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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Hola Silvia, de tu primita no he sabido nada. Vas a tener que ir por alla y alarle los moñitos, o mejor mandale un beso de mi parte. Cariños, Carmen

Message by Carmen Valdivia | Aug 31st 2009

Cuanto me alegro que Tere se haya inscrito aquí. Este medio es fabuloso. Te voy a escribir a tu email

Message by faride reyes | Aug 31st 2009

Hola Tocaya: Si es el desayuno mensual es el Tercer Sabado del mes, creo que es el 19 de Sept, es a las 10:00AM y no hay que hacer nada solo vas y pagas alli es en La Casona que esta en Sunset y la 97 Ave. Estaban diciendo que iban a hacer un brunch y tal vez sea un poquito mas tarde, si es asi enseguida que lo sepa I'll let you know. Hoy no vi a los Marlins pero menos mal que ganaron. Yo tambien soy media gritona cuando voy a un juego. Vamos a ver si vamos. Chiao

Message by Silvia E Portu | Aug 30th 2009

Hi Silvia yo se que a ti te gustan las fotos a mi tambien pero del campamento no tengo muchas pues todas las mandaba para cuba y las unicas que tengo son loas que mi mama me trajo. Yo tengo muchas de los Picnics y las fiestas que hacemos todos los años. Si entras en el profile de mi señora ahi puse alguna de los picnics de los años 2006 y 2009 y otras mas el problema que son 8 nada mas el mombre de ella es Caridad Ramos ella estuvo un mes en Deciembre del 61 en Florida City. Mira ver si te embullas y vas al proximo desayuno con tu hermano Manzur. Saludos

Message by Paco Echeverra | Aug 30th 2009

Hi Tocaya: Dile a tu esposo que a mi tambien me sacan los Marlins de quicio anoche Dish network no lo estaba presentando y los tube que oir por el radio, pero cuando empezaron con sus boberias lo apage porque me da mucho genio. Vamos a embullarnos para reunir un grupo e irnos a ver un juego live, pero mas vale que ganen ese dia.Manana te llamo porque tengo varias cosas que decirte. Ya me voy porque tengo que limpiar mi casa. Hoy me paso el dia de carreritas y cuando termino un cuarto vengo a la computadora para ver que esta pasando. Que vicio....Later

Message by Silvia E Portu | Aug 30th 2009

Silvia, claro que si me acuerdo de ti,cierro los ojos y me parece que el tiempo no ha pasado y que todavia estamos todas alli en Florida city, caminando hacia el comedor o en una guagua montadas en camino al "charquito". Te acuerdas de aquella playita donde nos llevaban?.Tambien recuerdo las misas en la capilla, los bailes en el salon, la prestadera de ropa, las salidas a buscar los articulos necesarios,y tambien como con tristeza veiamos irse una a una todas aquellas amigas con las que habiamos compartido algo muy especial, todo esta tan fresco en mi mente que parece que fue ayer. Que curiosa la vida, nos unio a todas al comienzo y nos reune de nuevo casi en el ocaso. Espero no perder la comunicacion contigo. Love, Olga

Message by Olga M Suarez | Aug 30th 2009

Silvia: La foto que ves ahi en mi profile con los Rodriguez-Walling fue del dia que me fui para Texas. Segun Maria Correa nos fuimos 15 niñas para San Antonio el 18 de Junio del 1962. Fabiola

Message by Fabiola M Hernandez Castro | Aug 30th 2009

Hola Tocaya: para devolverte tu saludo y decirte que lo del cambio de fecha de la reunion de Fernando es para el ano que viene. Las fechas de este ano son las mismas. Asi que creo que puedes ir. El Lunes te voy a llamar para hablar de las fotos que quiero que me mandes, y de las que no puedo descargar. No se si te acuerdas de Carmen Artiles, ella estaba en la casa de Castillo. Era bien delgadita, pues con ayuda de Paco Echevarria la encontre y ya hable con ella y con el hermano. Ellos estan en Kansas, ahora tengo que seguir buscando La proxima es Rosa Maruri, y ella es de Mantanzas. Bueno te dejo me voy a ver el Juego de los Marlins. Un beso

Message by Silvia E Portu | Aug 29th 2009

Silvita Siento comunicarte que mi viaje a Miami esta cancelado, en estos momentos no puedo mudarme a Miami ya que Alberto mi hermano esta un poco delicado y tengo que esperame un tiempo te mantendre al tanto. Saludame a todos por casa. te quiere Tu Hermanito Artilito

Message by Jorge H Artiles Gutierrez | Aug 29th 2009

Hi mi hermanita te recuerdo mucho te acuerdas de nuestros quince el mio y de Maria del Carmen Fagundo lo hicimos en Julio y el tuyo y de Mercedita lods hicimos en Octubre si mal no recuerdo. Keep in toiuch. Sarah

Message by Sarah Consuelo Aguilar Valdes | Aug 29th 2009

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