Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is formed by volunteers who were part of the exodus and are duly elected in a democratic process. The twenty-five members of the Board of Trustees are our "Ambassadors of Good Will" and assist in locating Pedro Pans and connect with over 2000 members throughout the US and the world. Our headquarters is in Miami, Florida.

Board of Directors (2020-2021)

Carmencita Romañach, President
Juan Pujol, First Vice President
Javier Lloréns, 2nd. Vice-President
Olivia Gonzalez, Treasurer
Maria De La Milera, Secretary
Miriam Castro, Director
John L. Couriel, Director
Eddie Dulom, Director
Melvin Noriega, Director

Board of Trustees (2020 - 2021)

Maximo Alvarez (FL)
Dr. Jose Antonio Amaro Reyes (GA)
Antonio L. Argiz, CPA (FL)
Dr. Jose Azel (MT, FL)
Eloy A.Cepero (FL)
Bishop Octavio Cisneros (NY)
Angel D. Cordova (FL)
Dr. Carlos Eire (CT)
Bishop Felipe Estevez (FL)
Luis Gordillo (PR)
Marcos Kerbel (FL)
Justo A. Martinez (FL)
Senator Mel Martinez (FL)
Dr. Maria Prendes-Lintel (NE)
Eduardo A. Rabel (FL)
Mayor Tomas Regalado (FL)
Fr. Fernando Rubio-Boitel (NM)
Lazaro San Martin (KS)
Gerardo Simms, Esq. (FL)
Dr. Victor A. Triay (CT)
Carmen Valdivia, RA (FL)
Jorge L. Viera (FL)

Historic Committee (Since 2010)

Carmen Valdivia, Chair
Dr. Jose Antonio Amaro Reyes, Researcher
Carmen Romanach
Dr. Jose Azel
Dr. Graciela Anrrich
Dr. Carlos Eire
Dr. Victor Triay

About Operation Pedro Pan, Inc

OPERATION PEDRO PAN GROUP, INC. is the Official National Charitable organization founded in 1991 by the former unaccompanied Cuban children. It was created to fulfill the Pledge of Thanksgiving given in 1990, in which we honor the sacrifice of our parents and this noble nation that welcomed us, and the person that made it all possible, Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh. We felt it was our duty to pay back the kindness by helping today’s needy children. OPPG Inc. is a non-partisan, non-sectarian and non-profit organization, tax-exempt under Section 501 C3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh was the Chairperson of the organization until his death on December 20th, 2001. Under his direction, to protect & to allow the public to identify the organization and its services, we obtained the Registration of our Trademark by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Department of Commerce, in December 1993.

All the unaccompanied Cuban minors who were part of the exodus now popularly known as Operation Pedro Pan, call ourselves Pedro Pans.

Our Board of Directors is formed by volunteers who were part of the exodus & are duly elected in a democratic process. The twenty-five members of the Board of Trustees are our “Ambassadors of Good Will” and assist in locating Pedro Pans and connect with over 2000 members throughout the US and the world. Our headquarter is in Miami, Florida.

Mission Statement

  • To sponsor, aid, assist and promote programs that benefit children in need. This includes children without parents (unaccompanied minors) and the needy, regardless of race, creed, color or religion.

  • To document our history for the future generations and to spread the knowledge of our exodus as an important chapter of the history of Cuba and the United States.

  • To locate and reunite those individuals who were part of the unaccompanied Cuban Children’s Program and to share our experiences.

We are currently the support group for the Child Welfare Programs of Catholic Charities in Miami, including Catholic Home for Children in Perrine and the Boystown Unaccompanied Minor’s Program. We will contribute to and help with the preservation of the Pedro Pan Archives at Barry. We have organized Pedro Pan Conferences and historical presentations in places such as the US National Archives, Annual Reunions in Miami and other States, picnics for the needy children, assisted in Hurricane relief efforts, and other humanitarian causes.

For the last 17 years, we have played the roles of Santa Claus & Los Reyes Magos for the underprivileged children. OPPG spearheaded the effort to preserve “Camp Matecumbe” as a Park, a living memorial to our Exodus for the future generations. To spread our Exodus knowledge, we have contributed information and materials to numerous writers, scholars, and students in their projects. Most importantly, we have been helping Pedro Pans find each other since 1990.

