Read the story of Pedro Pan in the words of those who lived it.
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 middle of our story falls on the day we left Cuba.
Outside the Havana airport my parents and grandparents hugged me and kissed me as if it would be for the last time. No one could talk. Finally my father said in a broken voice, “Hija, we gave you the best education we could, morally and academically. It should ... (read the rest of this story)
Florida Heritage Landmark Dedication Ceremony, Historical Reference
By Carmen Valdivia,
OPPG Historic Committee Chairperson
OPPG Board of Directors
Florida City Alumni
The state of Florida has designated the Operation Pedro Pan's Florida City Camp a Florida Heritage Landmark. Operation Pedro Pan was a program created by the Catholic Welfare Bureau of Miami, in December 1960, at the request of parents in Cuba to provide an opportunity for them to send their children to Miami in order to avoid Marxist-Leninist indoctrination. Over 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children arrived through Operation Pedro Pan between December 1960 and October 1962. Operation Pedro Pan remains the largest Children ... (read the rest of this story)
Truly blessed for having been raised in the USA!
Most recent stories (page 1)
I flew with my 10 yr. old brother on KLM airline. A Cuban lady with dual French citizenship that worked for Air France in Havana, one of my father's accounts there, was kind of like a chaperone to us. I think I numbed out to survive the inexplicable action I was undertaking. Yes, I have a fleeting memory of the fishbowl, but overall I didn't feel much drama; I don't think I truly understood what was going on. All I really remember of the flight over, was locking myself into the ladies' room and not being able to exit. ... (read the rest of this story)
I arrived at Kendall, Florida on September 9 1961 at the age of 12 with my twin sister Ana Maria. Within a few weeks we were relocated to Illinois. I went to Freeport, Illinois where I spent a short time in an orphanage and later when to live with the Connor Family, which resided at 849 South Arcade Ave. My Twin sister went to Momence Illinois. After the first year I was reunited with my aunt, who had just left Cuba, in New York City. Another year passed and then I was reunited with mother who then sent for my ... (read the rest of this story)
Hello everyone... I arrived at the age of 16, in the middle of the night, with my little sister Maria del Carmen, and we stayed in Florida City for about 2 months. They sent me and my sister, along with another 52 Cuban children, to a catholic boarding school in Colfax, Washington. I started High School in September 1962, and was put back to my sophomore year, so I would get used to the English language. Graduated in 1965 and went to Lewiston, Idaho on a scholarship to become an LPN.
I am the son of Reina Maria Novo. My ... (read the rest of this story)
The day I left Cuba alone is vividly in my mind. It is a void that will never fill again, like missing a piece of yourself. I remember being in the "fish bowl" as my parents stood outside crying. As I boarded the plane, my family, friends and dreams of attending San Alejandro School of Fine Arts were left behind. My parents escaped by boat to reunite almost two years.
I arrived in Miami having left my family back in La Habana thinking that i was on vacation. Little did i know that three days later i was sent to St Joseph's Home for Children in Green Bay Wisconsin. All i had was a short sleeve shirt and when i arrived, there was snow on the ground and bitter cold. I spent six months at the orphanage then a local family, the Van Oss took me into their home along with five children for a year while my family somehow got to Florida. It was 1962 when i finally reunited ... (read the rest of this story)
These are my memories and perhaps they differ somewhat from my brother’s, José Miguel Gómez. Although we travelled together, memories are what one remembers and they are full of personal emotions. Thus, they may differ from person to person.
I started kindergarten at three years old at Colegio Lestonnac. In 1960-1961, I was in my second year of bachillerato (IB high school). Among the new students in our class was the daughter of Captain Ayala of the Castro regime. She bullied a lot of the other girls in the class who ... (read the rest of this story)
My brother and I were supposed to leave Cuba together;however, we were separated and in August 1961 he left alone, at 9 years of age.
I was finally able to leave on Dec 7, 1961. I looked forward to being reunited with him as well as guide him, since I was 14 and my mother told me, that I was the oldest and in charge.
I stayed until George Guarsch asked me, as well as a few other kids in the flight, if we were alone...we all were, and he loaded us into his station wagon and took us to FL ... (read the rest of this story)