Miami Dade College’s Museum of Art + Design Presents the inaugural Exhibition at the new Cultural Legacy Gallery, Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres MOAD - Cuban Diaspora Celia L Credit: Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in collaboration with Tico Torres Miami, July 28, 2014 - The Museum of Art + Design (MOAD) at Miami Dade College (MDC) presents Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres. The inaugural exhibition will open to the public at 6 p.m. Friday, September 19, at the new Cultural Legacy Gallery, a permanent space dedicated to the impact of Cuban culture on South Florida and throughout the world, housed at the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in Downtown Miami. Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in collaboration with Tico Torres features what have become iconic photographs of Cuban figures living outside the island, among them performers, composers, designers, writers and artists. The Cuba Out of Cuba series was shot over the last twenty years in Miami, New York, London, Paris, Florence, Venice and Los Angeles. The exhibition will take a unique and historical approach in surveying the legacies of individuals such as Celia Cruz, Bebo Valdez, Gloria Estefan, Cristina Saralegui, Andy Garcia, Cundo Bermudez, Nilo Cruz, and Paquito d’Rivera, among other Cubans who have influenced the greater culture of their time. Alexis Rodríguez-Duarte was born in Havana, Cuba. In 1968 he and his parents were among Cuban exiles who left the Island aboard the humanitarian air lifts called the Freedom Flights. Once arriving to Miami, his family and many thousands of other Cuban exiles came through the doors of the Freedom Tower that served as a processing and assistance center for the exile community. For many, the tower provided nothing less than their freedom from Castro and the hardships Cuba had come to give them, rightly earning its name of the Freedom Tower. Rodriguez–Duarte’s family settled in Miami’s Little Havana community. At the age of 10, he was given his first camera by his grandfather, which led to his love affair with photography. Today, he is a New York and Miami-based internationally renowned photographer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Town & Country, and Harper’s Bazaar, among other major publications, and has exhibited his work at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., Museum of the City of New York, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London and The Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach among others. Rodriguez-Duarte and his husband of 31 years, Tico Torres, have been documenting the Cuban diaspora since 1993. Torres, a photo stylist who is a master of the mise-en-scene, helped create with Rodriguez-Duarte the joyous image of Celia Cruz standing amid the towering palms of Fairchild Tropical Garden in a traditional ruffled Cuban gown. He was also there to set the mood in the London flat of Guillermo Cabrera Infante, one of Cuba’s most famous authors. Torres and his family were also among Cuban exiles who settled in Miami’s Hialeah community. Rodriguez-Duarte and Torres are thrilled to be returning together, full circle to the historic Freedom Tower for this inaugural exhibit, after separately setting foot there as immigrant children so many years before. The inaugural exhibition kicks off the Museum’s fall season scheduled for Friday, September 19, 2014 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. in conjunction with SIDE BY SIDE: MDCULTURE STANDS AS ONE, a one night event held at the College’s historic Freedom Tower, featuring performances, exhibitions, film screenings, the public unveiling of 2014 Book Fair Poster, and the long awaited Cuban Exile Experience at the Freedom Tower. Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres will remain on display at the museum through August 30, 2015. All exhibitions are free and open to the public. MDC’s Freedom Tower was operated by the U.S. Government as a reception center for Cuban refugees from 1962 to 1974. “The building is significant because it represents the important story of the Cuban exodus to America and resettlement during the Cold War,” reports the U.S. Department of the Interior, which has also called the Freedom Tower the “Ellis Island of the South.” Though it operated in that capacity for only 12 years, the building has become an icon representing the faith that democracy brought to troubled lives, the generosity of the American people and a hopeful beginning that assured thousands a new life in a new land. WHAT: Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres WHEN: Friday, September 19 –Opening Reception from 6 – 9 p.m. September 19, 2014 – August 30, 2015 Museum Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. WHERE: MDC Museum of Art + Design Cultural Legacy Gallery The Freedom Tower at MDC, First Floor 600 Biscayne Blvd. About MDC Museum of Art + Design MDC Museum of Art + Design (MOAD) is Miami Dade College’s flagship institution dedicated to the presentation and exhibition of visual art and design, housed at the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in Downtown Miami. The mission of the Museum is to promote the appreciation and understanding of art and its role in society through direct engagement with original works of art from within the College’s extensive permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. Furthermore, the Museum presents year-round lectures, symposiums and art related events to expose, educate and engage the greater public through related creative processes. The MDC Museum of Art + Design provides its patrons and visitors access to unique cultural, historical and educational exhibitions that enrich the greater community while building and preserving an expansive permanent art collection. Miami Dade College has been collecting art since the 1960s. Over the years, the collection has grown contain more than 1,600 works in all mediums and genres, specifically within the movements of minimalism, pop art of the ’60s and ’70s, conceptual art and contemporary Latin American art. The College and Museum actively acquire works by emerging and under-recognized artists, as well as major figures in modern, post-modern and contemporary art. About The Cuban Exile Experience & Cultural Legacy Gallery The Cuban Exile Experience & Cultural Legacy Gallery is a historical division of the MDC Museum of Art + Design. In addition to visual arts, the Museum supports exhibitions and programs that collect, preserve, research and interpret stories and artifacts that help build a better community understanding and appreciation of the Freedom Tower’s history. For more information about the exhibition, events or VIP Opening Reception at MDC Museum of Art + Design, please contact the Museum at 305-237-7722 or Event contacts: Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director Tere Estorino Florin, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366,, media specialist Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

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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Ozzie: Hi. I see you are from Santiago de La Vega. I know and I'm related to two families from there. Montes De Oca and Sanchez. By any chance do you recognize the names? Saludos

