“I understood early in my exile that I only had two choices: feeling like a victim or adapting to new cultures and playing the lead role in my story as a Cuban refugee.”
Dr. Isora Bosch is an organizational and clinical consultant, life coach, and therapist.
My journey started at age fourteen when my parents and I left Cuba after the revolution in 1962. We arrived in Miami as refugees. Although my father had been a banker and my mother an educator, we arrived with nothing and had to start from scratch.
I will never forget the Pan Am flight that took us from Havana to Miami. The first time we tried to board the airplane, government officials told us that we could not fly on that day; no reasons were given for this decision. The day after, we returned to the airport; I was anxious thinking that it could happen again. When we landed in Miami I was in a state of psychological disorganization, feeling uncertain about my new surroundings and about the future. One thing I will always remember is that, even during the most difficult times, my parents always stressed the importance of education.
After leaving Miami I lived in Puerto Rico, Spain, and New York. Later on I moved to New Jersey where I have resided for many years. I understood early in my exile that I only had two choices: feeling like a victim or adapting to new cultures and playing the lead role in my story as a Cuban refugee.
I cannot remember any farewell supper. What I remember is that in 1962 food was already rationed in Cuba. I do not remember a family gathering; it was very painful for us and for the relatives who stayed in Cuba.
I currently consider myself a citizen of the world and try to adapt to any culture or any person I interact with. Living in this country has enriched my life and has offered me the opportunity to meet wonderful people from all walks of life. I have embraced a new country while maintaining the connection with my own ethnic heritage; today my exile is one of the things I am grateful for in life.
Portraits of People on the Move tells the stories of Philadelphia-area immigrants through their own words on the Supperdance.com blog and was first shown as an exhibition June 25–28, 2015, at the Gray Area of Crane Arts in Philadelphia. The exhibition was created as a companion work to Supper, People on the Move by Cardell Dance Theater, a dance inspired by themes of migration.