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

Maria E Pazos Alvarez

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Maria E's Story

Remembering the past, I believe that my father (Juan) was aware that we would have to leave Cuba, the same day he heard Fidel’s first speech, he said, this guy will bring destruction to Cuba, we are going to have a really bad time, if this does not change. Months later, my father who worked at Crusellas and Co. (Colgate-Palmolive), resigned from his work on the same day that the government had intervened the company, he who was one of the labour union leaders, advised the interventer that he was used to negotiating with the company, but could not do the same with the government. At that moment, our future had been decided.

A few months later, the same day of the bombings at the San Antonio de los Baños airforce, at around noon, my mother (Minina) was in the kitchen preparing lunch and my father and I were in the living room, I was watching the comics and my father was stroking our dog, they came from La Habana in search of my father, by error, they went to the wrong house, and our neighbour sent them in search of the neighbourhood spy Committee (these are the people dedicated to that watching the neighbours constantly). In the meantime, she crossed the street, and advised our next door neighbour that they were coming for my father (there weren’t too many phones in our town at that time) so she had to risk crossing the street!! our next door neighbour immediately went to the patio and called out to my mother to warn her .My mom advised my father, and I remember he put his shoes, grabbed his shirt and was putting it on as he walked to the backyard, took his watch off in case they arrested him, and jumped the wall to our next door neighbours, and again to next the neighbours.

An hour later, when our neighbour arrived from work, he found his wife and her aunt crying, and my father sitting just waiting to see what would be his next step. Immediately, the man told my father to jump the backyard fence to the school behind the house, and he would pick him up on the other side of the fence, on the back street.

This was said and done, the man left my father close to Havana, and he went straight to the Hospital were he worked, and claimed that he had forgotten his instruments so that he could have an alibi, and went back to town later on.

You can imagine how small towns are, so the secret was known by everyone, as they kept saying that a doctor had taken my father out of town. There were two doctors in our block, one was in favour of Fidel the other…!!!! so everyone knew who had taken my father out. The doctor and his family had to leave Cuba 3 months afterwards, even before us. The visits of the police to his house and ours were constant, and in the end, the pressure was too much for all of them, and they left for the USA.

At that moment, and with my father wanted by the police, our life in the island became impossible. Mi sister was living in Havana in my aunt (Fina’s) house with my father’s parents, they were there taking care of their daughter’s home, as she had left with her whole family for Miami in 1960. My Aunt had wanted my sister to study at Lourdes Academy in Havana, and that is why she was there. So my mom, dad and myself were the only ones living in Santiago, our town.

My father whilst in hiding, had kept in touch with his friends, and was able to get a commitment to get my sister and I out of Cuba in July 61 in an airplane for US citizens returning home. He was aware from my mom comments, that mom’s her sister in law, a US citizens was returning to the US with her daughters, and he wanted to get us on that same plane with her, of course without my aunt knowing it, because at that time, everything was secret!!!

When my mom went to pick up our passports, they gave her all passports except mine, they retained mine, in order to be assured that my parents would not leave the country, as they would not want to leave me behind!

My father on our visits to his hiding place, would insist that my mother leave with my sister, and that I should stay with my grandparents until my problem was resolved. But my mom flatly refused, she would stay until we all left. And by God that is exactly what she did!!!!

My sister left in July 61, in the same plane as my cousins and Aunt. When she arrived at Miami Airport, she had no documents, therefore she had to wait until they got her documents of entrance into the country ready, she had entered the US illegally, and at the airport a man that spoke Spanish (I imagine it must have been George) helped her with all the paperwork, my father’s sister Fina was waiting at the airport to take her home with her, I imagine my mom must have advised her that my sister was coming.

As you can easily see, we had no idea of the existence of George, or nothing of the sort, as everything was happening so fast and by luck. We had not been prepared for the arrival. You did what you had to, and when your parents told you to do it. But since my father had his two sisters in Miami, he was sure that they would take care of us. And the only worry for my father is to get us all out of there no matter how!

My sister left and the rest of us stayed., my mom started her efforts to get my passport and one day, they changed the girl and the new one at the desk was unaware, and my mom saw my photo and said, that’s it that is her passport….and she was able to retrieve my passport. So they started planning, I was to leave with my 8 year old cousin Ima, and with my 14 year old cousin Monchi, this was to happen on the 15th of November of 61. But things always got complicated, and they waited for the telegram to arrive for my cousin Monchi’s visa, but it did not arrive on time, in the end he could not leave, therefore, Ima 8 and this 10 year old, were to leave Cuba together.. this happened on the stipulated date , never to return…. At least not to this date….

What do I remember??? There are many things I still remember clearly, these are a few of them, saying goodbye to my grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles…. It was very hard!!!! And this was hard, without even knowing that some of them, I would never, ever see them again. I left my school, my friends, my neighbours (they were just like a family) my neighbourhood, my toys, my town, my family, my dog and of course my parents!!!! I have not returned to Cuba… so it still is a remembrance. I am sure it was not as traumatic, because my mom kept telling me “you are going for a 3 months holiday, don’t worry this regime can hold off too long”. I can still remember when I said goodbye to my dog!!! Since, as my mom was telling me it was just a holiday for 3 months, then I left content, as I was coming back, if I had known then, that I was not ever returning, things would have been pretty bad, as I am very sentimental and cry a lot, I would most probably have drowned my town in tears…, but instead, to me, at that time, it was an adventure for a 10 year old girl.

Since I was returning in 3 months, my mom, did not let me take anything with me, not a toy, not a photograph, not my rosary and communion book, nothing, why carry things back and forth!!! This separation from my family and also my toys, rememberances, and my dog, was terrible! I was extremely careful with my toys, and seeing that all would stay behind… it was hard, I can still recall the name of my dolls, Cayetana, Susana, Bambola, Bebe, Mariquita, Pepilla, Patinadora …. And also my Italian book of stories that was wonderful!!

