Inspired by trip with Obama, Acclaimed Cuban-American architect releases book reclaiming once lost memories of Cuba

Mario Cartaya and Nancy Pelosi

In ‘Journey Back into the Vault,’ Mario Cartaya takes readers on a journey filled with love and hope.

This is the story of those forces that help define us, the power of hope, and how by achieving purity of heart, reconciliation, and a soul at rest, we can become better versions of ourselves.”

— Mario Cartaya

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, August 21, 2023/ — When President Obama journeyed to Cuba during his presidency, he turned to an esteemed Cuban American man to help guide him.

The man is a celebrated architect whose life story and award-winning designs were entered into the United States Congressional Record of the House of Representatives in 2019, forever enshrined in the US Library of Congress.

In 2022, an American flag was flown over the US Capitol to celebrate his legacy.

His name is Mario Cartaya, and when he was just nine years old, he was forced to leave his home during the Cuban Revolution and start life anew in the Land of the Free.

Cartaya and his family immigrated to the United States in 1960 after Fidel Castro’s communist regime seized the country. To cope with the trauma, he locked his childhood memories in the back of his mind as he looked ahead to his new life in America.

Now, Cartaya is opening that mental vault to share his story in his book “Journey Back into the Vault: In Search of My Faded Cuban Childhood Footprints” (Xlibris Us).

In his book, Cartaya recounts his journey back to his birthplace for the first time in 56 years to reclaim his Cuban childhood memories and understand his original identity and once-promised destiny. He searches for “the now faded footprints” in the places of his childhood, honors relatives he never saw again, and meets family members he never knew.

“I was able to breach the subconscious vault I once built to store the difficult memories of a childhood usurped, destiny denied, and loving family forever separated by geopolitical events,” he said. “This is the story of those psychological forces that help define us, the power of enduring hope, and how by achieving purity of heart, reconciliation, and a soul at rest, we can evolve into better versions of ourselves.”

Cartaya invites readers to join him on his journey of self-discovery.

“Laugh, sigh, and cry with me during the many unforeseen experiences, astonishing events, and serendipitous moments that would forever change my life.”

Journey Back into the Vault: In Search of My Faded Cuban Childhood Footprints is now available in Kindle, audiobook, hardcover, and paperback formats on Amazon at

To book a speaking engagement with Mario Cartaya, contact 310-654-4477

About Mario Cartaya
Mario Cartaya is the recently retired founder and principal owner of the 43-year, highly acclaimed architectural firm Cartaya and Associates Architects, P.A, in Fort Lauderdale. Florida. His work has been recognized in numerous awards and widely published in magazines and newspapers. Today, he is an author who writes books with the same dedication and love that made him an iconic architectural designer. Journey Back into the Vault is his first book.

Learn more about Mario Cartaya at

Karla Vasquez
D Will-HUnt Public Relations
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