ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

CSUF Graduate Student Areli Gonzalez-Castillo Works to Be Voice of the Unheard

Cal State Fullerton graduate student Areli Gonzalez-Castillo knows the struggle of acclimating to a new and unfamiliar culture all too well.

Born in Mexico City, she immigrated to the United States with her mother when she was 13.

Knowing almost no English, she dove into the American culture and way of life. Within a year, she noticed her English skills improving immensely.

Gonzalez-Castillo earned her bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies with a minor in Portuguese from CSUF in 2014, making her the first in her family to earn a college degree.

Four years ago, as an undergraduate student at the university, she studied La 72, a refugee shelter on the Guatemala-Mexico border.

The establishment offers shelter, food and safety to immigrants fleeing their countries of origin.

Since then, Gonzalez-Castillo, 23, has become an advocate for the women and children fleeing their homeland from gang violence, poverty and abuse in search of a safe place to call home.

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