Remembering Operation Peter Pan

Miguel Capestany, 62, speaks about his life before Operation Peter Pan. AMARIS CASTILLO/BODEGA STORIES

Miguel Capestany, 62, speaks about his life before Operation Peter Pan.
AMARIS CASTILLO/BODEGA STORIES

On Jan. 6, 1962, a young Miguel Capestany was forced to leave his native Cuba, one of many unaccompanied children sent to the United States as part of Operación Pedro Pan, or Operation Peter Pan.

The U.S. government program aimed to protect children, a result of worried Cuban parents under the newly instated Castro government.

Capestany, now 62, said his parents didn’t want their only child to be part of el sistema — the system.

And so, there was the young Capestany, far from his hometown of Remedios, a city located in the center of the island known among Cubans for its Christmas festival, Las Parrandas de Remedios.

Remedios is where his father had a large farm, a finca that was like a paradise for Capestany. He had to leave behind its sugar canes, mangoes, sugar-apples, cows and a rose garden.

To continue reading this story — and hear Capestany speak — visit Bodega Stories.

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