Chani my dog, for which I cried and cried… was a big blow to me, I wanted to take her with me, but my mom, told me it could not be, and that was it!!! It was very sad, because a year or so before, they had stolen my dog (sister of this one) and my uncle, seeing that I was suffering a lot , when the dog parents had babies, ensured with the breeder that I could have another, just exactly like my first one, and of course my second dog, also got named Chani, since they had stolen my first dog, I had become very worried that they would steal her again, therefore I was constantly watching out, having the doors closed, making sure she was always around, when I left for school, I would make my mom promise that she would watch out for the dog, so leaving her behind was a hard blow for me. When my mom arrived in Miami, my first question was how is Chani? she advised that the dog had stayed with my grandmother, and that my grandma was going to take good care of her. I immediately wrote a letter to my grandma, making all types of recommendations so that nothing could happen to the dog, a year later my grandma wrote that Chani had died giving birth!!! I cried and cried.. Up until this day, I always tell my mom “this have been the longest three months of my life!!!” (to be precise 48 years) Wow what holidays I have had!!!!!!!

I have still not returned to Cuba, and I am not planning to do so while we continue having the government that has caused so much pain to all of us, and so many changes to our life!! One of my daughters is named Susana, yes, just like my favourite doll, and of course my dogs name is Chani, what else could it be!!! Even though now it is a boy and even my veterinary laughs at the name as he says is a sissy name, he says it is a girl dog’s name… so what?, who cares…! ! Just to let you know, after my two Chani’s in Cuba, I never wanted to have a dog, it was so painful for me, that I never wanted another pet in my life, but my daughters and husband insisted, and we picked up a stray dog, that had been abandoned by someone during the summer. Of course I try to keep my distance with Chani, I had enough with all the suffering I had with my first two dogs, and I do not want this to be repeated!!!!

The departure day arrived, and of course my cousin Monchi stayed behind, so here I was alone with my 8 year old cousin in the fish bowl (that is what we used to call the departure rooms in the airport), and knowing that I was the responsible one, as I was older, ME the crazy girl that used to cross the streets in town without looking… !! and was always was just saved from being run over by a car, by my guardian angel!!! I was the responsible person……!!!! my God, that gave me the creeps….!!! I would look at my mom outside the fish bowl, and just wanted to break the glass and go back, but it got worse when I had to leave the bowl and go to the hangar all by myself, where they would look at all of our possessions!!!!

They looked at our bags, and they asked me a lot of questions. I had been told by my mom, “try not to answer anything” “ tell them you do not know”. So here I was, ignorant me, not knowing anything. They couldn’t decide whether to take me on, to have all my clothes verified or just leave it, but in the end, they decided against it, but took off the only thing I was taking with me, a ring, that I had gotten a couple of Christmases back, from my parents as one of my gifts. I cried, begged that they would not take it, they just answered that they would give it back to my family.

I came out crying, and tried to tell my mom through the glass what had happened, she kept telling me not to worry, but I was really very upset. When I arrived in Miami, and we called my mom to advise that we had arrived safely, my first question was, did they return the ring??? My mom had gotten it back, and when my father left through the Mexican embassy he brought it with him. That was the only possession that left Cuba during that time, and is still with me!!!

The flight ready to leave, and both of us were crying our hearts out!!! This was our first time in a plane, and just as we took off, my ears went, I could not hear anything… I kept saying, my God I have not left and I am already deaf!!! I was extremely worried, and I had no one to ask, I really cannot recall too well what they did when the plane took off, they sang, or they screamed, or just cried, but I think when the plane took off, all the anxiety, fear and anguish that the people had inside, came out all at once!!! Half way through the flight, we got up to go to the bathroom…instead of opening the bathroom door, we went into the cockpit, when we saw the blue sky… we were terrified, we had gotten into the wrong room!!! If this had been now, we would have probably been arrested as hijackers!!! But I can assure you, Ima and I were more scared than anyone in that plane… well maybe the other Peter Pan’s were as scared as us!!!

Arrival at Miami! getting off meant that I had to take care of all until I find my aunt! I did not know one word in English, so you can well imagine how I felt inside, remember I was from a small town. I do not know what my cousin felt, but we were awfully quiet!! I do not think we were capable of talking, we were too scared!!! Then we walked through lots of hallways and all of a sudden we were in a room, with a group of kids, I do not remember any of them, I do not even remember how many, I just remember they gave us a Hershey bar, it tasted like glory…. In Cuba we had not seen chocolates in a long time! So I would never forget, as I loved chocolate!!

When they asked our names, the man (probably George) said, Pazos…. You are not family of…… I said yes that’s my sister, I thought, wow my sister is so famous, but no, he turned blue, it was because my sister had come in illegally and he had to get her all the papers ready to enter the US, that was what worried him, I gave him my documents and then he relaxed, my papers were in order!!!!

After he organized us, he took us out to deliver us to our family, I had my aunt’s address stored away, like our life depended on it. When we came out, we had our two aunts and all of our cousins, and my sister waiting for us. I really do not remember where we went afterwards to celebrate, my aunt always celebrated with whoppers!! Probably my first whopper, but I can’t recall. It was nice seeing faces that you recognized!, my cousin Ima went with aunt Clara and her family, they had been living in Miami for many years, so to her they were perfect strangers. We were lucky we went with aunt Fina and her family, they had left Cuba only the year before.

I was registered at St Theresa in Coral Gables, and my sister was attending Coral Gables Senior High. I went to school with my 9 year old cousin, and of course not one word in English, my uniform was one of those donated by graduated students, and it was the old style, so I stood out like a sore thumb!!! And there started my life as an immigrant!

My father entered the Mexican Embassy right before I left, so I was not able to say Goodbye to him. In December he left Cuba and went to Mexico City, at the end of January 62 he got his residency papers and came to Miami, he went to live with his other Sister, Clara and her family and Ima my cousin. My Aunt lived close to Jackson Memorial, before Jackson took over their whole neighbourhood and they had to move out. We continued living in Coral Gables with his other Sister Fina, so my father used to come daily to see us, he would help prepare dinner, and once we were ready he would leave. This was a very sad period for me, in fact, I believe that I had a depression, I would cry a lot, I hated the night, as I was afraid of being without my parents, and since my father left every evening, that would make me cry more and feel very lonely. It was really a bad period, I think my sister also felt really bad, but we would not say anything to each other, it was bad enough. My sister took over the kitchen at 15, because Tia Fina was not too set on house work, so I would try to help my sister as much as I could, but my help was scant. I was very sad, in school I could not understand anyone, my grades were awful, and on top no money, no parents, all new, school, neighbourhood, no friends!!!

