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Operation Pedro Pan

The exodus of 14,000 children from Cuba to the U.S.: December 1960 - October 1962

Oral Histories

FIU Libraries' Special Collections & Archives Department holds many personal interviews with prominent Operation Pedro Pan figures.

The most significant of these are part of the Cuban Living History Project Collection, a series of one-on-one interviews of prominent Cuban exiles conducted by Miguel González Pando between 1990 and 1998. Many Pedro Pan children and others involved in Operation Pedro Pan (OPP) were interviewed as part of this project, including the founders, Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh and James Baker. The Msgr. Walsh and James Baker interviews, along with Polita Grau's, another prominent force behind OPP, have been digitized and are available to view online - see below.  FIU Libraries is in the process of digitizing others, but in the meantime they can be viewed in the Libraries' Special Collection Department by appointment. 

Digitized interviews with key Pedro Pan figures

Access to Msgr. Walsh's and Polita Grau's full length videos are only available to the FIU community and on-campus users by following the links below and clicking on "FIU users: view content here". 

 

Monsignor Walsh Interviews  

        Walsh, Monsignor Bryan O. Interview. Nov. 11, 1996. (53:58) 
        Walsh, Monsignor Bryan O., 1997. Interview Part 1 (1:01:25) & Interview Part 2 (1:07:06)

 

James Baker interview, 1997. Interview Part 1 (13:58) & Interview Part 2 (36:40)

 

Polita Grau Interview, 1997. Interview Part 1 (1:28:30) & Interview Part 2 (1:47:49)


Other OPP interviews

FIU also hold interviews conducted by Eloísa Echazábal and Carmen Romañach between 2009 and 2011. Eloísa and Carmen are both 'Pedro Pans' (arrived in the U.S. as children via Operation Pedro Pan). Their Interviews are in DVD formats at the Libraries.

CLICK HERE to see FIU Libraries catalog entries for all our Pedro Pan interviews.

Barry University Archives also holds interviews as part of their Operation Pedro Pan collections. Click here for Barry University Archives' interviews

pedro pan interviews

List of Pedro Pan interviews by Miguel González Pando in the Cuban Living History Project (1990-1998).

Links to demo clips of interviews listed below may be found HERE.  All interviews are available as VHS tapes and may be viewed in the FIU Special Collections Department with prior appointment. The interviews with Monsignor Walsh, James Baker, and Polita Grau are available online; see links above.

List of Interviewees in this collection:

  • Azán Chaviano, Alex, 1997.
  • Baker, James, 1997. 
  • Cardona, Joe, 1998.
  • Castillo, Claudio, 1998.
  • Cepero, Eloy, 1997.
  • Chao, Olga Nodarse, 1997.
  • Chirino, Willy and wife Lissette Alvarez Chorens, 1997.
  • Chovel, Elisa (Elly), 1997.
  • Conde, Yvonne, 1998. (no VHS copy)
  • Figueredo, Fernando, 1997.
  • Florida City with Elly Chovel and Monsignor Walsh, 1997.
  • Gomez, Alina (mother of Pedro Pan Candy Sosa), 1997.
  • Goyos, José Manuel, 1997.
  • Grau, Polita, 1997. 
  • López Santiago, Pury, 1997.
  • Muchachitas de Villa Maria, 1997.
  • Penso, Elio, 1997.
  • Saladrigas, Carlos and wife Olga, 1997.
  • Sosa, Candy, 1997.
  • Torres, Maria de los Angeles, 1998.
  • Verena, Marisela, 1998.
  • Walsh, Monsignor Bryan O., 1997. 

List of Pedro Pan interviews by former Pedro Pan children Eloísa Echazábal & Carmen Romañach between 2009-2011.

These DVDs may be viewed at the FIU Green Library Special Collections Department with prior appointment, and at the FIU Hubert Library AV Reserve Desk.

List of Interviewees in this collections:

  • Baker, Chris – son of James Baker
  • Baker, Dennis – son of James Baker
  • Cuartas, Alberto – instructor/house parent at Miami camps and group homes
  • Díaz de González, María Modesta – teacher at Florida City
  • González-Pita, Jesús – accountant for Cuban Children’s Program
  • Guarch, Peggy – widow of George Guarch who met children at airport
  • Guarch-Pardo, Lynn – daughter of George Guarch
  • Jehle, Sister Dorothy – Barry University Archives Director until her retirement in 2011
  • McGuinn, Lloydine – secretary to Father/ Monsignor Walsh
  • Villaronga (Rezola), Vicky – office worker at Catholic Welfare Bureau
  • Nuevo, Jesús – instructor/parent at Jesuit Boys Home
  • O’Farrill, Albertina – distributed visa waivers in Cuba
  • Oteiza, Margarita – former Ruston Academy teacher and teacher in various Miami camps
  • Vega, Elisa – a Pedro Pan parent