The more I learn and talk about the Pedro Pan mission, the more incredulous I become about how many Americans have never heard this part of our history. Fourteen thousand forty-eight children (14,048!!) flew clandestinely to the United States UNACCOMPANIED by any adults to be cared for (by complete strangers in many cases) until their parents could join them here or bring them back to (a more safe/free) Cuba. It seems this mission and the impact it made on our country, on Cuba, and on the children and their families, has been overshadowed in chronicled US history by the Bay of Pigs invasion, Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War. While those are certainly worthy topics for the history books, where is the chapter about these 14,000 children?
Carrie Pearson is a children's book author, writer-cheerleader, and mentorship matchmaker.