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:

Caridad Cesari Noriega

General Information
Current Name
Caridad Cesari Quevedo
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Caridad Cesari Noriega
Age on Arrival
Date of Arrival
Wednesday, October 18, 1961
Relocated To
Florida City Camp
Stayed With
Nino and Peluca Cesari ( Parents )

Caridad's Story

This person has not yet filled out their story about their flight as a part of Operation Pedro Pan.

Caridad's News Feed

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Status update | Nov 7th 2012

Caruca: Por favor pon en que iglesia y a que hora....como es Sabado quizas podemos ir otros PPs del area de Clermont, Orlando, Cocoa, etc.

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Aug 23rd 2011

Caridad says: El dia 10 de Septiembre se celebra en Tampa la misa de La Caridad en honor de los Pedro Pan, por favor de assistir los que vivimos en el Area. Caruca

Status update | Aug 22nd 2011

Caruca, veo que estas felicitando a tu primo "Pepito" por el dia de San Jose. En cambio al otro primo que es tambien tu cuñado, concuño y padrino de tu hijo nunca lo has felicitado en el dia de San Melvin.Acuerdate que algun dia vamos a caer en la misma nube, preparate.Despues de esta descarga tu sabes que te quiero mucho. Tu primo....MELVIN

Message by Melvin F Noriega Plasencia | Mar 22nd 2011

Caridad says: Happy Valentine un poco temprano para toda mi familia los quiere y espero verlos pronto...ya me retire y quiero ver si voy a uno de los desayunos

Status update | Feb 5th 2011

Merry Christmas Caruca. I wish you and your family many blessings this Christmas season and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Besoooooos,

Message by Carmen Valdivia | Dec 24th 2010

Mi querida "CHARITY", que bueno que ya estas de regreso con toda la prole, eso me pone muy contento.Veo que le estas escribiendo a todas las "tinkerbells", que bueno a sido Dios con nosotros al dejarnos ver a todos de nuevo.Esta Navidad ya es un poco distinta,estoy seguro que el nuevo año viene cargado con muchas sorpresas felices.Llamame. Te quiere tu primito....MELVIN

Message by Melvin F Noriega Plasencia | Dec 19th 2010

Gracias Caruca,nosotras tambien te deseamos muchas cosas buenas en estas Navidades y Ano Nuevo. Manuela te manda recuerdos tambien. Carinos, Carmen Guerra

Message by Carmen Guerra Quevedo | Dec 19th 2010

Caridad says: Quiero Felicitar a toda mi Familia Pedro Pan en estas Navidades y desearles unas Bendiciones para el ano nuevo 2011 Carinos Caruca Cesari Quevedo.

Status update | Dec 19th 2010

Caruca, gracias por tan linda nota. Realmente fue algo increíble poder ver de nuevo a tantas personas con quien compartimos un tiempo tan especial. Estoy segura de que el Dios que nos mando esta Operación para salvarnos de lo que estaba ocurriendo en Cuba, nos sigue cuidando y bendiciendo de manera muy especial. Las quiero y créeme que el trabajo valió la pena. Una pena que no hubieras estado para la despedida y cumpleaños de tu primo, pero te aseguro que estabas presente en nuestros corazones. Cariños,

Message by Carmen Valdivia | Nov 19th 2010

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