Yolanda Cárdenas Díaz

General Information
Current Name
Yolanda Cardenas Ganong
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Yolanda Cárdenas Díaz
Age on Arrival
17
Date of Arrival
Saturday, August 4, 1962
Relocated To
CWB Florida City
Stayed With
Espinosa-RdgzHaded-Quesada
Groups
Haiti Pedro Pan
Yolanda has volunteered to help the children of Haiti. Find out how you can help, too.

Yolanda's Story

A story teller once told me that all stories begin in the middle. As I write this, the middle of my story has 17 years on one side and 47 on the other. For thousands of us Pedro Pan children, the midd...

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Yolanda's News Feed

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Yolanda: Many thanks for your kind and perceptive comments. I simply feel that the only way we can combat the lies and hippocrisy of tyrannies (Communist and otherwise) is by sticking to the truth and being faithful to our principles, no matter what. Among these principles must be the family, as foremost above all else, specially above politics. Clearly, in the Elian case, we allowed anger, a few P.R. hustlers and our just desire for retribution to mislead us and in doing so, the Caligula brothers in Havana reaped a public relations windfall. Likewise, we need to be mindful of Marti by giving his ideas more than mere lipservice. He once said: "La libertad es la esclavitud al deber." Folks like you and I know what he meant: that we had to be slaves to our principles, particulalry tolerance and respect for the opinions of others. More of us need to keep that in mind, because if we don't start learning and practicing real democracy, our compatriots in Cuba will never achieve it on their own. They haven't lived democracy for five decades like we have. Either we've learned liberty's lessons and take up the torch of democratic principles now (so we can pass it to Cuba) or the island will continue its sad, fatal decline, alternating between dictators of the left and the right; all of whom are equally a curse on humanity.

Message by Tony Gonzalez | Jun 29th 2009

Querida Yolanda: Soy yo de nuevo: Fernando. Gracias mil por tu carta. La única persona que recuerdo cuyo nombre se asemeje a Pachicho es mi hermano Jorge, a quien todavía le llamamos Papucho; no sé si te estás refiriendo a él. Dinorah Puig sigue siendo como una hermana para mí; aún vive en Albuquerque y tiene dos hijos, quienes son mis ahijados. Ya son adultos, claro. Su hermana Alina, desafortunadamente, se encuentra en un asilo, pues padece de esclerosis múltiple; a ella también la visito. Lily Lorbes y yo nos mantenemos en contacto y la he visto en varias ocasiones; ella sigue viviendo en Boston. Las otras dos muchachas que vivían con ella son María Teresa Marquéz y Marlene Fiad, con quienes también me comunico. El mundo es chico. El único de la Villa del Cobre que era de Cienfuegos era Walfredo (Wally) Sabriá. ¿Seguiremos en contacto, Yolanda? Quizás tengamos más amistades en común y, Dios mediante, nos veremos algún día de nuevo, pues tengo esa corazonada. Hoy me comunicaré con Dinorah, para darle la buena noticia. Que Dios te bendiga y recibe muchos cariños de este Pedro Pan, Fernando

Message by Fernando Rubio Boitel | Jun 25th 2009

Yoli, What a beautiful telling of your very special story. We often forger that living in this country, even with all its faults, is a great blessing and privilege. I was mesmerized by your narration of the days of fear and anxiety and then your safe arrival in the US. I have a new understanding of and appreciation for the solidarity of a family unit and the love of contry. Thanks very much. PS--At the time of the missile crisis I was a young AirForce wife and mother living in Linco, Nebrasia. Our men flew to an unknown destination to await for whatever action was necessary by their B-47 bombers. It was a trying and exciting time for us, and by the grace of God it ended well

Message by Caroline Jones | Jun 25th 2009

Yolanda: I agree with Father Fernando... you do have the flair of a novelist! Your story brings back some almost lost memories. Each time I read one more Pedro Pan story, it feels like another layer in an ever-tearful onion! And I marvel at the strength, courage and resiliance we all showed as well as the many angels we met (and continue to meet) along the way. Best regards, Vicky del Rio (a Gator Mom)

Message by Vicky del Rio | Jun 25th 2009

Yolanda, Me gustó muchísimo tu historia; escribes muy bien y ojalá que algún día te embulles y escribas un libro. Soy Fernando Rubio-Boitel, de Albuquerque. No tienes que ser formal, es decir, no tienes por qué llamarme "Padre" ~somos dos Pedro Panes sin títulos. No sabía que habías estado en Albuquerque, pero te juro que tu cara me es muy conocida, así que probablemente nos hayamos conocido. Yo cuando aquello tenía 17 años y ha llovido mucho; los años no pasan por gusto. Recuerdo Valley High School muy bien y algunas de las muchachas cubanas, si mal no recuerdo, se graduaron también de esa escuela. ¿Recuerdas algunos nombres? Estoy curioso por saber el nombre del muchacho que iba en el carro cuando te desmayaste en el downtown y él te reconoció; tiene que haber sido uno de los que vivía conmigo en la Villa Virgen del Cobre. Ha sido un placer tremendo haberme comunicado contigo, Yolanda, y espero que sigamos haciéndolo. Tu historia es tremenda. Gracias. Con mucho cariño y buenos deseos, Fernando, "el cura"

Message by Fernando Rubio Boitel | Jun 24th 2009

Yolanda, loved your story. There is so much to say in such a limited forum. On my story I concentrated on the actual journey but felt guilty about not talking more about the atmosphere in Cuba that made our parents make such a desperate decission. I am so glad that you went into that aspect in more detail. Hopefully between all of us the whole story will come to light. Thanks for sharing. Another Pedro Panner, Carmen

Message by Carmen Valdivia | Jun 22nd 2009

Hello Yolanda, I'm very happy to meet you. Other than the E-mail that Sylvia shows on her posting to me, I have no other way of reaching her. I did have trouble with the E-mail as well, it wouldn't deliver. I'm sorry you didn't make it to Saginaw, You would of loved it, I certainly did. It was quite an experience! The Sisters where great, we even had a Sister Mary John who would box with us as well as play basketball she was something! I'm glad you where reunited with your family so quickly, no matter how good the nuns where, family is always better. Lets keep in touch.

Message by Raul C Ruiz Cepero | Jun 22nd 2009

Yolanda, We have read hundreds of stories on this database; yours is one of the most eloquent and touching. All Pedro Pans should read it. One question: Where's Juanito?

Message by Pedro Pan Administrator | Jun 22nd 2009

Only God knows what my story would have been had my parents allowed me to travel with you... but they didn't. Then I had to wait almost three decades to see you again. I call it a blessing in disguise. Your soul sister, Ivy.

Message by Ivonne Martin | Jun 21st 2009

Hi Yoli, Your writing, as always beautiful, made me smile and cry at the same time. I hope to have Julio read it some day soon, when he is ready to face those years he'd rather forget.

Message by Carla | Jun 19th 2009

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