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Dr. Belinda Hernandez-Arriaga

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Belinda Hernandez Arriaga is a Faculty Coordinator for the Masters In Counseling MFT program at USF's South Bay location. Belinda has a doctorate in Education, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with eighteen years experience working in community mental health, with a specialization in child trauma and Latino Mental Health. Belinda has extensive experience in county mental health where she worked in Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall mental health and San Mateo County Pre to Three High Risk Infant Mental health team. She also spent a significant time working at University of California Berkeley, Tang Social Services team where her focus was working with student families. She spent eight years as adjunct faculty at Santa Clara University. She co founded and is part of the Latino Advisory Council in Half Moon Bay. Belinda has done extensive work on the coast working with farmworker families and their children, in her community practice her focus is on immigration trauma, u-visas, asylum and has worked with refugee children of San Mateo County. She is Founder and Chief Executive Director of Ayudando Latinos A Soñar, a Latino cultural arts, education and social justice program dedicated to working with rural youth and families living on coastside. Her current research is focused on understanding the emotional, psychological and traumatic experiences that impact undocumented and mixed status Latino youth. Belinda’s work also focuses on understanding the cultural arts as a healing space for this community of children. Belinda is committed to social justice advocacy and multicultural practices in counseling that gives voice to underground communities and expand indigenous cultural practices in the field of counseling. She and her husband have three young daughters and live in the coastal community of Half Moon Bay.

Research Areas

  • Understanding Trauma in Undocumented and Mixed Status Latino Youth

  • The Impact of Trauma and Attachment in Immigrant Children

  • Using Cultural Arts as a Therapeutic Intervention in Underground Communities

  • Indigenous Practices as Clinical Interventions with Communities of Color

  • Social Justice, Resistance and Testimonio in the Counseling Process


  • Ed. D., International and Multicultural Education, University of San Francisco

  • M.S.W., Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, Texas

  • B.A., Saint Mary's University, San Antonio, Texas

Prior Experience

  • Santa Clara University Adjunct Faculty

  • University of California Berkeley, Tang Social Services

Selected Publications

  • 67 Sueños: Inspiring a Movement for Undocumented Voices to be Heard, Association of Mexican-American Educators (AMAE) Journal ©2012, Theme Issue, Volume 6, Issue 1

Published Books

  • Love and Monsters in Sofia's Life

Contact Me

Dr. Belinda Hernandez Arriaga, EdD, LCSW

Executive Director and Founder of ALAS, Ayudando Latinos A Soñar

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

2020 San Mateo Women's Hall of Fame

P.O. Box 961 

El Granada, CA 94018

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