Cuban immigrants share precious family heirlooms to show history of Cuban exiles by Janey Fugate 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. Read more here:

Osvaldo Mora La Rosa

General Information
Current Name
Ozzie Mora
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Osvaldo Mora La Rosa
Age on Arrival
Date of Arrival
Friday, October 13, 1961
Relocated To
Camp Kendall > Camp Matecumbe > St Joseph's Orphanage - Helena, Montana>Foster Home in Whitefish, Montana > Brondel Hall Helena, Montana> Camp Matecumbe
Stayed With
Pedro Pan Program

Osvaldo's Story

First of all, I would like to honor and pay tribute to all the Pedro Pan's parents who made the sacrifice of sending their sons and daughters to an uncertain future in a foreign country, not knowing ...

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Hola Ozzie Tu dices que vivias en la calle 2 entre 1 y 3. Tu eras vecino de mis abuelos maternos. Ellos vivian en la calle 3 entre 2 y 4. Mi abuelos era German y Maria Alvarez. Como dice mi hermana Maria Elena, nosotros ibamos todos los domingos con mi abuelo a la Estacion Agronomica. Tambien el Don Tomas Roig estaba en la estacion. En la esquina de la calle 3 y la 2 vivia la familia Montes De Oca. Aunque tu eres mayor que yo, quizas te recuerdes de Domingo Montes de Oca. Por eso me parece tu cara conocida. Idania Pazos Garcia

Message by Idania Pazos Garcia | Oct 10th 2009 Ozzie tu link y prepara los kleenex

Message by Maria E Pazos Alvarez | Oct 9th 2009

Ozzie Idania es pedro pan también la puedes escribir mensajes en su pagina también... y mi primo Luis Ramon Martinez también es pedro pan, vivia cerca de la estación, a lo mejor le conoces!todos le decian Monchi... En Santiago en linea hay un articulo de la Marquesita, por Mario Solomiani el hijo de David y Sarita, también de los garrigo, de los mora de la fonda de capote, de mas luz etc....

Message by Maria E Pazos Alvarez | Oct 9th 2009

Hola Ozzie No problem I will tell my sister, she is older and remembers everybody... I wrote the mail incorrectly for santiago is ok but go in you will love it!!! Las croquetas de la dominica eran la pera... mi padre se pasaba la tanda saliendo a comprar croquetas, y el pan de gloria del que los vendia en el carrito verde?? Y el Sitio con su pollo asado, y las señoritas de la pasteleria de la doble via, mi abuelo nos llevaba a todos los nietos los sabados a jugar a la estacion agronomica, practicamente viviamos dentro, y mi tio trabajaba alli... bueno al final seguro que hemos jugado juntos y todo.... bueno cuando entres en la página de santiago dime lo que has sentido, pues te prometo que si no la conoces te vas a quedar loco, lee las historias, son todas preciosas, y he aprendido mucho de mi pueblo!!!!

Message by Maria E Pazos Alvarez | Oct 9th 2009

Hi, Ozzie...yep, I'll ask my children to ask their grandfather or their mother(they are actually my step-children but I raised them). That is so quaint and interesting ...the walking around the park must have been fun, almost like going shopping but with the security guards on watch for shoplifters!!! Glad to make your acquaintance. Saludos.

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Oct 8th 2009

I will try again. I hope the third time is the charm. Where did you live in Santiago? Your face looks familiar.

Message by Idania Pazos Garcia | Oct 8th 2009

Ozzie Sorry I did not enter my e-mail before.

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Oct 8th 2009

Ozzie A very nice story. I am from Santiago de las Vegas (Maria Elena Pazos's sister). I am also a Peter Pan. Are you related to the Mora's who owned the pharmacy? Elisita and I were classmates in Maria Auxiliadora.

Message by Idania Pazos Garcia | Oct 8th 2009

Ozzie escribe a y te ponen en su mail y te mandan todas las historias, pero la pagina es santiago de las vegas online... cuando lo veas te vas a recordar de muchas cosas, pues hablan de todo y hay fotos de todos, y de los origenes, cuentos, hasta los crimenes... bueno ya me dirás si te gusta!!!!

Message by Maria E Pazos Alvarez | Oct 8th 2009

Hola Osvaldo soy de Santiago, tienes que entrar en la Santiago de las Vegas en linea, te va a encantar, estan las fotos del pueblo, y todo el mundo se concecta y se busca por ahi.... en cuanto pueda te mando el link pero si buscas lo encuentras, merece la pena, pero preparate a llorar, pues hablan de todo el mundo del pueblo, de Nena fo de fogote, de la fonda de capote, la dominica... bueno yo vivía detrás del colegio Gacio, en el Reparto Tessi, con los Solomiani dueños de la Marquesita, mi abuelo era Arseniio el dueño de la Ferrolana.... y si estudie en Maria Auxiliadora, soy nacida y criada en Santiago... Cuando vuelva de mi viaje te contestare mucho mas tranquilamente, y te mandare el link sino lo encuentras... Mi hermana, mi primo y prima son todos pedro pans y de Santiago, así que somos muchos!!!! Un abrazo,

Message by Maria E Pazos Alvarez | Oct 8th 2009

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