Beatriz and Miguel Castillo with their newly acquired citizenship papers. [ Lucy Carter | Contributed ]
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Library helps to create U.S. citizens

Miguel Castillo and his wife Beatriz have studied and passed their US citizenship tests, thanks to resources at the Apalachicola Margaret Key Public Library. 

Librarian Lucy Carter said to study for the US Naturalization test, the married couple checked out bilingual Civics flash cards created by US Citizenship and Immigration Services to study. Miguel has also brought groups of students from Franklin Schools to show them the Spanish language collection and English language study books, and to use the library’s free subscription to the online language learning platform “Mango.”

In their native El Salvador, Miguel earned a degree in business administration, and Beatriz worked as a secretary. They entered the US on a business visa 20 years ago, living in Mexico Beach for a short time before moving to Apalachicola, where Beatriz found work cleaning houses, and Miguel worked in the Piggly Wiggly deli. 

Miguel worked at many restaurants in town before signing on with Franklin County Schools to work in the kitchen and as a custodian before transitioning to substitute teaching. He now works alongside the ESOL (English as a Second Language) instructor,  helping about 90 Hispanic students at varying levels of English proficiency, with Hispanic student enrollment increasing every year.

Miguel and Beatriz have two children of their own, both US citizens. Their daughter works for Costco and lives in Tallahassee, and their son is a federal prison guard in Havana. 

“We want to thank the people of Apalachicola and the area for helping us over the years,” said Miguel. “The community has given us everything.”

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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