Yearly Highlights

2020 Highlights

  • Reyes Magos Toy Distribution at Centro Hispano Católico.
  • Desayuno Martiano at Felix Varela Hall.
  • OPPG February Friendship Celebration at Mojito’s Restaurant, Miami, Florida.
  • Collaboration with the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora on their upcoming Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus 60thAnniversary exhibit and research support.
  • OPPG Elections conducted via email this year due toCovid-19.
  • OPPG Swearing-In Ceremony at The American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora.
  • Collaboration with Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department for the Camp Matecumbe Project. Support of the General Plan and collaboration on the Operation Pedro Pan permanent exhibit and historic sign projects.
  • Support and assistance to university and high school students on Operation Pedro Pan related projects.
  • Thanksgiving Mass celebrated by Archbishop Thomas Wenski and concelebrated with our own Pedro Pan priests, Rev. Fr. Jose Joaquin. Espino, Rev. Fr. J. Juan Sosa, Rev. Fr. Eduardo Álvarez. S.J. and Rev. Fr. Javier Lopez, S.J. at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Miami, Florida on November 22, 2020.
  • Msgr. Bryan O. Walsh Memorial Mass at St. Dominick Catholic Church on December 20th, 2020.
  • Distribution of Christmas presents for each child at Children’s Village.

2019 Highlights

  • Reyes Magos Toy Distribution at Centro Hispano Católico.
  • Desayuno Martiano at Felix Varela Hall.
  • 2019 NYCIFIF- Best Documentary Feature Film Award - Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus - New York City.
  • Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus film screening.
  • OPPG February Friendship Celebration at La Rosa Restaurant, Coral Gables
  • Provided support and assistance to university and high school students on Operation Pedro Pan related projects. Presentations on Operation Pedro Pan at several local schools.
  • Annual Picnic at historic recently renovated Chapel at Camp Matecumbe. 
  • OPPG was honored at Miami Dade County Auditorium by St. Brendan’s High School students at Peter Pan Jr. Play presentation.
  • OPPG Election Lunch and Swearing-In Ceremony.
  • Sponsored field trip /OPP historic presentations at Camp Matecumbe to: Cutler Bay Senior High School and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Elementary School students.
  • Sponsored Piñata Party for children/toddlers at Children’s Village.
  • Sponsored Bowling Events for adolescents at Children’s Village.
  • Field trips “Day at The Cuban Museum” for adolescents at Children’s Village.
  • Support of the General Plan and Collaboration on the Operation Pedro Pan Permanent Exhibit and Historic sign projects.
  • Continued collaboration with Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department for the Camp Matecumbe Project.
  • Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus Documentary film screening at University of Miami, Florida.
  • OPPG Father’s Day Lunch at Casa Juancho, Miami, Florida.
  • Operation Pedro Pan Exhibit at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School during Hispanic Heritage Month. Documentary screening.
  • Kick Off Cocktail Party at the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora.
  • Guateque at Camp Matecumbe/Operation Pedro Pan exhibit at the Chapel.
  • Annual Thanksgiving Gala Honoring Our Instructors at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Coral Gables, Florida.
  • Thanksgiving Mass at Little Flower Catholic Church, Coral Gables, Florida.
  • Christmas Lunch at Las Vegas Restaurant.
  • Msgr. Bryan O. Walsh Memorial Mass at St. Dominick Catholic Church.
  • Christmas presents distributed to each child at Children’s Village.
  • Monthly Pedro Pan Reunions.

2018 Highlights

  • Reyes Magos Toy Distribution at Centro Hispano Catolico.
  • Desayuno Martiano at Felix Varela Hall.
  • Participated and collaborated with Eric Michaud of France 5 TV on documentary about Operation Pedro Pan.
  • Collaborated and participated with Brazilian filmmaker, Grifa Filmes, on documentary about Operation Pedro Pan.
  • Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus film screening.
  • We’ll Meet Again, PBS’s TV series, Session 2, collaborated on 1) selection of Pedro Pan interviewee, 2) research, and 3) photos.
  • OPPG February Friendship Celebration at Renaissance Ballroom, Coral Gables.
  • Provided support and assistance to university and high school students on Operation Pedro Pan related projects. Presentations on Operation Pedro Pan at several local schools.
  • Annual Picnic at Kendall Camp.
  • OPPG Election Lunch and Swearing-In Ceremony.
  • Sponsored fieldtrips to Sea Aquarium and Miami Metro Zoo for children at Children’s Village.
  • Collaborated with Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department for the Camp Matecumbe Project.
  • Participated as Sponsor for Cuban Courage’s First Reading at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.
  • OPPG Father’s Day Lunch at Casa Juancho, Miami, Florida.
  • Operation Pedro Pan Exhibit at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School during Hispanic Heritage Month. Documentary screening.
  • Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus Documentary film screening at University of Miami, Florida.
  • Havana Music Hall OPPG’s Theater Night.
  • Annual Thanksgiving Gala at the Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, Florida.
  • Thanksgiving Mass at Little Flower Catholic Church, Coral Gables, Florida.
  • Christmas Lunch at Las Vegas Restaurant.
  • Msgr. Bryan O. Walsh Memorial Mass at St. Dominick Catholic Church.
  • Christmas presents distributed to each child at Children’s Village.
  • Monthly Pedro Pan Reunions.