My cousin Monchi arrived in December, and we went to the airport, he left with his tia Olivia and her family, (she was his father’s sister) he lived close to the dog track in 7th street NW, long ago disappeared. My cousin did not feel good in that house and with that family. During this period, tia Fina, would bring a lot of people to live at our house, recently arrived families, that needed time to set themselves up, set up the paperwork to get government help, and then find an apartment to move to. One of this persons and the one who lived the longest with us at that house, was Nury, fiancée of one of tia’s nephews on her husbands side, she was a Pedro Pan, living in Florida City, and my aunt, brought her to live with us, until they were able to get married. There were other families, up until March of 1962 when Monchi’s parents came from Cuba and they came to live with tia Fina, that meant that we were all together, My mom’s sister arrived and a couple of weeks later her husband because he had sold his truck, and was forced to return it, otherwise they would not let him leave the island. So both of them, and Monchi and his brother Jorge, came over to live with us. This was a very happy time, and also a lot of fun, tia Amalita was just like our mom, and there were so many of us, tia was pregnant, and wanted to eat mangos, our next door neighbour had a Mango tree and they rotted on the ground. So we decided to play baseball and every so often the ball will go into her house, so I would jump the fence and get the ball and a couple of mangos on the way back…. There was a lot of need… it is true that the neighbour never reprimanded me, and I am sure that she was aware of what was going on.

Truthfully, we newly arrived Cubans with no money, and too many people living in the house, did not belong in that neighbourhood, we had little furniture and all of it had been bought in the used furniture dumps. We would play in the garden making lots of noise, but I do not recall them ever saying anything, true that only one person in the block used to talk to us, and she and her husband were polish, but the rest, even though they were not friendly, never came out to reprimand us, once in awhile the backyard neighbour would ask what were we playing as we were making a lot of noise, and we would say Tiki Tiki (for us it meant war!!!) but she did not understand what game that was….

Tia Amalita’s family left us in June 1962, just when school ended, that was again sad for us, my aunt had a little boy, and a couple of months later (Oct) they all left for New York. My mother arrived in August 1962, just two days, before they closed the flights from Cuba. She was only able to bring 3 dresses, one pair of shoes, one handbag, and 3 sets of lingere. She had a hard time presenting the paperwork to leave Cuba, everytime she went, the person was not available, and this went on for a couple of weeks, finally a neighbour seeing how desperate my mother was, asked and since her uncle and cousin were both commanders in Fidel’s army, went with my mother, the first time, the person was not available, yet she advised, that she would call her uncle and cousin for the next day, so when they showed up the next day, the person was there, and my mom was able to present all the paperwork needed in order to leave Cuba. When she finally arrived, it was one of the happiest days of my life, we were all together, our father came to live with us and we were again together at Tia Fina’s house. To me from April 61 when we were separated up until August 62 when again were all together, it seemed like an eternity!!!!

Looking back, I imagine it must have been very tough on my parents, specially for my mom, as we had never been separated. My father on the run, my sister and me alone in Miami, and herself in Cuba, fighting with the government and the neighbourhood committee.!!! The worst part is, that my mom hated to have to prepare paperwork for the government, as my dad was in charge of that type of thing… so it must have been pretty tough on her!!

Now I ask myself, can’t understand why my aunts separated Ima from us, she lived in the same town, and went to school with my sister and myself we grew up together, Ima must have been very lonely and sad, living with people that she hardly knew. My Uncle was not specially easy, and then she had two boy cousins that she hardly knew. Her parents did not arrive in Miami until 65 or 66, I cannot recall the year. But she was alone approximately 3 to 4 years, she spent a summer with us, and Tia Clara wanted here to stay with us, she told my mom she would pay for her school, but felt that she was alone at home too much time, and that she would enjoy more, living with us, going to school with me at Sts Peter and Paul, (as our family moved to Little Havana in June 1963, same area as the Royal Castle!! So I was changed to Sts Peter and Paul school), but she wanted to go back to her school, she was attending Corpus Christi. She stayed with Tia Clara, until my eldest cousin got married in New Orleans, , and Tio took us to the wedding in a station wagon (Tia Fina had moved with her daughters to New Orleans were her son was studying at LSU), all 7 of us…. It was a lot of fun, and we went straight from Miami to New Orleans. After the wedding Ima stayed there, as she had another aunt on her mother’s side, this way she could visit with both. At the end of the summer, Tia Fina moved back to Miami and Ima came along and stayed with her. She now went to a public school and lived in Pastorita. She still had to wait till her parents arrived, when they did, they moved back to Little Havana so we were again close to each other, and could see each other regularly. In 69 we moved to the same building, so we became neighbours. She became my travel partner when we were at the University, and travelled all we could afford. Up until now we continue as good friends, even though we live far away!

My cousin Monchi in 1962 moved to New York with all his family, and they lived there many years, but after all, his parents and brothers came back to Miami, probably in 1971, but he was already married and stayed in New York. His brothers still live in Miami and he now lives in Tampa. But we have never been as close as we were during that time in Coral Gables!!!

My sister and I continue our way, she still lives in Miami, and I now live in Madrid . I believe my sister hates talking about that time of her life and also of Cuba, it is probably too painful for her. When I try to speak to her about returning to see Cuba, so that she can show me things, she gets angry at me. However, I would love to go back with my sister and my mom, so that they can show me things, and talk about how it was, and how everyone lived, and all types of stories that they remember from our previous life. But my mom, is getting on in years, and my sister does not seem too interested in this.

Life has been hard for the Peter Pan kids, but this helped us to grow up stronger. We all had to learn and adapt fast, this has been the key in our exiled life. I am pretty sure that a survey of all of us, would show that we progressed as much as we could, and did our most, to improve our way of life in our new found country. Immigration is always hard, but ours was worthwhile. I also want to thank Msgr Walsh, for all he did for us, I have learned of what he did, reading the Pedro Pan page, as I was unaware that he was behind all this. I met Msgr, Walsh in Sts Peter and Paul, not knowing how much I owed him!! I also take the time to thank George for the help my sister and I received from him, and of course for the Hershey bar!!! It was the only nice thing that happened to me that day! Thanks from the bottom of my heart!

