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

Melvin F Noriega Plasencia

General Information
Current Name
Melvin F Noriega Plasencia
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Melvin F Noriega Plasencia
Age on Arrival
15
Date of Arrival
Tuesday, October 10, 1961
Relocated To
Matecumbe Camp
Stayed With
Sergio Garcia -- Cabaña 1

Melvin F's Story

A mis hermanos

“CUANDO LLORÁBAMOS JUNTOS”

Tengo en mi alma guardado

Un gran Hecho que contar

Ahora que encuentro a mi hermano

Se lo qui...

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Mel, Por favor necesito te comuniques conmigo a mi email ASAP Es importante. No encuentro tu teléfono. Gracias

Message by Teresita Gonzalez-Angulo | Aug 20th 2009

hola Melvin, te escribe Alfredo Valdes, saludos a ti y a tu hermano hace un par de meses no hablo con el, estoy pensando ir a Miami en Septiembre los llamare para ver si nos podemos ver, seria un placer tambien tener a Hector en esa reunion. un abrazo

Message by Alfredo Valdes Romero | Aug 19th 2009

Gracais por tus felicitaciones, veo que eres muy popular, yo acabo de escribir "my Story" what is yours? Estelita

Message by Estela Prieto Guzman | Aug 16th 2009

Por supuesto ya estamos listos para contar mentira tra la la Saludos

Message by Silvia E Portu | Aug 16th 2009

Hola Melvin: It was really nice what you did for Yolanda. Hasta emocionastes a su mami. As a said before you are special. Ahora si que te metiste en otro lio ya que hasta a un carro le van a poner tu nombre. Yo tambien tengo un clunker y pensaba ir manana a ver que deal podia hacer, y por supuesto voy a comprar un MELVIN y tratare que sea color mamey. Who knows maybe el MELVIN sera el carro prefrerido de los PP Un beso

Message by Silvia E Portu | Aug 16th 2009

Hi Melvin, it was great reconnecting with you yesterday. We really enjoyed yor company. Thanks for being who you are. You are so special. Love Carmen

Message by Carmen Valdivia | Aug 16th 2009

Querido Melvin: Aquí llegaron los Reyes Magos en medio de agosto y me trajeron unos maravillosos regalos que nos llenaron de alegría y de nostalgia. Enseguida puse un disquito de esa dulce música cubana de antaño. Oyéndola y mirando el poster con la bandera y el escudo llenó a mi mamá de tanta emoción que tuvo que dejar de comer por un momento y yo tuve que apagar el player haciendo pucheros también. Aquello fue increíble. La muchacha que me ayuda con mami es de la parte de Alemania que fue comunista, y se erizó toda de vernos a nosotras emocionadas, comprendiendo que todavía Cuba sigue bajo el yugo de ese mal. No te imaginas el impacto de ese regalo. Luego fui con mi esposo a ver carros, ya que quiero cambiar el mío, y llevé mi disquito nuevo en el bolso. Salimos a probar un carro y cuando puse el disquito el vendedor que iba en el asiento de atrás, un muchacho joven, dijo, "What's that music? It's beautiful!" Bueno, puede ser que quería congraciarse con nosotros, pero me parece que de verdad le gustó, por la expresión que ví en su cara por el espejito. El no habia visto cuando yo metí el disquito. En fin, hoy fue como un dia de Reyes. Me gustó mucho el carrito y puede que el lunes tenga coche nuevo. (It's a Pontiac Vibe.) Y como le pongo nombre a mis carros, éste se va a llamar Melvin. Gracias!!! Yo

Message by Yolanda Cardenas Ganong | Aug 16th 2009

MELVIN HABLE CON MI HERMANA Y ELLA ME DIJO SI TU NO ERAS QUE TENIA UN NOVIA EN EL CAMPAMENTO QUE SE LLAMA LIDIA PUES ELLA DICE QUE TE CONOCE A TI Y QUE A ELL LE DECIA EL PERICO PUES HABLA MUCHO

Message by Alejandra Gutierrez Ramos | Aug 15th 2009

Oye Melvin y el lio de los mameyes sigue y ahora tienes que mandar tambien aguacates. Espero que Yolanda lea esto para que se muera dee la risa como he reido yo. Tal vez puedas conseguir unos platanos verdes, malangas,boniatos etc para hacer un ajiaquito. Bueno que bien la pasamos. Espero que se siga repitiendo. Un abrazo

Message by Silvia E Portu | Aug 15th 2009

Oh se me olvidaba que en NY la gente se viraba para vernos a Emmita y a mi y a Carolina ya que eramos 3 modelos ya te pica......

Message by Caridad Cesari Quevedo | Aug 15th 2009

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