Brazilian 9/11 Survivor Inspired to Tell Story

Survivor Adriana Maluendas gives her passport from 2001 to 9/11 Memorial Museum senior oral historian Amy Weinstein at the Brazilian consulate.
Adriana Maluendas (left) giving her passport from 2001 to 9/11 Memorial Museum Senior Oral Historian Amy Weinstein at the Brazilian Consulate. (Photo by Anthony Guido)

Adriana Maluendas has recently opened up about her story of survival from the World Trade Center Marriott on 9/11. She says it was an invitation to the 9/11 Memorial Museum dedication ceremony on May 15, 2014 which led to her breakthrough.  She has begun talking about the experience as a survivor for the first time and recently donated her passport and hotel room key to the museum collection. 

On September 8, 2001, the 30-year-old woman from Brazil arrived in New York City for the first time and checked into the World Trade Center Marriott hotel for a 10-day stay. Maluendas visited for two reasons — work for her family’s import/export business, and to take exams to further her career. 

On 9/11, as the North Tower fell, Maluendas managed to escape the WTC site and headed uptown for many hours, with no clear destination in mind. Utilizing the trip itinerary in her purse, which featured alternate hotel choices, she found herself a room in midtown. She checked in using her passport and was then shocked and relieved to learn that her family had already called the hotel, hoping to find her there. Her family had a copy of the itinerary, and had called many hotels on the list.  

“I feel like a part of me was lost forever on 9/11. Until I visited the Museum and saw the dramatic artifacts like the Slurry Wall and how the story was being told, I was not able to talk about the experience,” Maluendas said. 

Maluendas donated the passport and hotel room key in a small ceremony at the Brazilian Consulate in New York several weeks ago, according to the Brazilian Press

By Anthony Guido, 9/11 Memorial Director of Communications

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