My story remains here, for whomever wants to read it… forgive me for making it so long, but to me it seems quite short, because I remain with many unwritten thoughts and memories, but I think that enough is enough! A big hug to all the Pedro Pan kids, now all going towards our Senior age! And may God help us and give us great health, we deserve it!! See you later!!!!

SPANISH:

Recordando un poco el pasado, pienso que mi padre (Juan) ya sabía que nos teníamos que marchar de Cuba, el mismo día en que Fidel pronuncio su primer discurso... el comento, este hombre trae la desgracia a Cuba, y vamos a pasar mucho trabajo como esto no cambie. Meses después, mi padre que trabajaba en Crusellas y Cia. en La Habana, mas conocida por (Colgate Palmolive), renunció a su puesto de trabajo, el mismo día en que el Gobierno interviene a la empresa, el era líder sindical en ese momento, y comento que el dialogaba con intereses privados y defendía a los trabajadores pero que no estaba ahí, para discutir con el gobierno. En ese mismo instante nuestra suerte se había decidido.

Unos meses mas tarde, cuando el bombardeo a la base de San Antonio de los Baños, eran mas o menos las 12 o la 1 de la tarde, recuerdo que mi madre (Virginia) estaba en la cocina preparando el almuerzo, y yo y mi padre estábamos en el salón, yo viendo los muñequitos, y el acariciando al perro, vinieron desde La Habana a buscar a mi padre, por error, fueron a casa de una vecina, que los dirigió al comité del barrio. Mientras tanto, ella cruzando la calle (no habían muchos teléfonos en el pueblo en ese época, y había que arriesgar) aviso a nuestra vecina de al lado, para que por el patio avisará a mi madre y padre. Mi padre, escucho que mi madre le llamaba con urgencia, y le iba diciendo lo que le había dicho la vecina, y recuerdo que se calzó, y marcho, poniéndose la camisa, y quitándose su reloj, por si le arrestaban. Por el patio, salto el muro a casa de la vecina, y enseguida el próximo muro a la casa de la otra vecina que fue donde el se escondió. Una hora mas tarde, el marido de la vecina, llego del trabajo, y se encontró a su mujer y su tía llorando del susto, y a mi padre sentado esperando para ver cual sería su próximo paso, inmediatamente el vecino le dijo a mi padre, salta por la rejas del colegio detrás de casa, y te recojo por la otra calle, y te saco de aquí. Y así fue, el recogió a mi padre por la calle de atrás y se lo llevó camino a la Habana. Lo dejo donde pudo y como era médico, regreso al Hospital en La Habana, para que le vieran, comentando que se le había quedado la bolsa de los instrumentos, justificando así su vuelta a La Habana y después volvió al pueblo.

En los pueblos, nada es secreto, con lo cual, todo el mundo sabía y comentaba que un médico había sacado a mi padre del pueblo, en mi calle habían dos médicos, el médico que ayudo a mi padre y otro que estaba a favor del régimen, con lo cual, todos sabíamos quien había sido. El médico y su familia abandonaron Cuba 3 meses mas tarde, inclusive antes que nosotros. Las visitas de la policía a su casa, y la nuestra eran constantes, la presión en el pueblo también, con lo cual, la presión pudo con ellos y no les quedo mas salida que marcharse a Estados Unidos.

En ese momento, y con mi padre en busca y captura, nuestra existencia en la isla se hizo imposible. Mi hermana estaba viviendo en La Habana en casa de mi tía, con mis abuelos paternos, mi tía Josefina, se había marchado en el 60 con sus tres hijos a Estados Unidos, y mis abuelos habían quedado a cargo de su casa en La Habana, mi tía, había insistido mucho en que mi hermana cursara bachillerato en La Habana, en Lourdes, por eso cuando todo esto paso, vivíamos en el Pueblo, solo mis padres y yo.

Mi padre, mientras estaba fugado y por contactos que mantenía, logro conseguir que mi hermana y yo saliéramos de Cuba en Julio de 1961, en un vuelo de repatriados Americanos. Sabía por mi madre, que mi tía, que era Americana, retornaba con sus hijas a Estados Unidos, y aprovecho para conseguir que nos montarán en el avión, sin documentación. Todo esto sin que mi tía lo supiera, claro. Pues todo era secreto!!!

Cuando mi madre fue por los pasaportes, le dieron el de mi hermana, el de ella, pero el mió lo dejaron retenido, asegurándose de esta manera que mis padres, no salieran de Cuba.

Mi padre, en nuestras visitas a su escondite, insistió mucho a mi madre, para que ella se fuera con mi hermana y me dejara con mis abuelos, hasta que resolvieran lo de mi pasaporte, pero mi madre no quiso de ninguna forma, marcharse a Miami, y dejarme en manos de mis abuelos maternos o paternos, y a mi padre en situación de fugado.

Mi hermana salió en Julio de 1961, en el mismo avión que nuestras dos primas y su madre. Al llegar a Miami, y como llegó sin documentación, quedó esperando la tramitarán alguna documentación para poderla dar entrada en el país, ya que su entrada había sido totalmente ilegal, en el aeropuerto la ayudo un señor que hablaba español, ( imagino que sería George), cuando ya le habían tramitado la documentación en el aeropuerto, la hermana de mi padre, Tia Fina, la esperaba en el aeropuerto para llevársela a su casa.

Como podéis comprobar, nosotras no sabíamos ni de la existencia de George, pues todo estaba saliendo por sorpresa, Se hacía lo que se podía y como se podía. Con lo cual, ni planificación ni nada de nada. Solo que como mi padre tenía a sus dos hermanas en Miami, ya sabían que alguien se haría cargo de nosotras. Y la preocupación de mi padre, era sacarnos a todas de alli.

