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 ...

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It's me again...aren't you lucky! In response to your message last night, I had a scrumptious pastelito de guayaba for dessert last nigh. You know, the kind with the guayabe oozing out of it. When the 'girls' wake up, we are going to Cracker Barrel for breakfast (oops, I forgot the only 1 you have is in Homestead). We'll be ordering country ham, smoked country sausage, lots of hickory smoked bacon, their hash brown casserole with cheese and onions, hot out of the oven melt-in-your-mouth biscuts, country gravy and grits. Of course, I like apple butter on my biscuits...a hot cup of coffee or maybe an icy cold apple cider. The young, hot looking guy server will call us 'sweetie' and we'll call him 'babe' (like you are such a baby you could be our grandson)!!!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 12th 2009

No, no es 'asta'....se escribe 'hasta' y se pronuncia 'jasta'. Got it? BTW, do you know how to make the "ñ" or do I have to give you instructions like out friend, the always confused one?

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 12th 2009

Oye, no estes hablando a espaldas mias que todavia tengo la computadora prendida bucando a una Pedro panera que mi cuñada conoce. Wash you mouth out with soap....

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 11th 2009

Guillermo, la verdad es que es maravilloso poder disfrutar de buen humor.....tampoco tu te quedas atras, hasta me dio ganas de irme a comer yo tambien el bistecito con perejil y cebolla y eso que yo estoy aqui en Miami, la descripcion tuya daba hambre.....y ya que escribes tan bien....ponte a hacer la tarea y escribir tu historia antes que llegue la santica y le das la sorpresa.....

Message by Carmencita Romanach | Sep 11th 2009

Say goodnight Guillermo...past you bedtime ....viejo y sordo, OMG!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 11th 2009

Ya estas igual que Carmencita, posting the messages to the wrong person! Y te dijeron papito? Nah, probablemente no oistes bien pues a tu edad...seguro que te dijeron 'viejito'.

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 11th 2009

PS. you gotta be quicker to keep up w/me, although I admit, I can't come up w/the come back for a previous message!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 11th 2009

IOU one...I'm the flan queen for all my gringo friends!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 11th 2009

A little bit of what? Time in that air conditioned jail cell? 18 seconds ago

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 11th 2009

Susy, la foto de tu familia esta tan bonita! Oye, la del venadito esta cute, pero la de los flanes ya me dejo boquiabierta! Que es eso negro que tiene enfrente? una cadena y bola de presidiario?????

Message by Carmencita Romanach | Sep 11th 2009

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