Dear Pedro Pan Brothers and Sisters
Not even the overcast sky and a light rain could
dampen the spirit
or mood at the Rio Hondo Golf Club Event Center in Downey, California where 250 Pedro Pan, family
and friends gathered to Honor the Pedro Pan Parents.
The two part event was co-hosted by La Peña Cubana de Los Angeles, “En reconocer
a "Los Cuban Kids from the 60's Exodus" por el esfuerzo en agrupar a todos los Pedro Pan diseminados en California”
and the Cuban Kids from the 60’s Exodus Pedro Pan of California.
The social hour at the beginning of the afternoon was highlighted by
the collage of the Pedro Pan Parents, created by Arturo Bueno, which everyone took great pleasure in viewing.
During the initial part of the gathering, the Chairpersons of La Peña Cubana de Los Angeles, Edita de Armas,
Dra Sue Curbelo Laboy and Dr. Jorge Fernandez Isla, presented the working group of the Cuban Kids with a plaque commending
their efforts in reaching out to the community and uniting the Pedro Pan of California.
This was followed by Dr. Luis R. Aguirre reading his original composition “Versos
Pedro Pan” which he composed specifically for this occasion. The text will be posted in our website for everyone to
After lunch, MC Sergio Diaz conducted the second part of the event starting with Aldo
Montoto leading us to the unveiling of the Cuban Kids from the 60’s Exodus Logo, designed by Agustin Prado.
This brought us to our guest speaker Mayra M. Prado, M.A., M.F.T. who regaled us with
an expert lecture concerning the impact the experience of being a Pedro Pan had in molding us into the adults we are today.
Myra is the
Executive Vice-President of the Didi Hirsch
Mental Health Center,
Psychology reporter for KMEX and KAZA, Psychology Expert for KCET, and an Emmy Award winner in 2002.
Subsequently, it was time for presenting the Pedro Pan Parents. Oscar Pichardo called
the names of the Pedro Pan Parents in attendance, who in turn were presented with buttoners for the fathers and corsages for
the mothers by their children.
Enrique Garcia did a terrific job explaining the stark reality leading our parents
to make the hard decisions born out of love and courage to protect their children. When it came time to decide to either submit
to the state or send the children to safety, Cuban parents chose freedom for their children, sending them unaccompanied to
the United States, for which we are eternally grateful.
Afterward, the signature and tradition of our group, the self introduction of the
16 Pedro Pan attending a reunion for the first time took place. A very emotional moment, as they related their Pedro Pan experience
to their fellow brothers and sisters, recalling the difficult experiences shared by many of us. Our efforts bring warmth and
comfort to each individual Pedro Pan.
Much too quickly Berta Freire and Arturo Bueno delivered the closing remarks which
brought another successful reunion to conclusion.
If you have pictures from the event you would like to share with the Pedro Pan family,
please email them to us.
It takes the contribution of many to pull off an event like this, so thanks to everyone
out there who worked so hard to make this event an unqualified success!