By Sachi P.

Hector Hidalgo was excited when he hears that he was going on a surprise vacation to Miami, Florida. It was only when he reached the United States that he was told that this was his new home. He was born in Havana, Cuba and unknowingly immigrated to Miami, Florida. As a young child in Cuba, Dr. Hidalgo spent much of his spare time, when he was not in school, outside playing games on the beach with friends. “I miss the climate...the music...the way people interact...[and] the jovial nature of people that I remember in Cuba.”

When Dr. Hidalgo was ten, he and his family immigrated left Cuba. The Hidalgos moved to the US due to the political situation in Cuba. Cuba became a communist country and his father lost his job during Fidel Castro’s rule. Dr. Hidalgo’s father was opposed to the communist government and so they chose to leave Cuba. When he arrived in the United States, the first cultural difference he noticed was the language. He said that even though he learned English at school in Havana, getting used to speaking it and hearing it all around him was challenging.

Dr. Hidalgo was hoping to find his ID card that he had for school. This is an item that reminds him of Cuba and his childhood there. Although he was not able to find it, he briefly described this metal ID card that had a picture of him at the age of 8 or 9 which he took to school everyday. He wanted to choose this item specifically because it brought back memories of his school and it displayed the way he was at that age. To him, this item is very valuable as it showed the lifestyle as a student in Cuba.
The black-and-white picture above is of Dr. Hidalgo when he was about 5 or 6 years old playing with his favorite toy outside. He laughed when he showed me the picture, showing that he has great memories of his times in Cuba. He loves this picture because not only can he see himself as a child, but because he can also see some features of Cuba in the background like the banana trees lined up and the house with a flat roof which is not common in the United States. The pictures and memories that he has give him a bit of Cuba to keep for himself.