Cuban Kids from the 60s Exodus

50th Anniversary Celebration of Operation Pedro Pan
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Hacienda Don Francisco-Pedro Pan of CA-October 1 2016-Cuban Kids from the 60's Exodus.
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Hacienda Don Francisco-Pedro Pan of CA-September 28,2013-Cuban Kids from the 60's Exodus.
Hacienda Don Francisco-September 29, 2012 Pedro Pan of CA-Cuban Kids from the 60's Exodus
Oscar Pichardo - Presentation of Operation Pedro Pan - Marymount College, CA
Hacienda Don Francisco-September 24, 2011 Pedro Pan of CA-Cuban Kids from the 60's Exodus
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
Comments Received Regarding the Letter to CNBC-Escape From Havana-
Guest Book
Picture Gallery
Other Pedro Pan Links
CUBAMERICAN Documentary
Estampas de Cuba -- Postcards of Cuba-Los Niños Pedro sin Pan -- The Pedro sin Pan Children-
Letter to CNBC Re: Escape From Havana
Rio Hondo reunion-March 7, 2010-
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
Contact Information
Our History
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

Dear Pedro Pan Brothers and Sisters:

Neither unseasonable rain nor cool temperatures could dampen the spirits of the early arriving crowd filing into the Rio Hondo Golf Club Event Center in Downey, California; where 200 Pedro Pan, family and friends gathered for the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Operation Pedro Pan hosted by the Cuban Kids from the 60’s Exodus - Pedro Pan of California.

The opening hour was devoted to socializing, locating yourself in the map, and viewing the collages of the Pedro Pan Parents - always a huge crowd favorite. Then it was time for the program to commence.

Master of ceremonies Berta Freire welcomed one and all and called the gathering to order. Pedro Pan Fr. Enrique Sera invoked the heartfelt benediction recollecting the events of the past 50 years.

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Fr. Enrique Sera

In a tribute to our parents Estela Bueno and Enrique Garcia recited poems written by Pedro Pan parents recalling the angst of separation.  The one titled “Memorias de Ayer” was written by Leonor Valdivia and dedicated to her daughters Isa and Carmen. The untitled one was written by Lolita Madariaga who recently passed away, and was discovered by her son Juan tucked into the book Operation Pedro Pan when going through her effects. The poems reflect the emotional upheaval our parents faced while making the difficult decision to send us to the United States.

 

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Estela Bueno

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Enrique Garcia

Then it was time for the introduction of the six Pedro Pan parents in attendance, who were presented with a token of our gratitude and admiration by Irene Martinez Ceballos. This was followed by the 50th Anniversary Celebration toast which lead us to lunch.

 

Please use link below to see pertinent video:

CK60E Welcome Poems Benediction 50th Anniversary Celebration -

 

After the musical interlude, Dr. Mayra Prado introduced the first of our Special Guests Dr. J. Dennis Baker. Dr. Baker is the son of Mr. James D. Baker, the headmaster of the Ruston Academy in Havana and the person responsible for conceiving Operation Pedro Pan in December of 1960.

Our second Special guest Mr. Hector Carrion was introduced by Arturo Bueno. Mr. Carrion is the son of Angel and Nina Carrion who were the house parents of Casa Carrion one of the homes where Pedro Pan children were housed when arriving in the United States.

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Hector Carrion

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Dr. J. Dennis Baker

Mercedes Fresno and Aldo Montoto on behalf of Cuban Kids from the 60’s Exodus - Pedro Pan of California and Pedro Pan everywhere and to honor the impact and efforts of the Baker and Carrion families on behalf of the Pedro Pan kids presented Dr. Baker and Mr. Carrion with a certificate of acknowledgement and a CK60E pin.

Please use link below to see pertinent video:

CKE60E Special Guests Dr. Baker Mr. Carrion 50th Anniversary Celebration

MC Berta Freire then took a moment to identify and introduce Carmen Romañach, as well as first time attendees Maria de la Milera and Manuel Angel Gutierrez, Pedro Pan attendees who traveled from Florida to join in our celebration.  It takes the contribution of many to pull off an event like this, and the hardworking members of the Cuban Kid Working Group were introduced to a well deserved round of applause.

 

It was then time for Oscar Pichardo to introduce Pedro Pan Guest Speaker Yvonne M. Conde author of Operation Pedro Pan: The Untold Exodus of 14, 048 Cuban Children.

Ms. Conde lead the audience on a tour of the beginnings of Operation Pedro Pan, how she came to write her book, and the very special meaning of the Pedro pan bond to each individual Pedro Pan.

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Ms. Yvonne M. Conde

Please use link below to see pertinent video:

CK60E Guest Speaker Yvonne M. Conde 50th Anniversary Celebration

Afterward the signature and tradition of our group, the self introduction of the new Pedro Pan attending a reunion for the first time took place. The total number of 52 Pedro Pan included nine first time attendees: sisters Elena Dehmer and Maria Abalo, Sam Sanabria, Pedro and Betty Camejo from Southern California. Maria de la Milera as well a Manuel Angel and Dory Gutierrez from Florida and Yvonne Conde from the Big Apple. The Pedro Pan family drew together lending support as they introduced themselves, a part of the healing process when we share our personal experiences as Pedro Pan with our brothers and sisters.

The closing challenge as always is to get all the Pedro Pan gathered together 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!

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Please use link below to see pertinent video:

CK60E New Pedro Pan & Group Pic 50th Anniversary Celebration

Our 50 year celebration confirms the amazing bond that binds us together remains strong through the years. It never ceases to amaze how every reunion there are old friends that reconnect. The delight of Maria Abalo, Elena Dehmer, and Maria de la Milera from Midvale reuniting. Pedro Camejo’s and Sam Sanabria’s unbridled joy when the see each other after 50 years. The quirk of fate that brought Maria Abalo and Yvonne Conde to the U. S. on the same day. The Bakers and the Carrion families being house parents at the same home during the early days of Pedro Pan. Childhood friends from Santos Suarez being kids again. These are the threads we pursue as we unravel the mysteries and connections of our exodus.

Take the time to enjoy the pictures and video courtesy of Arturo Bueno. Guaranteed you’ll recognize many friends!

Please use links below to see photo albums:

CK60E Album 1 - 50th Anniversary Celebration  

CK60E Album 2 - 50th Anniversary Celebration

CK60E Album 3 - 50th Anniversary Celebration

We look forward to seeing all of you at our next event. Join us! Who knows: you may reconnect with an old friend!

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