Cuban Kids from the 60s Exodus

Hacienda Don Francisco - September 13, 2008- Cuban Kids from the 60's Exodus reunion

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50th Anniversary Celebration of Operation Pedro Pan
Our Pedro Pan brothers and sisters who are no longer with us
Memorial Mass in honor of Msgr. Bryan O. Walsh and our Pedro Pan who are not longer with us.
Pedro Pan en Central Florida
Hacienda Don Francisco - September 18-2010-Cuban Kids from the 60's Reunion
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Habla una madre - Dulce María Iglesias de Martínez -
Hacienda Don Francisco - September 26-2009-Cuban Kids from the 60's Reunion
Poema para el Dia de las Madres- Mother's Day Poem
Our Parents ...
Rio Hondo Country Club-April 26, 2009- Remembering When...Images of our Journey
Hacienda Don Francisco - September 13, 2008- Cuban Kids from the 60's Exodus reunion
Hacienda Santa Maria-March 15,2008
Hacienda Don Francisco, the Gaviña Family Ranch - September 29, 2007
Cuban kids return to Colfax refuge
Rio Hondo Golf Club Reunion-April 22 2007
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Our First Reunion, September 25th, 2005
Our Second Reunion, March 26, 2006
Our Third Reunion, September 9, 2006
Relocation Map and The Florida Camps
Sonia Flew, October 1st, 2006
Agustin Blazquez

The Cuban Kids from the 60 Exodus reunion VIDEO at the Hacienda Don Francisco. September 13,2008 Part I (YouTube)

The Cuban Kids from the 60 Exodus reunion VIDEO at the Hacienda Don Francisco. September 13,2008 Part II (YouTube)

The Cuban Kids from the 60 Exodus reunion VIDEO at the Hacienda Don Francisco. September 13,2008 Part III (YouTube)

Hacienda Don Francisco - September 13, 2008 - Pedro Pan reunion

Dear Pedro Pan Brothers and Sisters,
 

The sun is warming, the breeze is cooling, and the spectacular San Gabriel Mountains provide the backdrop as we gather again - over 300 Pedro Pan, family and friends - at the Hacienda Don Francisco. A perfect Southern California setting at the Gaviña Family Ranch for the third annual reunion of the Cuban Kids from the 60’s Exodus.

 

A magnificent afternoon to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and partake in the activities throughout the day, enhanced by the picturesque Southern California setting and the magnanimous hospitality of the Gaviña family.

 

Horse rides for the kids (of all ages, of course) and the Paso Fino ridding exhibition were the hit of the day.

 

As usual the varied selection of pastelitos, empanadas, guyaba con queso, and delicious deserts delighted everyone present. What can be said about the delicious Cuban cuisine prepared by master chef Tony Hernandez and his crew. Outstanding!

 

At the beginning of our program Arturo Bueno asked to observe a moment of silence as we remembered the victims of hurricane Ike in the Caribbean, our native Cuba, and Texas; as well as the victims of the train wreck in Chatsworth, California.

 

Arturo then kicked off the program by introducing the Gaviña family. Pedro and Jose took a few moments to extend to everyone present their hospitality and make them feel welcome.

 

Signifying our appreciation, Cuban Kids from the 60’s Exodus presented a palm tree to the Gaviña family. Berta Feire dedicated the palm tree planted at Hacienda Don Francisco symbolizing the bond and affection of the Cuban Kids Pedro Pan and the Gaviña family dating back to the late 60s.

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Working group members Raul Acevedo, Jose Ramon Coro, Sergio Diaz, Enrique Garcia, Irene Martinez Ceballos, Aldo Montoto, Angelita Rodríguez, and Jorge Rodriguez, proudly presented polo shirts with the Cuban Kids logo to the Gaviñas, forging us as one family.

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Estela Bueno traced our beginnings, outlining the reasons why we came together and continue to draw together: “In sharing these experiences, although it may be painful we show each other, as well as our children, grandchildren, and friends joining us here today the courage we had as youth … we come and join together in these reunions, we see each other opening our hearts and allow healing to begin.”

 

Opening her heart, Alicia Ciardullo shared with the gathering what the symbolism of the palm tree meant to her – wherever the Pedro Pan take roots we remain true to our heritage and as Cuban as the Royal Palm.  

 

As Estela mentioned, in establishing our group, via our website and electronic communications we reach out to all the Pedro Pan throughout the U.S. and around the world creating a forum for our shared experiences. Last week we received this email from Barcelona, Spain which read: “Mi hermana y yo estuvimos a punto de ir a USA con el programa Peter Pan. Finalmente,nuestros padres decidieron mandarnos a Galicia con la familia de papá. Mi hermana tenía entonces 11 años y yo 15 e ibamos a las Ursulinas de Miramar...  Aunque no llegamos a participar en la Peter Pan, en cierta forma hemos tenido una experiencia paralela, pues nuestros padres no salieron de Cuba hasta 12 años después. A pesar de los años transcurridos, nunca he olvidado el 17 de septiembre de 1961 y siempre me he considerado cubana,contra viento y marea. Me ha alegrado mucho leer sus vivencias y les mando un cariñoso saludo. Mª Teresa Casabella García”

 

Another reason we are together is to recognize the outstanding Pedro Pan who are members of our community. With great pride and pleasure Cuban Kids from the 60’s Exodus congratulates one of our very own Pedro Pan brothers Judge Francisco F. Firmat on being honored as the 2008 recipient of the prestigious Aranda Access to Justice Award. The award is cosponsored by the Judicial Council, the State Bar, the California Judges Association, and the California Commission on Access to Justice.

 

Francisco was not present during the ceremony. He had been called to the Orange County Court on urgent business. However, persevering in the best Pedro Pan tradition he and his family were able to join us later after fighting through the mid day LA traffic and running out of gas!

 

The tradition of the Cuban Kids Pedro Pan reunion and the highlight of every event are the Pedro Pan introductions. Numbering 45; including Segundo Timiraos who drove down from San Jose, Carlos Alamilla in town from Florida visiting his son at USC, and Manuel Kou who arrived from China at noon and came straight to our reunion , the Pedro Pan kids gathered to lend support for the self introduction of the Pedro Pan attending our event for the first time. A part of the healing process as we share our personal experiences as Pedro Pan with our brothers and sisters.

 

In closing Arturo Bueno challenged the Pedro Pan to move as group two hundred feet to where the palm tree is planted to take the Pedro Pan group picture. Once again the Pedro Pan rose to the challenge and the picture was taken.

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It takes the contribution of many to pull off an event like this, but I would be remiss if I did not extend a heartfelt appreciation to Manolito our honorary Pedro Pan for his enormous effort all day long, and everyone out there who worked so hard to make this event an unqualified success!

 

Cuban Kids from the 60’s Exodus would like to thank you for attending our celebration of family and friends. You made this a memorable occasion!

 


Until we meet again!
The Cuban Kids Working Group