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A Quest for Home: The Story of Cuban Exiles

             That was the year of Fidel Castro's revolution. A revolution that many Cubans believed would surely falter. Sadly, they were terribly mistaken. Two years after the revolution began, a communist regime was set in place. The new government began confiscating businesses, bank accounts and assets. Many natives, still hopeful that Castro's control would be short-lived, fled from Cuba with every intention of returning to their homeland once Castro was ousted. Unfortunately, to their dismay, those who fled remain exiles to this very day. Earth to Papi, Earth to Papi, an excerpt taken from Gustavo Perez Firmat's book Next Year in Cuba gives a glimpse into his childhood in Cuba and conveys his lifelong struggle to reconcile two national allegiances and identities. El Super is also a wonderful example of cultural and language differences that arise for Cuban exiles in America as the older generation still clings to the old country and the hope of going home someday. .
             In Earth to Papi, Earth to Papi Firmat describes the lifelong tension of never completely belonging to a particular culture, community, or country. Neither entirely Cuban like his parents, nor totally acculturated to American life like his two children, Firmat calls himself a member of the "one-and-a-half generation," that is, Cubans who were born on the island and came to the United States as children or adolescents. .
             Ever since he stood on the deck of the City of Havana ferry as an eleven year old watching his native country disappear on the horizon, he has struggled with the perplexing dilemma of having two homes and, at the same time, none at all. In Earth to Papi, Firmat helps the reader to understand the circumstances and his equally passionate attachment to both places. .
             Embarking on a successful career meant that Firmat must exile himself from his home in Little Havana. However, Firmat felt that creating his "own version of Old Havana" in his Chapel Hill home would ease the transition.

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