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

Humberto Rapado Gonzalez Camero

General Information
Current Name
Humberto Rapado
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Humberto Rapado Gonzalez Camero
Age on Arrival
12
Date of Arrival
Thursday, December 21, 1961
Relocated To
CWB - Kendall & Mariana Childrens Home, Wichita, Kansas

Humberto's Story

I got here on 12/21/61 and was taken to the camp in Kendall by George. The first week of Feb. 1962 I was transferred to Florida City for about a week and then sent to Mariana Childrens Home in Wichita...

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Humberto's News Feed

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Es increible que la encontraron y sin mayores daños....I was ready to give up on them finding her after 24 hours...What a kid and what a miracle! Por otro lado, el señor mayorcito de Jax esta acabando....ya solo trabaja de vez en cuando...el resto del tiempo es mandando chistecitos!!!!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Apr 16th 2010

Neighbor, you've been very quiet....lots of excitement this week on your side of town. Thankfully, it was a good ending.

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Apr 15th 2010

Ya te veo que sacastes el palo de trapear para limpiar lo que dijistes anoche. Es que te pusistes un poco temoroso de no caber los dos en Jax? Nah...you are a big boy and Val is a welcomed spy!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Mar 12th 2010

Humberto, por favor, hay que ser mas politico...tengo que poner los niños' sobre todo por el de Jax que es espia de lo que yo escribo y si no me busco tremendo dolor de cabeza. Pero indiscutiblemente, los 2 de la derecha son los que vinieron en pañales (de tela con los imperdibles aquellos que a vecen pinchaban)de Cuba. Shsh...no lo digas muy alto..si alguien se enteran, van por esa capital Española donde tu vives hacerte algun sabotage!!!!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Mar 11th 2010

Hola, Humberto...como estas? Yo todavia recuperandome del fin de semana. Vistes la foto que puse de los "niños" de Wichita? Quedaron muy bien.

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Mar 11th 2010

Estimado Humberto, muchisimas gracias por corregir mi fallo. No sabes cuanto me alegra saber que Wichita no solo ha tenido un alcalde cubano sino que mas bien ha tenido dos, para orgullo nuestro y el bien de Wichita. Tal parece que el Honorable Mayans si que es Pedro Pan, ya que hay un Carlos Mayans Mulkay en la lista del Pedro Pan Network del Miami Herald. Quien dice que los cubanos no podemos triunfar en cualquier lugar? Ahora mismo me voy a fijar si el alcalde de Anchorage, Alaska, es cubano tambien. Atentamente, Jose Antonio.

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Mar 11th 2010

Estimado Humberto, lamentablemente el alcalde cubano de Wichita, Kansas, no fue Pedro Pan tambien. Antonio F. "Tony" Casado nacio en Puerto Padre, Provincia de Oriente, en 1913 y se traslado a Wichita en 1925 a la edad de 12 a~nos. Tony Casado ha sido el unico alcalde hispano de Wichita. De 1961 a 1964 fue legislador ante la Kansas House of Representatives y de 1965 a 1970 fue senador ante el Kansas State Senate. Ocupo el cargo de Director de la Agencia de Desarrollo Internacional de Los Estados Unidos en Paraguay en 1970. Por ultimo, fue alcalde de la ciudad de 1977 a 1980 y de 1986 a 1987. Fallecio en 1996. El centro estudiantil de Friends University en Wichita tiene por nombre Casado Campus Center. Fue propietario de una empresa de bienes de raices por muchos a~nos. Atentamente, Jose Antonio.

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Mar 11th 2010

Hola Humberto, Sacame de una duda por favor. No recuerdo la direccion de Mariana Home, solo que estaba en Seneca Street. Tambien quisiera tu opinion acerca de Mariana, lo poco que estuve en esa me parecio que the place was not "wrapped too tight", claro no tuve mucho tiempo de observar el ambiente. Recuerdas el nombre del seminarista que le llamabamos El Feo? Era Iness Villarpando el que estaba a cargo del home en el verano del 62? Sacame de estas dudas por favor. Si me pudieses poner en contacto con algunos de los chicos de Mariana te lo agradeceria infinitamente!

Message by Oscar R Vega Hernandez | Mar 9th 2010

Humberto: Gracias por tu mensaje...creeme que fue un placer para Justo y para mi que se haya llevado acabo esta reunion....besides, now we know where you live!!!! scary! ha ha! I posted yesterday a photo of the "los niños de Wichita" so check it out on my profile pics! I also took a jab at the guy in Jax, bright and early as to wake him up! Hope to talk to you soon. Un abrazo Pedro Panero!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Mar 9th 2010

Humberto has updated their profile.

Status update | Jan 20th 2010

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