El resto de la familia quedamos en Cuba, después de una lucha con las autoridades, y usando a una amiga de infancia que su marido era comandante, o algún cargo importante, mi madre por fin consiguió mi pasaporte. El plan era que con mi prima Ima de 8 años, mi primo Monchi de 14 años, y yo con 10, saldríamos juntos el 15 de Noviembre de 1961. Pero como las cosas siempre se complican, y en esos años los planes se rompían con mucha facilidad, a mi primo no le llegaba la visa waiver, y se iba acercando la fecha y no llegaba, al final el no pudo salir hasta Diciembre del 61, con lo cual, mi prima de 8 años y yo con 10, salimos de Cuba un 15 de Noviembre 1961 para no retornar........ por lo menos hasta la fecha.

Que recuerdos tengo? son muchos, y aquí os cuento alguno, despedirme de mis abuelos, mis primos y tíos.... fue muy duro, y ni siquiera se me ocurría pensar que a muchos, nunca mas les volvería a ver. Deje mi colegio, mi barrio, mis vecinos (que era como una gran familia) mis juguetes, mis recuerdos, mi pueblo, mis amigas, mi perrita Chani, y desde luego a mi madre y a mi padre!!!! No he vuelto todavía a Cuba.... con lo cual sigue siendo un recuerdo. Todavía en mi mente veo clara la despedida con mis abuelos paternos.... y con mi perrita.....!!!! Quizás no fue traumática, porque mi madre insistía, “estas son unas vacaciones de 3 meses, este régimen no aguanta en Cuba”. Y por eso me fui de Cuba, para irme de vacaciones, con lo cual mi marcha no fue mas tranquila. Ahora que lo pienso, gracias a Dios que mi madre insistía en que eran vacaciones, pues si lo llego a saber, hubiese sido espantoso. Soy muy sentimental, y muy llorona!!!! Así que seguramente hubiese inundado el pueblo con mis lágrimas... pero yo iba de vacaciones 3 meses y volvía... con lo cual, era una aventura, interesante para una niña de 10 años.

Como volvía en 3 meses, mi madre no me dejo llevarme nada, ni un juguete, ni un recuerdo, ni siquiera mi rosario y libro de comunión, “era cargar cosas por gusto.....!!” Esta separación, de todos mis seres queridos y además añadiendo mis juguetes y recuerdos, incluso mi perrita, fue tremenda!!!!! Yo era extremadamente cuidadosa con mis juguetes, y ver como todo se quedaba atrás.... fue muy duro, recuerdo aún los nombres de mis muñecas.... os parecerá mentira, pero eran Cayetana, Susana, Bambola, Bebe, Mariquita, Pepilla, Patinadora y también mi libro de cuentos Italiano, que era precioso!!!

Mi perrita Chani por la que lloré mucho.... fue un golpe tremendo, yo quería llevármela conmigo, pero mi madre, me dijo que no podía ser, y ahí quedo. Fue muy triste para mi, pues un año antes, me habían robado mi perrita, (hermana de esta) y mi tío me vio sufrir tanto, que cuando la perra tuvo perritos nuevamente, me trajo otra, que desde luego se llamo Chani al igual que la robada, con lo cual, el separarme de ella era para mi terrible, pues vivía pendiente de que no me la robaran, y me pasaba el día asegurándome que las puertas de casa siempre estuvieran cerradas, y cuando me marchaba al colegio, le insistía mucho a mi madre, que la cuidará, por lo cual, esta separación fue muy dura para mi!!!!. Me recuerdo que cuando mi madre llegó a Miami, mi primera pregunta fue para Chani, y me dijo, se ha quedado en casa de tu abuela, y ella la va a cuidar mucho, Le escribí corriendo a mi abuela, haciéndola todas mis recomendaciones, pero un año mas tarde mi perrita había muerto de parto!!!! Todavía le recuerdo a mi madre muy a menudo, “Mamá estos han sido los 3 meses mas largos de mi vida!!!” (48 años para ser precisos). Menudas vacaciones!!!!

Todavía no he vuelto a Cuba, y no pienso hacerlo mientras continué el gobierno que tanta tristeza nos trajo a todos, y tanto cambio nuestras vidas...!!! Una de mis hijas se llama Susana, si, como mi muñeca, y desde luego mi perro se llama Chani, aunque ahora es perro, y no perra, con nombre afeminado!!!! Hasta el veterinario se ríe del nombre, que sepáis, que después de mis dos Chanis en Cuba, nunca jamás quise tener perro, no quería volver a pasar ese gran dolor, y este perro ha sido por insistencia de mis hijas y mi marido, un perro que alguien abandono por la calle y nosotros lo hemos recogido. Yo intento siempre mantener cierta distancia con el perro, o sea no quiero quererle como quise a mi Chani, porque fue demasiado mi sufrimiento, y no quiero que se repita!!!!

Llegó el día de mi partida, y claro mi primo Monchi, no pudo venir, con lo cual, al verme en la pecera sola con mi prima, y sabiendo que yo era la mayor, y la que tenía que ser responsable; de pronto, YO, la alborotada que cruzaba las calles del pueblo sin mirar..... y siempre estaba a punto de ser atropellada por un coche... era la responsable de todo el viaje!!!!!!

Bueno, que sofoco!!!!!!! Miraba a mi madre y mis tíos fuera, y tenía ganas de romper el cristal... y volver con ellos, lo peor llego cuando tuve que ir al registro en el hangar, yo sola y sin mi prima, pase un susto!!!!!!

Registraron mi maleta y la de mi prima, y me hicieron un montón de preguntas, a las cuales yo, como si fuera una ignorante, intente no contestar nada.... (como me había instruido mi madre, hazte la tonta, y que no sabes nada), estuvieron dudando si me pasaban al registro corporal, ese donde te quitan la ropa, pero al final desistieron, me quitaron una sortijita de zafiro que me habían regalado mis padres hacía dos o tres Navidades. Me puse a llorar, y rogar que no me la quitarán, pero nada de nada!!!! Me dijeron que se la devolverían a mi madre.

