September 27, 2018—In observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Middlesex Community College will present an exclusive New England screening of the highly acclaimed documentary film, Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus on Friday, October 12, 2018. The 90-minute documentary illustrates the story of 14,048 unaccompanied Cuban refugee children who arrived in the United States between December 1960 and October 1962, in the largest recorded child refugee movement in the Western Hemisphere. The public is invited to attend the free screening which will take place at 7 p.m. in Chapman Hall, room 808, at Middlesex Community College, 100 Training Hill Road, Middletown.
Victor Triay, PhD, a longtime MxCC professor of history, is featured as the film’s primary historian. Professor Triay is the author of Fleeing Castro: Operation Pedro Pan and the Cuban Children’s Program, the first book written about this historical event and his first of several publications centered on Castro-era Cuban exiles.
“Having occurred during a particularly dangerous period in the Cold War, Operation Pedro Pan was one of the most dramatic—but least-known—events in 20th century U.S. immigration history,” said Professor Triay.
Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus, directed by Carlos Gutiérrez, is a production of Operation Pedro Pan Group, Inc., a nonprofit charitable organization founded in 1991 by the former children of Pedro Pan, in collaboration with the HistoryMiami Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate and premier cultural institution in Miami. The documentary is based on research from the HistoryMiami/Operation Pedro Pan Group’ award-winning 2015 exhibit of the same name.
After the screening, former Pedro Pan children will join Professor Triay for a roundtable discussion. They are:
Dr. Carlos Eire, T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University and author of the National Book Award-winning, Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy (Simon & Schuster, 2003), which details his experience as a Pedro Pan child.
Carmen Valdivia, executive producer of Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus and past president of Operation Pedro Pan Group, Inc.
Carmen Romañach, past president of Operation Pedro Pan Group, Inc., and current vice president.
Other former Pedro Pan children may also be in attendance.
Refreshments will be served.
For more information about Operation Pedro Pan, please visit: https://www.pedropan.org/category/history.