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A street named Pedro Pan

Hialeah honors kids' exodus, more than 200 gather for Camp Matecumbe reunion

The now-grown children of Pedro Pan gather at the corner of West 12th Avenue in Hialeah for the street renaming and dedication ceremony. At left is Father Jose Espino, pastor of San Lazaro Parish in Hialeah, and a Pedro Pan himself.

Photographer: COURTESY PHOTO

The now-grown children of Pedro Pan gather at the corner of West 12th Avenue in Hialeah for the street renaming and dedication ceremony. At left is Father Jose Espino, pastor of San Lazaro Parish in Hialeah, and a Pedro Pan himself.

HIALEAH| On June 14, the now-grown children of the Pedro Pan exodus were given the honor of having another street named after their flight. Hialeah’s West 12th Avenue was dedicated as Operation Pedro Pan Avenue.

During the ceremony, Hialeah’s Major Carlos Hernandez, Dade County Commissioners Esteban Bovo and Rebecca Sosa all gave touching tributes. Father José Espino, pastor of San Lazaro Church in Hialeah and a Pedro Pan, gave the invocation. Maria de la Milera, the second vice president of the Operation Pedro Pan Group and a Hialeah resident, gave an eloquent testimony for the crowd that had gathered.

The event ended with the actual unveiling of the new street name, which was attended by many Pedro Pan group members wearing their blue Operation Pedro Pan Group shirts.

The weekend before, more than 220 Pedro Pan group members and their families attended the reunion at Camp Matecumbe in Kendall. The Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated by Father Sergio Garcia-Miró, former instructor at the camp. Among the participants are the emotional reunion were three other former instructors, Carlos Oliva, Edgar Garcia and Jose "Pepe" Lopez.

In the early 1960s, Pedro Pan brought more than 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children to the United States. It is one of the largest recorded organized exodus of minors in the Western Hemisphere.

July 8, 2013: This article was edited to delete a reference to a planned Smithsonian exhibit which is not related to the activities of the Operation Pedro Pan Group.

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