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

Silvia G. Budejen Reyes

General Information
Current Name
Silvia Budejen Trujillo
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Silvia G. Budejen Reyes
Age on Arrival
12
Date of Arrival
Saturday, July 14, 1962
Relocated To
CWB Florida City
Stayed With
Rodriguez-Walling y Delia Diaz de Villar

Silvia G.'s Story

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

Silvia G.'s News Feed

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Sil...ahora si te botastes pa'l solar con ese mensaje a Fernando. Congratulations, you are now one of us!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Oct 8th 2009

Sylvia no te preocupes ok. eso si no se lo menciones a Susy porque si lo hases te va a poner en el mismo grupo de BOBOS que ella me puso a mi cuando me paso lo mismo ok y hasta pueda ser que tu cobre una multa de 20.00 dolares como lo hiso conmigo ok.

Message by Fernando L Collado Gonzalez | Oct 8th 2009

Silvi...no le prometas nada a Fernandin...tenemos que hacer un 'meeting' con el comite para ver si lo podemos invitar...por otro lado, estoy tratrando de salvarle la vida a Guillermo pues Marcos lo embarco con lo de la modelo que quiere el telefono de Willie...la Santa Carmen esta que hecha chispas y yo aqui como siempre, de buena gente tratando de arreglar este potaje!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Oct 8th 2009

Sylvia preguntale a tu hermano si yo me portaba vien o mal? es MAS el grupo de nosotros aya en FLORIDA CITY, es prueba suficiente de lo bueno que era yo te voy a decir el nombre de el primero de nuestro grupo que era una persona muy desente MAHOMA? de ahi para alante YOU DO THE THINKING WHO WE WERE? es verda yo siempre estaba con CELIA las camugueyanas son muy cariñosas!!!!!! pero con todo eso invitenmen que les prometo que me portare muy bien. abrasos y te veo pronto. saluda a MANZUR, y dile que se porte bien para poder pasar un tiempo con el bye FERNANDO

Message by Fernando L Collado Gonzalez | Oct 8th 2009

oye porque es que ami nadie me invita por el paseo de pedro pan? dile a TU HERMANO que nosotros nunca sabiamos que el era un muchacho tan bonito? que le paso? JUST KIDDING!!!!!!! LOS VEO PRONTO OK. BYE fernando

Message by Fernando L Collado Gonzalez | Oct 8th 2009

Gracias, todos tenemos una linda historia, e una triste historia de contar, la cual solo los PP la podemos entender. Cuidate,---JAM

Message by Justo Alejandro Martinez Monzon | Oct 6th 2009

Hola Silvia, creo que me perdi el paseo del Viernes pero si Dios quiere nos vemos en el proximo desayno, Un beso, Carmen

Message by Carmen Valdivia | Oct 6th 2009

Querida Silvia: En cuanto me desperté esta mañana le dije a mi esposo "Es el 3 de octubre, en un mes estaré en camino a Miami para reunirme con los Pedro Pan." --Ya mi hermano hizo la reservación para venir a cuidar a Mami por esos días. Es triste que a ella se le han presentado tantos problemas de salud al mismo tiempo que se siente abrumada, además de que es muy nerviosa y la ansiedad la pone peor. De verdad que la cosa está dura, se lleva momento a momento. Por suerte tengo buena ayuda y tambien hay ratos en los cuales Mami se siente bastante bien. El 26 de este mes cumple 86 años. - Pues como ves, a pesar de que son tiempos difíciles tengo mucho embullo por escaparme unos dias sobre todo por el motivo que es. De otro modo no me muevo de aquí.-- Estuve mirando tus fotos otra vez y quiero felicitarte por ese par de nietos tan preciosos. Me encantó la foto de la familia con tus padres -¿fue en su aniversario de boda? Si no me ves mucho por aquí ya sabes por qué. Me meto un ratico y lo tengo que dejar. Hasta luego, Silvia ya nos veremos pronto. Yoli

Message by Yolanda Cardenas Ganong | Oct 3rd 2009

Buenas noches, Sil...beso para ti tambien

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Oct 2nd 2009

A Yoli, Fernan y a ti los abrazare y les dare un gran besote en las mejillas porque me parecen que somos casi familia, a Marquito lo tengo medio en remojo pero creo que se me pase de aqui alla, a José Antonio le dare un buen merecido jalon de oreja pero me escondere rapidamente ya que le tengo un poco de miedo y de ahi p'lante veremos quienes estan por ahi. Invite a la viuda de mi hermano para que vaya conmigo a casa de Juanita en representacion de mi hermano Jorge. El hubiera disfrutado todo esto tanto que casi cada vez que escribo me parece que el es el que me va a contestar. Jorge y yo teniamos una telepatia que con solo mirarnos a los ojos o decirnos una frase, el otro sabia por donde venia el chiste o la broma. C'est la vie!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Oct 2nd 2009

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