Salí llorando y se lo contaba a mi madre por el cristal de la pecera, la pobre me decía no te preocupes, pero yo estaba desconsolada, recuerdo que cuando llegue a Miami, y hable con mi madre, fue la primera pregunta que la hice, y por suerte, se la devolvieron, y mi padre me la trajo cuando salió a México. Hasta hoy sigue conmigo, es lo único que salió de Cuba conmigo.... gracias a mi padre!!!

Llego el momento de partir, y claro tanto mi prima como yo, llorábamos como las niñas que éramos. Montamos por primera vez en un avión, y nada mas despegar, se me tupieron los oídos... y pensé, Dios ya me he quedado sorda!!!! Y no acabo ni de salir de Cuba... bueno, la preocupación fue tremenda, pero no me atreví ha preguntar nada a nadie... yo no recuerdo bien si gritaron, cantaron o que cuando despego el avión, me parece que aplaudieron y cantaron, creo que la gente cuando se vio volando libre, soltó todo el miedo y angustia que tenía en el cuerpo, pero yo inmediatamente pase al susto con mis oídos!!!! A mitad del vuelo, nos levantamos las dos para ir al baño..... y en vez de abrir la puerta del baño, abrimos la puerta de los pilotos, y de pronto vimos el cielo, y va, que otro susto!!!!! Bueno ahora nos hubieran llamados secuestradoras de aviones...!!!!! Pero os aseguro que Ima y yo teníamos mas miedo que nadie!. ya como pudimos fuimos al baño, y proseguimos con el susto en el cuerpo.

Llegamos a Miami, y claro bajarme del avión significaba que tenía que ser yo la que hiciera todo, y yo no sabía ni una palabra de Inglés..... imaginar como iba por dentro, recordar que yo era de pueblo!!! no se como se sentía mi prima, pues yo creo que íbamos las dos muy calladitas, no creo que fuéramos muy capaces, ni de llevar una conversación, el miedo nos podía. Empezaron a llevarnos por pasillos, y al final terminamos en una sala sentadas, con un grupo de niños, yo no recuerdo a ninguno, solo a mi y a mi prima....... nos dieron una chocolatina (Hershey Bar) que nos supo a gloria, pues ya en Cuba no se veían por ningún sitio!!! Esto no se me olvidará nunca, pues me encanta el chocolate!!!

Cuando nos preguntaron nuestros nombres, el Señor que debe de haber sido George, me dijo, Pazos.... no serás familia de una niña llamada ..... si Señor esa era mi hermana!!!! El hombre se quedo deshecho, me dijo, pero tu traerás tus papeles en regla verdad???? Yo le di mi documentación y el hombre se quedo mucho mas tranquilo, se ve que la experiencia de mi hermana fue única para el, y pensó, aquí hay otra....

Después de organizarnos, yo venía con la dirección de mi Tía que la guardaba como oro en paño, cuando estábamos todos con nuestro equipaje, nos sacaron para ir buscando a nuestros familiares. Ahí estaban mis tías, mi hermana, mis primos, unos que yo ni conocía, pues vivían en Miami, y mis primas que había venido de Cuba ya hacía un año y pico. Fue una gran alegría encontrarme con caras conocidas. No recuerdo si fuimos a casa de mi tía a celebrar, o nos llevaron a casa directamente, recuerdo que mi prima Ima, se marcho con mi tía Clara, y los primos que no conocíamos, la pobre, le toco, la familia que vivían en Miami, con lo cual eran todos perfectos extraños, y mi hermana y yo nos fuimos con mi tía Fina y sus hijas, aparentemente no había problemas pues en Cuba nos veíamos todas las semanas, y no eran desconocidas para nosotras.

Me habían matriculado en St Theresa en Coral Gables, y mi hermana en Coral Gables Señor High. Iba con mi prima de 9 años al colegio, y claro ni una palabra de Inglés.... mi uniforme era donado a las niñas pobres, con lo cual era diferente a todos, pues era una modelo mucho mas antiguo. Y ahí empezó mi vida como extranjera.... como dice la Canción de Chirino!!!

Mi padre ingreso en la embajada de Méjico, justo unos días antes de marcharme, en Diciembre se fue para Méjico, y a finales de Enero consiguió la Residencia, y se vino para Miami, el se fue a vivir con mi otra tía, Clara y con mi prima Ima. Mi tía vivía en la zona al lado del Jackson, antes de que existiera un Jackson tan grande eso era una zona residencial. Nosotras vivíamos en Coral Gables, así que mi padre venía todos los días a vernos nos ayudaba a preparar la cena, y se volvía a casa de su hermana.

Esta época fue muy triste para mi, creo que pase por una depresión, lloraba mucho, odiaba la noche, pues me daba miedo verme sin mis padres, y además mi padre se marchaba todas las noches. Lo pase verdaderamente mal, creo que mi hermana también, pues ella se ocupaba de mi, y además cocinaba, pues mi tía estaba acostumbrada a Cuba, y no cocinaba nunca, con lo cual, mi hermana con 15 años ya aprendió, y yo hacía lo que podía para ayudarla. Creo que era poco. Tenía mucha tristeza, en el colegio no entendía, mis notas eran pésimas, y verme sin mis padres, y con dificultades monetarias, era todo muy nuevo, y a todo ello, en un barrio nuevo, sin amigos, etc.

Mi primo Monchi llegó en Diciembre, y fuimos al aeropuerto, el se fue con una tía Olivia por parte de padre, que vivía por donde estaba el dog track de la 7... ya hace tiempo que desapareció. El tan poco lo paso muy bien.

Durante ese período, mi tía, trajo mucha gente a vivir a casa, recién salidos de Cuba, una fue Nury, que era novia de su sobrino, esta chica estaba en Florida City, y mi tía, la trajo a vivir con nosotras hasta que se caso, ella nunca volvió a ver a sus padres, su tío estaba en Miami, era cantante, no recuerdo puede ser Pedro Cabel. También otras familias estuvieron algún tiempo en esa casa. Y en Marzo, llego la hermana de mi madre, y su hijo pequeño, el padre quedo en Cuba unas semanas mas, porque había vendido su camión, y tenía que devolver el camión antes de marcharse, con lo cual cuando llego mi tio de Cuba, mi primo Monchi se vino junto con su familia a vivir con nosotros. Ese fue un tiempo feliz, pues mi tía era como nuestra madre también... y éramos muchos y nos lo pasábamos muy bien... mi tía estaba embarazada, y quería comer mangos, la vecina tenía mangos, con lo cual, jugábamos a la pelota, se nos escapaba la pelota a posta, y yo cruzaba el murito de la vecina, y recogía la pelota y todos los mangos que podía..... había mucha necesidad... y ahí se pudrían!!!! la vecina, ciertamente, nunca me regaño.

