The Stories

Read the story of Pedro Pan in the words of those who lived it.

Most recent stories (page 2)

By Damaso D Parets Valdes
Mar 20th 2014
1 person loved 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 went to live with the Connor Family, who resided at 849 South Arcade Ave. My twin sister went to Momence Illinois. After the first year, II was reunited with my aunt, who had just left Cuba, in New York City. Another year passed and then I was reunited with my mother who then sent for ... (read the rest of this story)

By Silvia Cisneros Lopez
Mar 18th 2014

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)

By Reyna Maria Susana Novo Otero
Mar 1st 2014
1 person loved 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)

By Gladys Canizares
Feb 15th 2014
3 people loved 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.

By Fernando Diaz Suarez
Feb 13th 2014
1 person loved this story.

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)

By Susana Gomez
Feb 8th 2014

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)

By Emma A. Botet Zuloaga
Feb 8th 2014
23 people loved 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)

By Rolando J Gutierrez Balaguero
Feb 1st 2014

I was 11 when I arrived in Florida City with my sister. I wet the bed on my first night. I worked as a patrol boy to save $$$ for my mother's arrival. I was friend with a boy named Gilberto Naranjo.

My replacement parents while at Garcia's home carried a little bottle of olive oil to the dining room to bathe rice and beans with it. I asked him about it and he bathed mine and I have been doing it since.

An Asian little boy rode in the bus next to me to the "charquito" (swim hole close to the ... (read the rest of this story)

By Mary Lou Trias Alacan
Jan 30th 2014
6 people loved this story.

Hi my name is Mary Lou Trias Alacan; I arrived as a Peter Pan on Sept. 14, 1961. I was eight years old and accompanied by my sister Marta A. Villa Alacan (15) and my brother Pedro A. Trias Alacan (10). At first I was not supposed to be part of the trio, but when I was included, I was told we were all three going on a vacation. Unsupervised vacation, it sounded good and then it took a change.

Before I tell my story I would like to thank the Miami Herald Media Co. for making this possible. I ... (read the rest of this story)

By Roberto Gonzalez Sanchez
Jan 11th 2014
4 people loved this story.

In the early years of Fidel Castro,my father, a very wiseman, and former military man under Batista regime relized that what was coming to Cuba was communisum. So he decided to get my sister and me out of Cuba. He kept us in different families homes until we left to keep us out of Fidel schools. When we finally left for the U.S.A on June 2, 1962. My sister Isabel who was 7 at the time and myself 11, were awaken by my parents and they took us to the airport for our trip on a Pam Am Flight. My ... (read the rest of this story)