Miami Dade College’s Museum of Art + Design Presents the inaugural Exhibition at the new Cultural Legacy Gallery, Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres MOAD - Cuban Diaspora Celia L Credit: Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in collaboration with Tico Torres Miami, July 28, 2014 - The Museum of Art + Design (MOAD) at Miami Dade College (MDC) presents Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres. The inaugural exhibition will open to the public at 6 p.m. Friday, September 19, at the new Cultural Legacy Gallery, a permanent space dedicated to the impact of Cuban culture on South Florida and throughout the world, housed at the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in Downtown Miami. Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in collaboration with Tico Torres features what have become iconic photographs of Cuban figures living outside the island, among them performers, composers, designers, writers and artists. The Cuba Out of Cuba series was shot over the last twenty years in Miami, New York, London, Paris, Florence, Venice and Los Angeles. The exhibition will take a unique and historical approach in surveying the legacies of individuals such as Celia Cruz, Bebo Valdez, Gloria Estefan, Cristina Saralegui, Andy Garcia, Cundo Bermudez, Nilo Cruz, and Paquito d’Rivera, among other Cubans who have influenced the greater culture of their time. Alexis Rodríguez-Duarte was born in Havana, Cuba. In 1968 he and his parents were among Cuban exiles who left the Island aboard the humanitarian air lifts called the Freedom Flights. Once arriving to Miami, his family and many thousands of other Cuban exiles came through the doors of the Freedom Tower that served as a processing and assistance center for the exile community. For many, the tower provided nothing less than their freedom from Castro and the hardships Cuba had come to give them, rightly earning its name of the Freedom Tower. Rodriguez–Duarte’s family settled in Miami’s Little Havana community. At the age of 10, he was given his first camera by his grandfather, which led to his love affair with photography. Today, he is a New York and Miami-based internationally renowned photographer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Town & Country, and Harper’s Bazaar, among other major publications, and has exhibited his work at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., Museum of the City of New York, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London and The Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach among others. Rodriguez-Duarte and his husband of 31 years, Tico Torres, have been documenting the Cuban diaspora since 1993. Torres, a photo stylist who is a master of the mise-en-scene, helped create with Rodriguez-Duarte the joyous image of Celia Cruz standing amid the towering palms of Fairchild Tropical Garden in a traditional ruffled Cuban gown. He was also there to set the mood in the London flat of Guillermo Cabrera Infante, one of Cuba’s most famous authors. Torres and his family were also among Cuban exiles who settled in Miami’s Hialeah community. Rodriguez-Duarte and Torres are thrilled to be returning together, full circle to the historic Freedom Tower for this inaugural exhibit, after separately setting foot there as immigrant children so many years before. The inaugural exhibition kicks off the Museum’s fall season scheduled for Friday, September 19, 2014 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. in conjunction with SIDE BY SIDE: MDCULTURE STANDS AS ONE, a one night event held at the College’s historic Freedom Tower, featuring performances, exhibitions, film screenings, the public unveiling of 2014 Book Fair Poster, and the long awaited Cuban Exile Experience at the Freedom Tower. Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres will remain on display at the museum through August 30, 2015. All exhibitions are free and open to the public. MDC’s Freedom Tower was operated by the U.S. Government as a reception center for Cuban refugees from 1962 to 1974. “The building is significant because it represents the important story of the Cuban exodus to America and resettlement during the Cold War,” reports the U.S. Department of the Interior, which has also called the Freedom Tower the “Ellis Island of the South.” Though it operated in that capacity for only 12 years, the building has become an icon representing the faith that democracy brought to troubled lives, the generosity of the American people and a hopeful beginning that assured thousands a new life in a new land. WHAT: Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres WHEN: Friday, September 19 –Opening Reception from 6 – 9 p.m. September 19, 2014 – August 30, 2015 Museum Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. WHERE: MDC Museum of Art + Design Cultural Legacy Gallery The Freedom Tower at MDC, First Floor 600 Biscayne Blvd. About MDC Museum of Art + Design MDC Museum of Art + Design (MOAD) is Miami Dade College’s flagship institution dedicated to the presentation and exhibition of visual art and design, housed at the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in Downtown Miami. The mission of the Museum is to promote the appreciation and understanding of art and its role in society through direct engagement with original works of art from within the College’s extensive permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. Furthermore, the Museum presents year-round lectures, symposiums and art related events to expose, educate and engage the greater public through related creative processes. The MDC Museum of Art + Design provides its patrons and visitors access to unique cultural, historical and educational exhibitions that enrich the greater community while building and preserving an expansive permanent art collection. Miami Dade College has been collecting art since the 1960s. Over the years, the collection has grown contain more than 1,600 works in all mediums and genres, specifically within the movements of minimalism, pop art of the ’60s and ’70s, conceptual art and contemporary Latin American art. The College and Museum actively acquire works by emerging and under-recognized artists, as well as major figures in modern, post-modern and contemporary art. About The Cuban Exile Experience & Cultural Legacy Gallery The Cuban Exile Experience & Cultural Legacy Gallery is a historical division of the MDC Museum of Art + Design. In addition to visual arts, the Museum supports exhibitions and programs that collect, preserve, research and interpret stories and artifacts that help build a better community understanding and appreciation of the Freedom Tower’s history. For more information about the exhibition, events or VIP Opening Reception at MDC Museum of Art + Design, please contact the Museum at 305-237-7722 or Event contacts: Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director Tere Estorino Florin, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366,, media specialist Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

