Please "click" this link for the pictures of the reunion 2010
Please "click" here for the video PART 1 of the reunion at the Hacienda Don Francisco
Please "click" here for the video PART 2 of the reunion at the Hacienda Don Francisco
Please "click" here for the video PART 3 of 3 of the reunion at the Hacienda Don Francisco
Dear Pedro Pan Family:
A cool crisp Southern California
morning crowned by the purple mountain majesty of the San Gabriel Mountains – a perfect September day for the gathering
of over 300 Pedro Pan, family, and friends at Hacienda Don Francisco. A glorious Southern California setting at the Gaviña Family
Ranch for the fifth annual reunion of the Cuban Kids from the 60’s Exodus.
A splendid 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 kids of all ages and the Paso Fino ridding
exhibition are enjoyed by all. As well as the varied selection of pastelitos, empanadas, guayaba con queso, and delicious
deserts, which complement the delicious Cuban cuisine prepared by master chef Tony Hernandez and his crew. Outstanding!
After the benediction by Father Tony, the festivities were
initiated by Berta Freire introducing the Gaviña family. Pedro took a few moments to extend to everyone the hospitality and
a warm welcome on behalf of the Gaviña family.
On behalf of the Cuban Kids from the
60’s Exodus, Estela Bueno presented the Gaviña family with photo albums she had masterfully
assembled as mementos of last year’s reunion, while Aldo Montoto presented the family with flower bouquets.
Moving along Arturo Bueno took a few moments to thank the many
local contributors who help make our reunions a great success year after year. Enrique Garcia followed by naming Graciano
Gonzalez the honorary Pedro Pan of the year.
We then paused for a moment in memory of our Pedro Pan brother,
Oscar Cossio, who left us much too soon this past May. He is sorely missed by all, but forever in our hearts…
The tradition of the Cuban Kids Pedro Pan reunion and the highlight
of every event are the Pedro Pan introductions. The total number of 57 Pedro Pan – a new world’s record - includes
six who were attending for the first time: sisters Lourdes Fondevila and Marta Simpson, Alejandro Pijuan, Genaro Pinillos
who drove down from Lodi in Northern California, Carmen Romañach all the
way from Miami, and Jorge Gonzalez who was only 2 years old when he arrived in the U.S.
The Pedro Pan family drew together to lend support as they introduced themselves to the Pedro Pan family, a part of
the healing process when we share our personal experiences as Pedro Pan with our brothers and sisters.
We were fortunate and honored to have in attendance Maria Vazquez
who worked for Catholic Charities in Newark, New Jersey during the sixties. Maria’s area of responsibility was working
with families and Catholic institutions in the area to find openings where the Pedro Pan children could be housed. She was
kind enough to take a few minutes and explain the process of involving the relocation of the children to the gathering.
It takes the contribution of many to pull off an event
like this that come very early and help in setting up. Special thanks to Arturo Guzman, Angie Rodriguez, and Mercedes Fresno,
who were out front to greet and check in the guests as they arrived.
I would be remiss if I did not extend a heartfelt appreciation
to Manolito, our honorary Pedro Pan, and crew for their enormous effort all day long, and everyone out there who worked so
hard to make this event an unqualified success!
The closing challenge as always is to get all the Pedro
Pan gathered as a group in front the palm tree to take the Pedro Pan group picture. I’m happy to report that once again
the Pedro Pan rose to the challenge and the picture taken!