Mirta Ojito is a Cuban-born author and journalist and currently an assistant professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has authored two nonfiction books, including Finding Mañana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus, a book about her journey to the U.S. as a teenager in the Mariel boatlift, and Hunting Season: Immigration and Murder in an All-American Town. Additionally, she currently writes an opinion Sunday column for The Miami Herald.
Born on February 10, 1964 in Cuba, Ojito was raised in the Santos Suárez neighborhood of Havana along with her younger sister, Mabel. Her parents, Orestes and Mirta, disliked the Communist regime and always told her one day they would leave Cuba. That day came on May 10, 1980, when Ojito and her family left the island aboard a boat named Mañana, as part of the Mariel boatlift, and arrived in Key West the following the day. The family settled in Miami. Ojito finished High School there, attended Miami Dade College and went on to Florida Atlantic University, graduating in 1986. In 1987, she started working for The Miami Herald, where she remained for nine years, alternating between that paper and El Nuevo Herald. She became known, primarily, for her coverage of Cuban detainees in federal penitentiaries and stories about human rights in Cuba. In 1996, she started working in the Metro desk of The New York Times, where she covered immigration, among other beats. In 1998, she returned to Cuba to cover the Pope's visit to the island. A first person story from that trip was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She left the paper in January of 2002 to write her first book and, four years later, started teaching at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she has become known for her work on immigration. She lectures widely on topics regarding Cuba, immigration and journalism, and she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
- Mirta Ojito (2006), Finding Mañana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus, Penguin Books.
- (2006), "Finding Mañana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus, Penguin Books
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