude cruzar porque habia mucho trafico. Yo voy a esperar en la esquina. Cuando vengas mataperreando con tus amigos, me puedes ayudar a cruzar la calzada? Apurate antes que nos toque el cañonazo de las nueve y yo que me escape de la casa! (Cuchi cuchi, no esten tan serio hoy)

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Oct 9th 2009

Guillermo, nos salvamos. Carmen lo tomo todo con mucha calma, hasta quiere invitar a Josefina a una reunion de las Teresianas. Tu vez yo sabia que a ella no se iba de dar cuenta lo de la modelo en el elevador y ni de la muchacha que repartia el champagne. Te lo dije Guillermo. Ni presto atencion, debe de haber estado muy cansada, asi es que salimos bien de todo lo que hicimos. Lo que no le podemos repetir los gritos tuyo de Viva Cuba Libre, y las miradas que las muchachas te daban. Nos les escapamos a las camaras de seguridad del lugar. Eres el barbaro del ritmo. A lo mejor nos deja ir pronto con una escusa de trabajo.

Message by marcos pinedo beraza | Oct 8th 2009

Guillermo, tal parece que Susy, hablo con la Santica y le conto lo de ayer. A mi se me olvido decir que la copa de Champagne que tomastes te afecto un poquito, porque te pusieste a decir poesias a la muchacha que repartia el champage. Yo no sabia que te hacian tanto efecto las burbujitas.

Message by Marcos Pinedo Beraza | Oct 8th 2009

Dear Anonymous Willie: Don't be sad...be happy...it's all about you, just the way you want it.

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Oct 7th 2009

Willie: Since I met you I knew you reminded me of a song by a country artist, Toby Keith but I couldn't quite figure out which...then, today, I remembered...here it is: I wanna talk about me Wanna talk about I Wanna talk about number one Oh my me my What I think, what I like, what I know, what I want, what I see I wanna talk about meeeeee (me,me,me,me- I wanna talk about me (me,me

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Oct 7th 2009

Yes, I must admit that sometimes I have that affect.

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Oct 7th 2009

Guillermo muchas gracias te lo agradesco mucho ahora ya saves por la cual yo hise mi historia como un homenaje a mis padres pues en realida ellos fueron los que sufrieron mas que yo despues de averme mandado para este pais solo por mi bien ellos llegan aqui y un año despues de aver llegado tuvieron que separarse de mi por mi hida al ejercito y ahi si que ellos no tenian control sobre lo que me podia suceder, yo se que eso 13 meses que estube en VIET NAM separados de ellos fueron mucho mas duro que los cuatro años que estuvieron separdos sin verme pues al final sabian que me ivan aver otra ves pero este viaje si que no tenian segurida ninguna. GRACIAS A DIOS pude regresar por eso es que yo creo que el señor me los ha tenido vivos tanto tiempo para que ellos pudieran recuperar de esos tiempos que estubimos separado de 14 años hasta 21 años de nuevo muchas gracias ok. son muy pocas las personas que me lo han dicho. espero conocerte pronto y darte un abraso por ser tan amable y honesto. es mas por eso es que yo no puedo creer que CARMEN te aya jusgado tan mal por las fotos que te tomastes con esas nenas y de esos dos lisinsiados ni te voy a decir nada. bye FERNANDO

Message by Fernando L Collado Gonzalez | Oct 7th 2009

<< 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 Next >>

Leave a message for Guillermo R

 
Your message
Your name
Your e-mail