Rafael Teran Perez

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Rafael's Story

My Son Devon Rafael Teran showed me this registry this morning. I was very intrigued since I did not consider myself to technically be a Pedro Pan Refugee since I came to Miami to live with an older cousin until my parents could leave Cuba. I associated Pedro Panwith Cuban Children who came to the United States and stayed with foster families and/or in orphanage/childrens' homes settings. I am delighted to be in the registry. My young cousinand her husband took me into their home, even as they were starting their own family, and treated me as their son. The love and courage of my parents and my cousin and her husband is a deep gift which will nourish me all my living days.

Rafael's News Feed

Leave a public message for Rafael.

Rafael: te puedes asomar a, un website/newsletter para todos los pedropanes para que veas los nombres ordenados alfabéticamente.

Message by Manuel A. Gutiérrez | Nov 28th 2011

Hi Rafael, My father, Jorge Guarch, better known as "George", worked for the Catholic Welfare Bureau receiving the children at the airport in Miami. If you would like a copy of the page listing your name in the "airport log", email me at and I will be happy to send you a copy.

Message by Lynn Guarch-Pardo | Oct 31st 2011

Welcome to our network, Ralph! The great majority of us share your feelings of admiration for our parents' and caregivers' courage and love and the gift of living in freedom. May you enjoy the journey as you read the Pedro Pan stories.

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Oct 31st 2011

And...if you click on the "Stories" link on the red bar above, you'll see one story after another, written by the Pedro Pan himself/herself. And...same if you click on the link "Photos." You'll see all the posted photos. Wow! What an informational day this has been!

Message by Eloísa Echazábal | Oct 27th 2011

Ralph: Thanks for your warm words. Please, visit at your leisure the Operation Pedro Pan Group's Facebook page at This page has been set up to educate the public about our individual and collective experiences. Thanks once again. Best wishes!

Message by Jose Antonio Amaro Reyes | Oct 27th 2011

Hello Rafael! Let me add a little bit more to José Antonio's definition. A Pedro Pan could have traveled with a student or tourist visa. As a matter of fact, those who came prior to Jan. 3, 1961, when the U.S. and Cuba broke diplomatic relations, traveled with student or tourist visas. What make them Pedro Pan is that they traveled alone without their parents. To add more details to the definition, there are a small number--I only know one personally--who traveled with one parent, but the parent was not able to care for them, so Father Walsh accepted the minor into the program. I'm very happy that you registered and posted your photo and story on this Network. Welcome!

Message by Eloísa Echazábal | Oct 27th 2011

Estimado Ralph: Welcome to the Pedro Pan Network! It is a common misconception that the Pedro Pans are only those children who were cared by the Catholic Welfare Bureau, (CWB) (known today as Catholic Charities), under its Unaccompanied Cuban Children's Program. Rather, the Operation Pedro Pan Program was a visa program, called blanket visas or visa waivers, administered by the Catholic Welfare Bureau of the the Diocese of Miami in conjunction with the US Department of State. Therefore, all the Cuban children who entered the United States with such visas between January 1961 and October 1962 are Pedro Pans, regardless of who cared for them upon their arrival. Although the majority of Pedro Pans were Catholics, 700 were Protestants and 500 were Jews. In the absence of relatives and/or family friends to look after them, these latter two groups were cared for by Protestant churches and Jewish agencies. By the way you're not alone in your misunderstanding. There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of former Pedro Pan children throughout the United States who up to this day do not know they are Pedro Pans by virtue of the fact that, -as in your case-, they don't consider themselves to be so because they were never under the care of the CWB or any other religious or lay institution or alternatively because of their lack of acquaintance with the term Pedro Pan itself. Hopefully, someone will bring it to their attention and encourage them to register with the Miami Herald's Operation Pedro Pan Network. Warm regards.

Message by Jose Antonio Amaro Reyes | Oct 27th 2011

Rafael has uploaded new photos.

Status update | Oct 27th 2011

Rafael has updated their profile.

Status update | Oct 27th 2011

Rafael has joined the Pedro Pan Network. Please welcome them!

Status update | Oct 27th 2011

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