In 1963, Georgina, her husband, and two sons fled Cuba with nothing except the clothes they were wearing. Adrien’s family were industrious fruit and vegetable farmers, living on a 200-acre farm outside of Havana, with a chateau used as a summer home by a Spanish entrepreneur. They farmed hundreds of tropical fruits and vegetables that fed the local community.
The family enjoyed a life of abundant culture and a prosperous business until Fidel Castro came to power in 1959. The farm immediately became government property – including a small house where the family was allowed to live. Georgina and her family had to turn the crops from each harvest over to the government, and the chateau became a communist boys’ school.
Filled with determination to create a better life for her family, Georgina applied for a visa and, in the early 60s, fled to the U.S. They left with only a suitcase of clothes and nothing else, bound for what they knew would be a life of opportunity. They arrived in Miami Beach, FL, where Adrien’s grandfather started a handyman business, and Georgina took odd jobs as a seamstress.
Georgina was a small-framed woman at 4 ft 11in, but she was mighty. She always expressed the importance of education, and nothing was impossible to achieve in the land of opportunity. She never forgot her Cuban roots and taught her granddaughter, Adrien, Spanish as her first language.
She was also an incredible cook. She would spend hours in the kitchen making delicious food that would rival even the best Cuban restaurants in town. Some of Adrien’s favorite memories with her grandmother surround cooking and laughing together in the kitchen. Georgina loved to laugh, and she did so often, sometimes to the point that both she and Adrien were in tears from laughing so hard. She taught Adrien about perseverance, hard work, and fighting for what you believe in. This year, she would have been 95. Her legacy lives on in all the lives she touched and the family she so loved and supported.