Pedro Pan of California
Pedro Pan of California reponds to Estela Bravo's documentary.
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Dear Pedro Pan Family:
An early arriving
crowd – really I’m not kidding – of well over 300 Pedro Pan, family and friends gathered together this past
Saturday at Hacienda Don Francisco on a spectacular Southern California day. Surrounded by the
purple majesty of the San Gabriel Mountains, the magnificent setting at the Gaviña Family
Ranch for the eighth 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 complemented the delicious Cuban cuisine prepared by master chef Tony Hernandez and
his crew. Outstanding!
After the benediction by Pedro Pan Fr. Tony Marti,
the festivities were initiated with the introduction of 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.
Representing the Cuban Kids from the 60’s Exodus working
group Estela Bueno, Mercedes Fresno and Angelita Rodriguez presented the Gaviña family with photo albums as mementos of last
year’s reunion as well as flower bouquets.
Afterwards we t2ook 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.
This year we were blessed and honored by having eight Pedro Pan parents
joining us for the festive afternoon. It is always a very special moment when we take the time to publicly thank them for
their sacrifice and the special gift of freedom which they gave us.
The tradition of the Cuban Kids Pedro Pan reunion and the highlight of every
event are the Pedro Pan introductions by Oscar Pichardo. The total number of 60 Pedro Pan includes eight who were attending
for the first time: Fred Beato and his cousin Luis Lluch, Andres L Garcia from Northern California, Alberto Jimenez, Nevis
Ryan, Miguel Oliver, all the way from Miami Florida came Carmen Zamora, and the youngest Pedro Pan to attend one of our reunions
Gladys Schubach (Zamora) who was only three when she arrived in the United States. 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.
Pedro Pan attending for
the first time from left to right: Luis Lluch, Fred Beato, Carmen Zamora, Gladys Schubach, Alberto
Jimenez, Miguel Oliver, Andres “Andy” Garcia
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!
In attendance this afternoon was Lee
Brooks the author of “Stealing Castro's Daughter” based on his personal experience visiting Cuba,
falling in love with a Cuban girl and his strong determination to bring her to freedom. A true life “reality show”
as he experiences the hard life of Cubans living under Castro's rule.
Later on Arturo Bueno read the moving
poem “Poema de Una Pedro Pan” by Pedro Pan mother Lolita Maradiaga Rosales.
Afterwards Fred Beato briefly addressed
the gathering informing us about a project he has in work to honor of all the heroes of Operation Pedro Pan all of our parents.
We then listened a powerful song about the Pedro Pan experience “Cuba B.C.” which is a central part of the project. We’ll
be hearing more on this project in the near future.
Links to the pictures and videos of
our event which our webmaster extraordinaire Arturo Bueno has prepared for our enjoyment will be sent via separate email.
You can also check out the pictures and the video posted on our web site www.cubankids1960.com under the September 28, 2013 tab on the left margin of our homepage.
It takes the contribution of
many to pull off an event like this. Special thanks to Arturo Guzman, Rosie Montoto, Letty Diaz, Felipa Garcia and the members
of the Cuban Kids from the 60’s Exodus working group 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!Until we meet again!
Dear Pedro Pan,
The purpose of this
web page is to keep in touch with those individuals in California and other states who arrived in the USA
through the Pedro Pan exodus from Cuba
This web site was created in 2005, and resulted in the first
successful event to unite the Pedro Panes in California. We continue to be successful in our search for our brothers and sisters through
Kids from the 60s Exodus Statement of Purpose
Provide a social setting where Pedro Pan can gather to share our unique life stories with our families and friends.
Locate and welcome other Pedro Pan, providing friendship and a supportive forum.
Demonstrate in action and words our gratitude to the United States for the gift of freedom
and opportunity, while celebrating our rich Cuban American heritage.
Honor and remember the love and courage of our parents, remember Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh, and the many others who, with foresight and courage, risked their career and their lives