La verdad que nosotros los Cubanos pobres y recién llegados no encajábamos en ese barrio, no teníamos muebles, y los pocos que teníamos venían de los sitios de muebles viejos, y los compraba mi padre por 1 dólar o hasta menos. Nosotras jugábamos en el jardín, gritando, y corriendo, cosa que molestaba a los vecinos.... Pero bueno, aguantaron todo lo que pudieron.

Mi Tía Amalia y su familia se marcharon en Junio del 62, eso fue muy triste para nosotras dos, mi tía dio a luz, y en Octubre del 62 se marcharon para Nueva York, mi madre llegó en Agosto y enseguida su hermana se marcho. Mi madre llego a Miami, justo dos días antes de que cerraran y ya no pudiera salir la gente en vuelo normal. Solo pudo traer 3 mudas de ropa, y nada más. Fue de los días mas alegres de mi vida, pues nuestro padre, vino a vivir con nosotros y nuevamente estábamos todos juntos en casa de mi tía Fina, que era donde nosotras vivíamos. Desde abril del 61 hasta Agosto del 62... fué un año y 4 meses que parecieron una eternidad!!!!

Mirando hacia atrás, imagino como sería para mis padres, y lo mal que lo pasarían, sobre todo mi madre, que nunca habíamos estado separados. Mi padre en fuga, nosotras por ahí solas, y ella luchando sola con el comité, con el inventario, sin sus papeles...bueno tremendo. Además de que a mi madre no le gusta nada tener que estar tramitando papeles y cosas de estas. Esas cosas eran de mi padre. Menudo papelón que le quedo a ella.

Después de tantos años me pregunto, no entiendo porque mis tías separaron a mi prima Ima de nosotras, ella vivía en el pueblo e iba al colegio con nosotras, no entiendo porque la mandaron con mi otra tía, Ima lo tiene que haber pasado muy mal, además de que sus padres no llegaron a Miami como hasta el 64 o 66 con lo cual vivió con sus tías 3 o 4 años, en ese tiempo, tía Clara la mando un verano a nuestra casa, y quería que ella se quedará, pues pensaba que se sentiría mejor con nosotras dos que con sus hijos, pero mi madre se lo dijo a mi prima Ima, pero ella, prefirió continuar en su colegio, Corpus Christi, y no ir a Sts Peter and Paul conmigo, (en el año 63 nuestra familia se mudo a la pequeña Habana, cerca del Royal Castle.....!!!! Y me cambiaron a Sts Peter and Paul.) entonces siguió con mi tía, hasta, que en el año 65, fuimos a la boda de mi primo en New Orleáns, mi tía Fina y su familia se habían trasladado para allí, y ella tenía otra tía por parte de Madre en New Orleáns, y ahí se quedo, hasta que Fina (mi tía) se mudó nuevamente ese verano a Miami, creo que mi prima entonces paso a un colegio público, no recuerdo cual, pues vivía en Pastorita... Ella lo paso muy mal, pues la verdad pasó muchos años sola sin sus padres. Sigo sintiendo mucho que ella no se quedará en casa, pues creo que con nosotras, se hubiese sentido mas acompañada. Cuando llegaron sus padres, se mudo a la pequeña Habana, bastante cerca de nosotros, y nos volvimos a ver con mas regularidad. Y después nos mudamos al mismo edificio. Fue mi compañera de viajes mientras estudiábamos en la Universidad, y hasta hoy seguimos siendo amigas!! Aunque estamos muy lejos.

Mi primo Monchi en 1962 se fue a vivir a New York con toda su familia, y ahí pasaron muchos años, sus padres y hermanos volvieron a Miami, pero el se había casado y siguió por allí muchos años mas, ahora esta por Tampa. Sus hermanos siguen en Miami, y seguimos en contacto, aunque nunca tanto como cuando estábamos en el pueblo o en Coral Gables.

Mi hermana y yo seguimos nuestro camino, ella sigue en Miami, y yo vivo en Madrid desde hace ya muchos años... Creo que a mi hermana no le gusta nada hablar de esto, ni de Cuba, ni de los años que vivimos. Pues cuando toco el tema de Cuba o de volver, se enfada conmigo. Yo sin embargo, me gustaría poder volver, y además con mi madre y hermana, y que me pudieran contar como era Cuba antes, y las cosas que hacían y todo lo de nuestro pasado y nuestra familia, aunque mi madre ya es muy mayor, y mi hermana esta muy negada a esta excursión.

La vida ha sido dura para todos los niños Pedro Pan, pero exceptuando algunos momentos muy duros, todo ha servido para prepararnos para la vida, y nos ha hecho mucho más fuerte. Creo que todos tuvimos un aprendizaje muy rápido, y gracias a eso nuestro largo exilio se ha llevado de la forma mejor posible, aceptando nuestro nuevo país, pero no olvidando nuestro verdadero país. Estoy segura, que si hacen una encuesta de todos los Pedro Pan, hemos conseguido carreras universitarias, y todo lo que nos hemos propuesto, para podernos superar en el que era nuestro nuevo país.

La emigración siempre es dura, pero creo que la nuestra fue muy fructífera. También quiero agradecer a Msgr Walsh todo lo que hizo por nosotros, cosa que he sabido ahora leyendo lo de Pedro Pan, conocí a Msgr Walsh en Sts Peter and Paul, pues era el párroco. Sin saber que el había sido mi benefactor. También le doy las gracias a George por todo lo que nos ayudo a mi hermana y a mi, y por su Hershey Bar!!!!!! Fue la única cosa bonita que me paso ese día!! También le doy las gracias a mi Tía Fina, pues por lo menos en su casa pudimos pasar unos años, compartiendo con nuestras primas, no fue todo lo agradable que podía haber sido, pero mi Tía Fina, y su hija pequeña siempre se ha mantenido muy cerca de nosotras dos. Y la damos las gracias por habernos recogido en esos momentos. Mi prima la pequña, Regi, siempre ha sido una buena prima, ocupándose de mi madre y mi padre cuando ha sido necesario.

