Dear Pedro Pan Family:
A cool early autumn morning crowned
by the purple majesty of the San Gabriel Mountains – a perfect Southern California September day for the gathering of
over 300 Pedro Pan, family, and friends at Hacienda Don Francisco. This is the magnificent setting at the Gaviña Family Ranch for the sixth 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.
No to be missed was 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 bilingual benediction by Raul Acevedo and the visiting
Father Avelino Lorenzo, the festivities were initiated by Sergio Diaz who introduced the Gaviña family. Pedro and Jose Gaviña
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, members of the
working group presented the Gaviña family with photo albums as mementos of last year’s reunion.
Afterwards we took a few moments to thank the many local businesses
who contribute to the Pedro Pan reunions every year. Their involvement is one of the
reasons our reunions are great success year after year.
The tradition of the Cuban Kids Pedro Pan reunion and the highlight
of every event are the Pedro Pan introductions. The total number of 63 Pedro Pan – a new world’s record - includes
ten who were attending for the first time: sisters Carmen and Ivonne Pando, Aleana Lopez, brother and sister Noemi and Arturo
Capote, brothers Guillermo and Jorge Seoane, and from out of state Arsenio Hernandez from Elmyra, Oregon; and Jorge Casellas
all the way from the crescent city, New Orleans, Louisiana! 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.
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!
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 all the working group members who came early and
stayed late, and to Manolito, our honorary Pedro Pan, and crew 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 Pedro Pan of California celebration of family and friends. We look forward to seeing all of you at our next event. Do join us. Who knows
- you may reconnect with an old friend!