Lourdes L Alvarez Turrent
Lourdes L's Story
My name is Lourdes Alvarez Salimino previously (Lourdes L Alvarez Turrent) I am a PEDRO PAN. I arrived in the US on April 1, 1962 and was sent to Florida City; I stayed there for about two weeks.
I was 6 years old, terribly homesick with no clue on how to groom or tend for myself. I remember crying day and night for my mother, I slept on a cot in a pink room; to this day pink rooms give me the creeps. I was fortunate to have made acquaintance with a boy named Carlos whom at that time was about 13 years old, he was very helpful and sweet even tried to make me eat all this new American food that I had no taste for. His behavior towards me was like that of my big brother Juani whom I adored and had stayed behind with my parents.
His memory and kindness has a special place in my heart, we were all experiencing difficult and unpredictable times, new country, language, foods, people etc, we had left our country as children and arrived as adults facing so many unknown feelings and emotions all incomprehensible to us.
As the adaptation process progressed the next thing I remembered is being both called into an office were we were shown a globe, the person pointed to where we were being sent, Carlos was going to Chicago and I was sent to Tampa. Feelings of separation, abandonment and fear quickly consumed us, I could not stop crying and Carlos tried his best to hold back his tears. Shortly thereafter, I was on plane to Tampa, Florida on my way to meet a new family and begin adapting again, I was never to hear from Carlos again.
Luckily, I was reunited with my family by July. I am thankful for the kindness of my foster family the Santa-Cruz family, and all their attempts to console me.
Thanks to the help of Lynn Guarch-Pardo , who read the letter I sent Pedro Pan, she sent me the copy of the airport log . Upon review I saw my name and that of a Carlos who came that same day and was 13 years old. His complete name is Carlos E Knapp, I hope this is the same Carlos, to meet him some day I, or just let him know how special he was and how his actions comforted me, making the most difficult of times bearable.