Mi relato queda ahí, para el que lo quiera leer.... perdonad que sea tan largo, y a mi, me parece muy corto, pues se me quedan muchas reflexiones en el tintero, pero creo que ya me he pasado tres pueblos. Un abrazo a todos los niños Pedro Pan... y que Dios os ayude y os de mucha salud, nos lo merecemos! Hasta siempre!!!!!

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Hola mi amiguita de Santiago... todo anda "regular" por aquí.. Gracias por preguntar. Tengo un escrito con fotos del Centro de Instrucción y Recreo C.I.R de la calle 4 y también del otro edificio en la calle 11. Lo tengo en archivo PDF. Si no tienes inconveniente en prestarme tu e-mail address, te lo quisiera enviar. Si quieres mandamela a mi e-mail strfas@hotmail.com Cuídate que de Santiago no quedamos muchos... Cariños... Osvaldo

Message by Ozzie Mora | Mar 1st 2011

Oye Mari... me tienens totalmente abandonado...y ese desprecio a que viene? Remember that we Santiagueros have to stick together. What have you been doing lately? Cariños... Ozzie el de la calle 2 y 3.

Message by Ozzie Mora | Feb 27th 2011

Como estás Maria.. La última vez que supe de tí fué en Octubre del 2009 después que fuistes a Miami por una semana y llegastes a la casa cargada de tamales, tasajo y mariquitas... Me imagino que ya te lo habrás comido todo. Mantente en contacto de vez en cuando con este hermano santiaguero y cuídate mucho. ☺☺

Message by Ozzie Mora | Jul 20th 2010

Viva Jesus Viva Maria!! Gracias por demostrar orgullo en presentarte en la foto con nuestro bello uniforme de el Colegio Maria Auxiliadora. Yo tambien junto con 2 hermanas y 4 primas estudiamos en el hasta el fatidico Mayo de 1961 pero fue en el Rpto. Vibora Park. Tenemos un gran grupo de ex-alumnas en el area de Miami, queremos ver caras nuevas, como resido en Los Angeles pertenezco a ambos grupos de ex-alumnas. Quiero invitarte a que vayas a compartir. Si deseas mas informacion., puedes llamarme al 909-241-7420 y estoy a tus ordenes. Unidas en el Espiritu Salesiano Alejandra

Message by A. Alejandra Tiffer Goya | Jun 8th 2010

Querida Maria: Buenos dias! Aqui son las 4:26 de la mañana y no podia dormir, asi que me levante a ver que es lo que habia en el website de Pedro Pan y encontre tu mensaje. Que divino es esto de poder estar en contact de esta manera, despues de tantos años y a tal distancia! Como esta el tiempo en Madrid? Ya hace suficiente frio para poder tomarse un chocolatico caliente y comer churros? Ay que rico! A mi tambien me gusta mucho leer y como soy viuda y vivo sola pues puedo leer a cuaquier hora sin molestar a nadie. Que clase de libros te gusta leer? Y lees en Español, Ingles o ambos? Em que trabajas? Oye, mira que tengo un sin fin de preguntas, eh? Bueno, cuentame, cuentame. Muchos cariños. Mercy

Message by Mercedes Argiz Escribano | Nov 2nd 2009

Querida Maria: Mucas gracias por tu mensaje. Que alegria! Veo, por tu historia, que vives en Madrid. Yo vivi muchos años en Alemania y visite España muchas veces. Madrid me encanto, tambien Barcelona. Este website es magnifico y nos devuelto parte de nuestra niñes perdida. Tan pronto este el libro, (ojala que si!, te lo dejo saber. Cuidate mucho y escribeme. Cariñosamente. Mercy

Message by Mercedes Argiz Escribano | Nov 1st 2009

Hello Maria saludos,no hubiese podido ser de otra manera,po mi padre siempre me enseno que los hombres de bien siempre triunfan en la vida, no importa los obstaculos que se puedan encontrar en tu camino, la temprana muerte de mi querido padre fue uno de los golpes mas fuertes que he tenido en mi vida pero aun vendrian otros golpes sumamente duros al paso en mi destino, en agosto 22 de 1997 despues de 27 a~os de divina union perdi al ser que mas amava y queria en el aquel entonces de mi vida,mi companera ,amiga,confidente y esposa,puedo ver en tu historia que resides en Madrid yo vivo en Sevilla Espa`a,well kid bye now un abrazo "El Frances"

Message by Eddie Enrique Fernandez Tramezaygues | Oct 31st 2009

Maria... Ahora si me acuerdo de Veneno y de tu tio el policia... Yo siempre lo veia a el bajarse de la guagua en la esquina de 2 y 3. Mi tio era policia en Santiago. Su nombre era José Peruyero. Una vez mi tio estaba de visita en mi casa y parqueó el carro en la calle 2. Cuando tu tio se bajó de la guagua, vino a mi casa a preguntar de quien era el carro y que le hiba a poner una multa. Mi tio le dijo que no perdiera la tabla. Si tu tio está aún entre nosotros, pregúntale si se acuerda

Message by Ozzie Mora | Oct 31st 2009

Hi Maria.. Yes, your sister Idania and I exchanged regular e-mails and I told her that although I did not remember your grandparents from 3rd St., they probably yelled at me once or twice for playing baseball in front of their house. Many years ago I subscribed to El Cacahual but somehow lost track of it. Do you have their e-mail address for me to reach someone and renew my subscription???? It's always good to hear from you. I will be in Miami for a few days during the Christmas holidays. Can't wait to have a real Cuban sandwich.

Message by Ozzie Mora | Oct 31st 2009

María, gracias por tu entusiasmo! Cariños, Eloísa

Message by Eloísa Echazábal | Oct 31st 2009

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