Daily Dad News
College Student Visits Father’s Homeland To Find Her Roots
February 28, 2012
Allison Rodriguez, a student at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, recently traveled to her father’s homeland of Cuba for a class. While her studies and coursework were the main reasons for the visit, Allison was also able to repair a broken bridge between her father and his country of birth as well reports College News.
Allison’s class, History 244: Revolutionary Cuba, and her inclusion in the class opened up old wounds for her father, Ubaldo. As part of a two-year covert program that began in 1960 known as Pedro Pan, Allison’s father and others were evacuated to America via the secret operation which was ran by U.S. State Department, the C.I.A., and the Catholic Welfare Bureau of Miami. The effort led to 14,000 children being sent to the United States to escape Fidel Castro’s oppressive regime; Ubaldo was just 7 at the time. Allison was warned by family not to return, although she had her father’s blessing.
They’re still very upset about the revolution,” says Rodriguez. “There are a lot of deep-rooted emotional issues. “I adamantly wanted to go to my family’s hometown. I wanted to be a representative for them and see things for them and take pictures for them.”
Allison and her classmates visited her father’s hometown, the apartment he lived in as a boy and other highlights. She took many photos and returned home to California to share her experience. Allison’s journey has inspired her to help her father return to his native land, and she hopes to assist him along the way.
“He feels conflicted in his Cuban identity because he had to Americanize very quickly. He was so excited when he found out I was going,” said Allison about her father. “That to me is the biggest indicator that he is emotionally ready to visit Cuba and wants to do it. I’m going to work on getting him to go. A trip like that would be amazing.”
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