“Pedro Pan” was no bedtime story

Fleeing their country was something many middle and upper class Cuban families did in the early nineteen sixties after experiencing life under revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.  Many children from these families were sent to Miami for safe-keeping with the expectation that parents would join them as soon as they were granted an exit visa.  You can read more about this in my short summary of “Waiting for Snow in Havana,” by Carlos Eire.

Like Eire, my friend Maria was sent to Miami, the first in her family to go, as part of the Peter Pan Airlift (Pedro Pan in Spanish).  After reading Eire I wanted to hear and record her story.   She is the most generous person I’ve ever met.  She dedicates her life to eliminating obstacles in the lives of people she cares about, starting with her large extended family and continuing with young Latinos in her community who need help realizing their dreams.  I wanted to know how her early experiences compared to those of Eire and whether they influenced her actions today.

The six short interviews will be divided into three blog posts.

Part I introduces Maria’s childhood in Havana during the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista and during the revolution of Fidel Castro.  “Tell me about your childhood in Havana” (1 minute 48 seconds)

Part II talks about conditions a year after the revolution, including the closing of schools, which led to a decision by Maria’s parents to send her to Miami alone.   “What made your parents decide to send you to the U.S.? (5 minutes and 6 seconds)

Look for more of Maria’s story in the next few days.

About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness.
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3 Responses to “Pedro Pan” was no bedtime story

  1. Silvia says:

    Great job Ann!
    I’ve known Maria for years but I’ve never sat down with her to listen to her full story.
    Thanks for doing this and using videos, it’s a wonderful way of sharing a story.

  2. Pingback: Peter Pan Airlift separates families | Still Life

  3. Pingback: Peter Pan story ends, life in the U.S. begins | Still Life

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