2017 Highlights

  • Reyes Magos Toy Distribution at Centro Hispano Catolico.
  • Desayuno Martiano.
  • Provided support and assistance to university and high school students on Operation Pedro Pan related projects. Presented on Operation Pedro Pan on several local schools.
  • Pedro Pan February Friendship Celebration at Cauley Square Historic Village.
  • OPPG Annual Picnic at Kendall Camp.
  • Election Lunch.
  • Interviews with international press agencies about the history of Operation Pedro Pan.
  • OPPG Board of Directors Swearing In.
  • Father’s Day Breakfast.
  • Sponsored Spanish Heritage Lunch for children at Children’s Village.
  • Our Lady of Charity Mass.
  • Collaborating with Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department for the Camp Matecumbe Project.
  • Support of the General Plan and Collaboration on the Operation Pedro Pan Permanent Exhibit and Historic sign projects.
  • Participated in the National Refugee Day at Naturalization Ceremony at USCIS Kendall Field Office.
  • Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Childrens’ Exodus Documentary Premiere at Miracle Theater, Coral Gables, Florida.
  • Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus Documentary film screening at University of Miami, Florida.
  • Annual Thanksgiving Gala at the Biltmore Hotel, Miami, Florida.
  • Thanksgiving Mass at Little Flower Catholic Church.
  • Msgr. Bryan O. Walsh Memorial Mass.
  • Christmas Lunch at Las Vegas Restaurant.
  • Christmas presents distributed to each kid at Children’s Village.
  • Monthly Pedro Pan Reunions.

2016 Highlights

  • Toy Distribution at Centro Hispano Catolico.
  • Desayuno Martiano.
  • Let’s meet at the Museum! Reunion at History Miami Museum’s Operation Pedro Pan Exhibit.
  • OPPG Annual Picnic at Kendall Camp.
  • Election Lunch.
  • 2016 Award of Merit by Leadership in History Committee of American Association for State and Local History (AALSH) for the exhibit Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus.
  • OPPG Board of Directors Swearing In.
  • Father’s Day Breakfast.
  • Distribution of Bibles and rosaries for children at Children’s Village.
  • Sponsored trip to Seaquarium for children at Children’s Village.
  • Sponsored Bowling Event for children at Children’s Village.
  • Sponsored History Miami Exhibit Tour and Lunch for children at Children’s Village.
  • Our Lady of Charity Mass.
  • Collaborating with Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department for the Camp Matecumbe Project.
  • Support of the General Plan and Collaboration on the Operation Pedro Pan Permanent Exhibit and Historic sign projects.
  • Everglades National Park Missile Site Tour.
  • Annual Thanksgiving Gala at the Biltmore Hotel, Miami, Florida.
  • Thanksgiving Mass at Little Flower Catholic Church.
  • Msgr. Bryan O. Walsh Memorial Mass.
  • Christmas Lunch at Las Vegas Restaurant.
  • Christmas presents distributed to each kid at Children’s Village.
  • Monthly Pedro Pan Reunions.

2015 Highlights

  • Toy Distribution at Centro Hispano Catolico.
  • Desayuno Martiano.
  • Field Day at Camp Matecumbe/Annual Picnic.
  • OPPG Annual Picnic at Kendall Camp.
  • Election Lunch.
  • OPPG Picnic/Matecumbe Field Day.
  • OPPG Board of Directors Swearing In.
  • Father’s Day Breakfast.
  • Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus Exhibit.
  • History Miami Family Fun Day.
  • Sponsored trip to Seaquarium for children at Children’s Village.
  • Sponsored Bowling Event for children at Children’s Village.
  • Sponsored History Miami Exhibit Tour and Lunch for children at Children’s Village.
  • Our Lady of Charity Mass.
  • Panel Discussion: Remembering Operation Pedro Pan.
  • Guateque at the History Miami Museum.
  • Annual Thanksgiving Gala at the Biltmore Hotel, Miami, Florida.
  • Msgr. Bryan O. Walsh Memorial Mass.
  • Christmas presents distributed to each kid at Children’s Village.

2014 Highlights

  • Toy Distribution at Centro Hispano Catolico.
  • Desayuno Martiano.
  • Annual Picnic at Kendall Indian Hammock Park.
  • OPPG Presentation at The Sagemont School, Weston, Florida.
  • Election Lunch.
  • Catholic Charities Children’s Village Fundraising Event.
  • Father’s Day Breakfast at Miami Elks Lodge ( VIDEO).
  • Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh Street Unveiling.
  • Cauley Square Historic Village Get Together Night.
  • OPPG Presentation at Miami Dade College- Hialeah Campus.
  • Operation Pedro Pan Exhibit at History Miami Announcement.
  • Sponsored trip to Seaquarium for children at Children’s Village.
  • Legacy of Operation Pedro Pan: Shared Memories Workshop.
  • Tour of The Exile Experience: Journey to Freedom Exhibit at Freedom Tower.
  • Annual Thanksgiving Gala at Westin Colonnade, Coral Gables, Florida.
  • Thanksgiving Mass at St. Augustine Catholic Church.
  • Christmas Lunch at Lisboa-Habana Restaurant.
  • Msgr. Bryan O. Walsh Memorial Mass.

