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:

Luisa M Martinez Arguelles

General Information
Current Name
Luisa M Martinez Arguelles Gonzalez
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Luisa M Martinez Arguelles
Age on Arrival
Date of Arrival
Saturday, May 26, 1962
Relocated To
CWB Florida City

Luisa M's Story

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Luisy que pasa con tu e-mail,estoy tratando de mandarles algo y me lo devuelven. cariños, Betty

Message by Betty Gonzalez Penton | Feb 26th 2010

Hola Luisa que justo el poder comicarnos. Yo soy Esteban Espinosa y vivo en New Orleans pero trabajo en Houston desde el huracan Katrina. Estube en Tuinucu en 2003 y compre ron hecho enla refineria Paraiso, se llama ron Relicario, la etiqueta dice hecho en refineria Paraiso Sancti Espiritu. En esta navidad le prepare un Cuba Libre a papi y a Billy con el ron Relicario. Todas las casas estan con falta de mantenimiento. Tengo que haqcer copias del video y repartirlo. Mi telefono celular es 504-458-6242 el email es Saludos a todos con mucho carino.

Message by Esteban Espinosa Martinez | Jan 10th 2010

Concho!! What's the matter en el timbeque??? How come everyone has been off from this wonderful page?? Oh bueno probablemente it has been me only..pero alla here to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, unas Noche Buena buenisima y un Prospero Anyo nuevo, que Dios y mi Caridad del Cobre les culme con mucha salud, paz, amor, y dinero y si se ganan la lotto DO NOT FORGET ME !! HERE I AM !! Besos Ileana/Minico

Message by Ileana Arriola (Minico) | Dec 24th 2009

shu...I tried to put an album of the ex-difunto and me at Red lobster but of course I couldn't, but if you want to see it go to and you will find it's cute.. love you from Las Vegas to you all.. VIVA LAS VEGAS !!!

Message by Ileana Arriola (Minico) | Sep 2nd 2009

Les quiero saludar a cada uno de uds desde aca Las Vegas. Gracias a Dios llegue ayer y aun no he salido; saben que se toma un dia adaptarse a un nuevo horario, pero no obstante ya manana si Dios quiere empezaremos a salir...los quiero e inviten mas Pedro Paneros a entrar a grupo..Bendiciones.. ileana/Minico

Message by Ileana Arriola (Minico) | Sep 1st 2009

Es para fines de Julio del ano que viene.Siento hayas estado media mala pero dicen que despues de los 50..! todo te sale.

Message by Betty Gonzalez Penton | Aug 9th 2009

Como estas? Hace dias no se de ti, le escribi a Ali al e-mail que me dijistes pero no he tenido contesta, tu has sabido de ella? Luisy dime si para ti y Tomy claro seria posible ir a Miami para el ultimo fin de semana de Julio, quiero ver si nos reunimos los Pedro Pan de Tuinucu y Sancti-Spiritus, para esa fecha es la convencion de los Espirituanos y queda buenisimo, empieza un jueves hasta el Domingo, comunicaselo a Isa, Esthercita y Emilito.

Message by Betty Gonzalez Penton | Aug 9th 2009

Luisy, tu hermana no saca la cabesa y menos esas fotos que prometio.

Message by Luis A Diaz Gonzalez | Jul 29th 2009

Nice pictures! You look stunning.

Message by Luis A Diaz Gonzalez | Jul 22nd 2009

Mi hermana he creado un network para los Pedro Pan, pero en este uno puede hacer lo que quiera de su pagina y adornarla como quiera. dejaselo saber a todos que conoces y solo tienen que registrarse en y ahi me encontraran. Es buenisima y bonita pueden poner videos de cada uno o del youtube todo es para mejorar las cosas. Te veo ileana/minico

Message by Ileana Arriola (Minico) | Jul 22nd 2009

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