Elisa Vilano Ojeda

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Elisa's Story

Through boundless energy, passion and sheer force of personality, Elly Vilano Chovel put a face to the name “Pedro Pan.” Formed in 1991, Elly was the driving force of Operation Pedro Pan Group for 16 years and worked tirelessly to pursue it's goals of re-connecting Pedro Pans across the United States, documenting the history of this remarkable exodus of 14,000 unaccompanied minors and giving back by helping children in need.

Elly did everything she could to promote the Pedro Pan story from helping many authors and journalists with books and stories, accepting hundreds of interviews far and wide, even speaking at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. She honored Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh with the devotion and dignity with which she dedicated her life to Operation Pedro Pan Group and accomplished many goals including the creation of a park at Camp Matecumbe and the Monsignor Walsh Children's Village.

Donations may be made to the Elly Chovel Scholarship Fund established by the Green Family Foundation in her name through Operation Pedro Pan Group. The scholarship is awarded toward collage tuition for children of Pedro Pans.

Elly's daughter Brigid Prio has registered in the Miami Herald database on her behalf. The family welcomes all your prayers and sentiments. Elly is survived by two daughters, a son, five grandchildren, her mother and two sisters. She is always on our minds, in our hearts and in our prayers.

Elisa's News Feed

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Dear Elly: Thank you for being the founder and the force behind Operation Pedro Pan Group. May you rest in peace, near the Lord. Con muchos cariños, Eloísa

Message by Eloisa Echazabal | Aug 31st 2013

Elisa says: Rest in peace Elly Chovel who passed 6 years ago today. She was the soul of OPPG. She is always on our minds, in our hearts in our prayers... XXOO

Status update | Aug 31st 2013

My dear Elly, I miss you so much ,as a pedropan sister and a friend,it was fun spending time with you and sharing a cafe con leche and tostada and talking for hours,you will always be in my thoughs and prayers. Nita.

Message by Juanita Garcia | Aug 31st 2013

Elisa has uploaded new photos.

Status update | Oct 25th 2012

Elisa says: Dedication of "Elly Chovel Rd" will be Nov. 2nd at noon on SE 15th Road between Brickell and the Bay in Miami. Please RSVP to brigid@brigidprio.com

Status update | Oct 25th 2012

There's a street being dedicated in Elly Chovel's name on Nov 2nd, in Miami, FL. Brigid Prio will have to post all the details.

Message by Emy Botet | Oct 25th 2012

Dear Elly. Thanks for your friendship and guidance. I will always remember you for being authentic and compassionate. May God always shine on you! Jay

Message by JESUS CASTAÑO | Sep 6th 2012

Elly. From Washington, where you came to represent Pedro Pan at the Nat'l Archives, I will always keep you in my heart as a great person. I miss you! Jay

Message by JESUS CASTAÑO | Sep 6th 2012

Dear Elly, I will always remember your beautiful and welcoming smile. Although I only met you during the last year of your life, I got to share some wonderful moments with you, always talking about your children, grandchildren and your bigger family, your Pedro Pan brothers/sisters that you so much loved. After you were gone, while being a volunteer in this website, I had the priviledge to find your airport log, that had been missplaced for many years and that you have never found....it gave me much happiness and I always thought that it was your way of letting me know you were in a better place. I am sure you are organizing a big party for all of us in heaven and it is going to be great! Love, Carmencita

Message by Carmencita Romanach | Sep 3rd 2012

Elisa has uploaded new photos.

Status update | Sep 1st 2012

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