2013 Highlights

  • Operation Pedro Pan Scholarship Fund in honor of Jorge “George” and Peggy Guarch.
  • Toy Distribution at Centro Hispano Catolico.
  • Desayuno Martiano.
  • Annual Picnic at Kendall Indian Hammock Park (GALLERY).
  • Miami-Dade Parks Recognition Plaque- for commitment to help children with disabilities at Camp Matecumbe.
  • Swearing In Ceremony OPPG Board 2013-2014.
  • Camp Matecumbe Celebration-Matecumbe High School’s Class of 1963 50th Anniversary.
  • Operation Pedro Pan Avenue Unveiling- Hialeah, FL.
  • Sponsored Summer Camp for children at Children’s Village.
  • Donation to Villa Maria Residence in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Resolution 01-2013 – Ralph Sanchez Speedway Blvd. –in support of street designation.
  • Meeting with international visitors from France’s Dpt. of “Protection sociale, travail e employ” at request of US Dpt. of State’s International Visitors Leadership Program.
  • Mass in Tribute to Our Heroes – San Lazaro Church, Hialeah, Florida.
  • Pedro Pan Street Dedication Ceremony at Kendall Camp / Camp Nostalgia Celebration.
  • Annual Thanksgiving Gala.
  • Memorial Mass for Msgr. Bryan O. Walsh.

2012 Highlights

  • Organizational Excellence Award for Historic Preservation, Advocacy and Education- Awarded to OPPG by Miami-Dade County Historic Preservation Board.
  • Florida Heritage Landmark Dedication Ceremony.
  • Pedro Pan Place Unveiling -former Florida City Camp.
  • Toy Distribution at Centro Hispano Catolico and Children’s Village.
  • Desayuno Martiano - Felix Varela Hall.
  • Annual Picnic at Indian Hammocks Kendall Park.
  • Donation to Bishop Agustin Roman Memorial Fund.
  • Swearing Inn Ceremony 2012-2013 Board of Directors.
  • Sponsored YMCA Summer Camp for children at Children’s Village.
  • Lunch with Pedro Pan in Puerto Rico.
  • Dr. Victor A. Triay’s Talk on Ave Maria, FL.
  • OPPG Presentation at Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce Luncheon.

2011 Highlights

  • Toy Distribution at Centro Hispano Catolico and Children’s Village.
  • Scholarship to Barry University student.
  • Recording of our parents, foster parents or persons related to the OPP Program for future use in a Documentary.
  • Updating our OPPG website with historical documents for future reference.
  • OPPG Exhibit of Operation Pedro Pan memorabilia at FIU.
  • Submitted application for Florida City Historical Marker- The two year process was approved October 2011.
  • Implementation of Pedro Pan Curriculum for Miami-Dade Public Schools.
  • OPPG Presentations about the history of OPP at different Colleges and Universities, Medicare offices and the Holocaust Museum in Naples.
  • Annual Picnic at Indian Hammocks Kendall Park.
  • Swearing In of OPPG Board and Mother’s Day Tribute.
  • Breakfast and Father’s Day Tribute.
  • Reception in honor of Tony and Phyl Walsh at Barry University Archives and Special Collections.
  • OPPG Conference. “Operation Pedro Pan: A 50 Year Perspective."
  • Tenth Anniversary Memorial Mass for Msgr. Bryan O. Walsh.

2010 Highlights

  • Toy distribution to 400+ children at Centro Hispano Católico Day Care Center for Reyes Magos.
  • Desayuno Martiano to remember Jose Marti at Felix Varela Hall, Miami.
  • Conducted a Family Picnic at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne.
  • Held annual election meeting/breakfast to select new OPPG Board members.
  • Conducted a Book Drive for disabled children at Matecumbe Park.
  • Organized/funded summer activities, such as bowling, for minors at Children’s Village.
  • Granted scholarships to three college-bound high school seniors.
  • Funded purchase of items every 3 months for the small store at Children’s Village.
  • Conducted presentations about Operation Pedro Pan at colleges and universities.
  • Organized and conducted an emotional tour of Pedro Pan camps in South Florida.
  • Celebrated 50th Anniversary Weekend and Thanksgiving dinner-dance.
  • Held reunions in Central Florida, Puerto Rico, Washington DC for our 50th Anniversary.
  • Memorial Mass in memory of Monsignor Walsh and Departed Pedro Pan celebrated at several locations throughout the country.
  • Distributed Christmas presents to every child at the Children’s Village.