Over four decades ago, Cuban parents fearing indoctrination and that the Cuban government would take away their parental authority exercised one of the most fundamental human rights: the right to choose how their children would be educated.
From December 1960 to October 1962, more than fourteen thousand Cuban youths arrived alone in the United States. What is now known as Operation Pedro Pan was the largest recorded exodus of Unaccompanied minors in the Western Hemisphere.
The exodus of the Cuban children was virtually unknown for over 30 years. Msgr. Bryan O. Walsh who is considered the Father of our Exodus states that the name had only appeared in print in March of 62′ and in a Reader’s Digest article in 1988. It was through the effort and work of Operation Pedro Pan Group, Inc. that the name Operation Pedro Pan became known throughout the US and the world.
Approximately, half of the minors were reunited with relatives or friends at the airport. More than half were cared for by the Catholic Welfare Bureau, directed by a young 30 year old Irish priest, Bryan O. Walsh. The children from the Cuban Refugee Children’s Program were placed in temporary shelters in Miami, and relocated in 30 States. Many children of the Unaccompanied Cuban Children’s program, are unaware that they were part of history in the making. Today, we are trying to locate all the children that came alone and were part of this historical exodus. Please help us locate the grown children of Pedro Pan!