Cuban immigrants share precious family heirlooms to show history of Cuban exiles by Janey Fugate 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. Read more here:

Marcia Caridad Ramos González

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Hello Marcia , he notado que en algunos mensajes que he recibido aparece vuestro nombre pero son firmados por Terely Diaz , podeis ir a mi pagina de Pedro Pan y comprobarlos ?? no se' como es que esto sucede de todos modos me es muy grato conoceros ya que eres una hermana mas Pedro Pan y os doy la Bienvenida y os pregunto conocéis a Terely o' sois de Artemisa ? .. un abrazo " El Frances "

Message by Eddie Enrique Fernandez Tramezaygues | Apr 19th 2014

hola Marcia,mi nombre es leonel,yo vive en Chicago por muchos anos.llegue en el 1962 y vivi en river forest hasta que llegaron mis padres.ellos pasaron por el hotel Verona qie estaba por la Kenmore y despues vivimos en la Winthrop y acuerdo de Carmen y Ileana,creo que fueron a st,scholastica o marywood pero se mudaron y perdi contacto con gustas llamame al 847-674-4564es un Chicago no. para poder hablar mas ampliamente

Message by Leonel C Vallejo del Sol | Apr 13th 2014

Hola Marcia Caridad, puede informarme por favor sobre el paradero del Luis Ceijas Elias (luisito) hace mas de un año me dejó un mensaje en la parte de Eduardo Ceijas Elias, saludos Gracias

Message by SAEL SANCHEZ ELIAS | Jan 19th 2014

acabo de ver tu mensaje dadome las gracias por la participacion de mi familia con pedro pan. Te lo agradezco muchisimo.

Message by Esther Morales De La Portilla | Jan 17th 2014

Marcia Caridad, eres familia de un holguinero llamado Amaro?

Message by Carlos W. Bermudez | Nov 29th 2013

Hola Sra Marcia, vi que dejó unos mensajes a nombre de Luis Ceijas Elias, pero los telef no funcionan mas. Yo vivo en Brasil, soy hijo de Fifi, la hija menor de José Elias Geara, hermano de la mamá de Luis y Eduardo. +552191950067 me puede encontrar en Facebook también, Saludos desde RJ

Message by SAEL SANCHEZ ELIAS | Oct 2nd 2013

Marcia Caridad has uploaded new photos.

Status update | Feb 23rd 2013

Marcia Caridad has joined the Pedro Pan Network. Please welcome them!

Status update | Feb 23rd 2013

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