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:

Clemente C Amezaga Wolf

General Information
Current Name
Clemente C Amezaga Wolf
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Clemente C Amezaga Wolf
Age on Arrival
Date of Arrival
Tuesday, October 24, 1961
Relocated To
163 S.E. 15 Rd. Miami, Florida
Stayed With
Jesuit Boys Residence after a month at Camp Matecumbe.

Clemente C's Story

I Left Cuba on the KLM morning flight of October 24, 1961. I was picked up by Alfonso Gomez Mena who was replacing Jorge Guarch that particular day. I knew Alfonso, who had been the owner of a Sugar M...

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Clemente la vida siempre nos ha acercado.Llegamos en Octubre de 1961 y caimos juntos en la cabana de Sergio.Pasaron los anos y ahora vivimos a tres cuadras uno del otro.Y de contra tenemos el mismo jardinero ( Pedro ). Muchos afectos de tu vecino y hermano Pedro Pan. Melvin

Message by Melvin F Noriega Plasencia | Jul 19th 2009

Hola Clemente. Saludos para la familia. Me inscribi gracias a Yara Muro. Cuando regrese a Miami tenemos que reunirnos.

Message by Rosa Hong (Morley) | Jun 16th 2009

Clemente, es Cerquillo... y Pablito? y you brought back some wonderful memories... sabes del flaco Camachito y de Celso Ahumada... Remeber when we tied Alberto Benavides on the pole at the bay??? What abour el Mago Monserrate... Thinking back those were wonderful years and treasured memories from them good old days...

Message by Roberto Rodriguez Ramon | Jun 13th 2009

Mi querido hermano Clemen, A tu corta edad de 16 a~os tomastes las riendas y con mucha madurez cuidastes de Pepe y de mi. Sacrificastes tu tiempo y cada vez que podias ibas a Florida City a visitarnos y regalarnos unos pesitos de los cortes de jardines para que compraramos cositas en el 'Eagle Army Navy' en Lucy Street, Florida City. Nos distes mucho amor; nos hacias cuentos para tranquilizar nuestras inquietudes; reuniste dinero para cuando Papi y Mami llegaran, y eso facilito para rentar aquel efficiency en Miami Beach para los cinco. Gracias Clemen por querernos tanto, y por conservar todas las memorias de nuestros padres ya fallecidos. Yo te quiero mucho a ti. Tu hermana, Betty Amezaga Wolf

Message by Beatriz Amézaga-Wolf | Jun 1st 2009

Que tal Clemente. Sé sincero, te hubieras acordado de mi nombre si no hubiese puesto Guayabo como mi segundo apellido? Tal vez hubieras identificado el López Muñoz por mi hermano, que por cierto llega a finales de junio y viene por un mes. Deberiamos concertar algun almuerzo. Saludos a Pepe.

Message by Luis Lopez (Guayabo) | May 27th 2009

Si, mi amigo Mascalindo!!! Me da mucha alegria saber de nuevo de ti. Es muy bueno mantener este contacto despues de tantos años. Alli en el campamento tu como "cartero" eras una persona especial.

Message by Clemente C Amezaga Wolf | May 26th 2009

Clemente bienvenido aca otra pedro pan a mi pagina ..

Message by Ileana Arriola (Minico) | May 25th 2009

Hola Clemente,una ves mas nos encontramos Saludos Juanita.

Message by Juanita Garcia | May 25th 2009

ese mismito aka mascalindo! nos hemos comunicado antes. tengo muchas fotos (vamos menos de 10 de uds) en tu piscina con tu esposa, tus nietos etc

Message by Enrique E De Zayas Flores | May 24th 2009

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