María del Carmen Ferrer Mirallés
María del Carmen's Story
On March 21, 1962, my sister Magaly (age 6) and I (age 8) arrived at Miami's airport expecting to be reunited with our aunt and two older brothers who had come in July 1961,as our parents had told us. But our aunt never picked us up and eventually we were taken to Florida City where we stayed a week. Our aunt had a difficult time making it as a guardian of the boys and decided that the best for us was to be picked up by Pedro Pan. On March 29, 1962, my sister and I were put on a plane with approximately 6 other girls and we were sent to St. Joseph's Home for Girls in Dallas, Texas. The number of Cuban girls at this orphanage grew in the years to come, but we stayed there until late November 1965, when we were reunited with our parents and three more siblings. Our older brothers we eventually turned over to Operation Pedro Pan by our aunt in July 1962 with one sent to Matacumbe and the other one to Florida City before being sent to Morris School in Searcy, Arkansas in December of 1963. At least we were closer so we could see each other once a year thanks to a priest in Dallas who would find a way to get the boys to Dallas every year for a visit. None of us spoke English and the Irish nuns (Incarnate Word) did not speak a word of Spanish. Though I remained in touch with Sister Mary Carmel passed in Dec. 2013, these nuns were not allowed to showed us affection and for the most part, they seemed so cold compared to the way we were used to being loved by our family. Though this was a frightening experience at first, I have come to see how it has helped to this day with the difficult things one faces through the years. Having overcome these 3 years and 8 months of not knowing if our parents would come and get us, almost anything life had in store for me seemed doable.
I am the only one from my immediate family that relocated to Miami (1990) in a career move, my family remains in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
I would like to hear from any of the girls that were at St. Joseph's Home for Girls from 1962 to 1965.