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

Juana (Juanita ) Díaz González

General Information
Current Name
Juanita Garcia
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Juana (Juanita ) Díaz González
Age on Arrival
13
Date of Arrival
Saturday, May 5, 1962
Relocated To
CWB Florida City
Groups
Haiti Pedro Pan
Juana (Juanita ) has volunteered to help the children of Haiti. Find out how you can help, too.

Juana (Juanita )'s Story

Mi hermano menor que yo llegamos a Miami 05/05/62 aun recuerdo ese dia como si fuese hoy.Ese ha sido y siempre sera el dia mas triste de mi vida,ya que en la mañana yo era una niña alegre,con familia ...

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07/18/09 Querida Juanita: Ha sido un placer conocerte.......ya puse la foto que me tiraste en mi pàgina. Un beso, Otmara

Message by Otmara Capote | Jul 18th 2009

Hola Juanita: Estoy aqui en Miami en casa de Jorge y de mi Mama. Me quedo hasta el 31 de julio. Estoy segura que sabes que ya Jorge regreso a China. Saludos, Faride

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Jul 18th 2009

Hola Juanita, Ileana me menciono tu nombre y a lo mejor tu tambien puedes ir a uno de los desayunos, o voy yo a una de las fiestas. Pero algo curioso paso cuando lei tu historia. Cuando yo tuve mi primer cumpleanos en Winnetka, IL, la abuela Nanny McNaulty Brennan, era coleccionista de diferentes objetos. Me llevo a su coleccion de munecas para que yo escogiera una...yo escogi una que era fea, pero muy simpatica...se parecia al muneco de "Mad Magazine" en hembra. A esa muneca fea tambien la tuve hasta que una perra mia se la comio. Le puse "Dalia". No me habia detenido a pensar en ese detalle...y ahora, en este "Website Pedro Pan"...comparto tu misma experiencia....Emy Botet

Message by Emma A. Botet Zuloaga | Jul 15th 2009

On the site: http://santile.ning.com El sitio para los Espirituanos, Groylan Pereira disenador del sitio, pregunta: Que es Cuba? Respondi: Cuba es mi patria, mi casa, mis muñecas, mi amaca, mi familia, mi playa, mi escuela, mis amiguitas, mi naturaleza, mi niñez abandonada, mi presente anhelado, y mi futuro perdido.-Mary

Message by Maria Petronila Hernandez Mills | Jul 5th 2009

Feliz dia de San Juan ! Saludos Luis Rivas

Message by Luis Rivas | Jun 24th 2009

Hola Juany, si me acuerdo de Guido, y cada vez que veo la foto de Luis, mas me acuerdo de el. Despues de tantos anos, solo se recuerda la cara de cuando heramos ninos. Carinos, Luisy

Message by Luisa M Martinez Arguelles Gonzalez | Jun 22nd 2009

Juanita si se que es tu hermano por eso se lo dije en el mensaje y lo se porque te lo lei cuando se lo decias a Maria P en su pagina sobre la foto de el del pasaporte y voy a Maria P pues yo fui las que las puse a Maria P y a ti en contacto con los Martinez de Tuinucu que ellas estuvieron en Colfax, Wa conmigo por 4 anos y son fenomenales de personas los 4 pues a los mas nuevos NO los conozco en persona..carinos..

Message by Ileana Arriola (Minico) | Jun 18th 2009

Hola Juany: Primero conocí a tu mamá en St.Brendan, y cuando fui a la reunión de los Pedro Pan en tu casa, el año pasado, no pienso perderme ninguna otra. Desde que te conocí me encantó tu corte de pelo, es por eso que ahora voy a tu mismo estilista. Gracias por recomendarmelo.

Message by Hilda Yara Muro Manguart | Jun 15th 2009

Hola Juany! Tu eres prima de las Jimaguas Serranos? Donde estan ellas? Betty

Message by Betty Gonzalez Penton | Jun 12th 2009

Juana Oye como se llama la pedro pan que hiso el power point obre la historia de los pedro panes y despues se puso en you tube..dejame aber al 786-499-1992 que la iba a ir aver y se me olvido el nombre y la direcion se que vive en melbourne y mas nada AYUDAME pleae

Message by Ileana Arriola (Minico) | Jun 9th 2009

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