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Oct 7th 2009

Ozzie, Thanks for reaching out.I came in May 20, 1962, ended up in Matecumbe and slept in Alejandro's tent where every single night before going to bed we had to search our beds for Rattler or Coral snakes, the Coral we used to call 30 seconds as that was the time you had to take the antidote. In any case by August we were in Helena, Brondel Hall, my twin brother and I were part of about 30+ kids that went to Brondel, the rest, including my sister Carmen went to St. Josephs. My brother and I used to walk a long 17 miles to get to St. Joseph's every Sunday, if we got lucky we got a ride, I would say in about 90% of those visits we were never allowed to come in and that nun, the one that ran the place used to shut the door right in our faces, we were 13 years old. We were in Helena until 1967, actually the last ones to close Brondel Hall when our grandparents came from Cuba, by that time my sister was already living with a cousin in Staten Island. We went to New York and lived with Grandparents until my mother was able to come out, my Dad was arrested and we did not see him again until 1995 when we were able to bring him out. I have already made contact with Vivian Salort and it turns out our respective Dads are friends from childhood, her contacting me asking if I knew a Carmen that was in St Joseph's worked the miracle of getting our Dads, mine is 95, hers is 92 talking on the phone and excited as kids. To Yolanda I want to say that I did my Basic Training in Ft. Jackson and returned there as a MP, from there went to Vietnam. I have a lot of fond memories from Columbia including one from this beautiful southern bell who wanted to have a kid with me because she liked my accent-go figure. I presently live in Miami but determined to go back to New York where my twin brother, my Dad and 2 more sisters live. Great to hear from fellow Peter Pans and again thanks for inviting me to share. Damaso V. Santana

Message by Damaso V Santana Vega | Sep 27th 2009

De nuevo Ozzie. Tienes mucha razon no fue Maximo Gomez fue Panchito Gomez Toro y Antonio Maceo quienes estan entrrado en El Cacagual. Hasta la proxima

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Sep 7th 2009

Hola Ozzie, me gusto mucho tu historia, yo soy de Bejucal ( El pueblo de las charangas ) solamente nos separa de Santiago de las Vagas la loma del Cacagual donde esta la tumba de Maximo Gomez y antonio maceo. Yo estuve en Matucumbe por dos meses y despues fui para Yakima, Washington. Tambien como tu cuando llegamos habia un frio de m....., hoy vivo en Tallahassee, Fl. Saludos, Manuel

Message by Manuel Izquierdo | Sep 7th 2009

Hola, Ozzie: ?Vas a ir a la reunión de Pedro Pan CCC en Noviembre?

Message by Manuel Gutierrez Fernandez de Castro | Sep 1st 2009

Ozzie, Thanks for reading my story. Pero, "tu no te quedaste atrás" definitely had as many adventures as I did and became a better person for it. Thanks again! Lomberto, the kid from Yakima!

Message by Lomberto Pérez Plasencia | Sep 1st 2009

Ozzie,me puse a leer tu historia y veo que eres de Santiago de Las Vegas. Casi llegamos juntos, vivimos en la misma cabana y de contra soy de Calabazar solo Ranho Boyeros nos separaba. Que casualidad, lo mas probable es que tengamos amigos comunes pues yo siempre estaba por tu pueblo, mi mama tenia familia en Santiago. Si la 31 pasa por tu casa te puedo visitar. Recuerdos: Tu hermano MELVIN P.D. Que rico era el TROPICREAM ! y las croquetas de La Dominica !(las mejores de Cuba )

Message by Melvin F Noriega Plasencia | Sep 1st 2009

Ozzie: Absolutely great story; I'll check out the rest. I always wondered how far away Helena was, since I heard much talk, but only later got to visit twice, but lack a sense of the distance. Once they took us to see a Disney movie "Hold that tiger," and one evening they took us there for trick or treating on Halloween. The latter was a bit troubling for me, since they ran out of the used/donated costumes from the donated clothes room and the only outfit left (which I had to wear) was a ballerina outfit. What can I say, after traipsing across Helena that night like an exiled Alicia Alonso, I figure I can handle anything. Regards. Tony G.

Message by Antonio Gonzalez Perez | Aug 25th 2009

Ozzie...amigo, a truly beautiful story with an excellent sense of humor to boot. Though we haven't met, it is truly amazing how sharing a common "pit stop," like the orphanage in Montana, just establishes a common link between so many of us. I appreciate your kind words and the fact that as you say, my political comments are in sync with yours. This, more than anything, testifies to your having lived elsewhere in this country. Those of us who have lived in New Jersey (West New York for me) as well as New York, North Carolina etc. Well, we often display a broader perspective on issues and are not so easily swayed. I tend to believe that too much exile radio in Miami has put blinders on some of us and if we hope for a truly free Cuba, we have to think for ourselves and not rely on the talking heads who've made bla, bla, bla, a profitable business. Five of us from St. Joseph's recently met at Vivian Salort's home in Miami. I see in your messages that you've also communicated with her. When you get a chance, check out Vivian's page and you can see the reunion photograph there. I'm in the group along with my cousin Fernando, who was also at St. Josephs. Let's make it a point to keep in touch and I look forward to meeting you sometime, either via Miami or on a North Carolina jaunt. Tu amigo, Tony Gonzalez.

Message by Antonio Gonzalez Perez | Aug 23rd 2009

Hi, Ozzie ~ After my first two attempts, and "No Results Found" messages, I eventually found you on this site. What a moving, compelling story you tell! This evening, I answered your personal e-mail before I read your story. Now, I have more questions, but will leave them for tomorrow as it is now almost 2 a.m. It is wonderful to have reconnected with a fellow former resident of St. Joseph's Home!

Message by Alina M Gattorno Machin | Aug 23rd 2009

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