Mom, award-winning journalist, adventurer, Navy vet, Latino Outdoors volunteer
Ana Beatriz Cholo grew up being told that the outdoors and doing adventurous things was not for girls. When she was 17, she signed up for her first adventure – enlisting in the U.S. Navy.
After boot camp in Orlando, Florida and training in Meridian, Mississippi, she spent the following two years on the USS Simon Lake anchored in Holy Loch, Scotland. Her next tour of duty was working with the Seabees in Puerto Rico. She wore a cute, olive-green uniform, drove a forklift and was in charge of a large supply warehouse filled with unfamiliar things.
After four years and three months of service, Ms. Cholo moved to Biloxi, Mississippi with her fiancé and was honorably discharged from service. She wanted to attend college, but first, she got married in a shotgun wedding on a dairy farm in Tennessee. She ultimately moved back home to California and became the first in her family to graduate from college. She received a dual degree in Print Journalism and History from the University of Southern California in 1998.
Ms. Cholo has spent much of her career covering human interest, education and political stories. She has worked for The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, the Associated Press and the Press-Telegram in Long Beach. Her work has appeared in TIME magazine, The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Ms. Magazine and other news outlets. For almost five years as an education reporter for the Chicago Tribune, she covered Chicago Public Schools, the third largest school district in the country.
Ms. Cholo is of Colombian and Brazilian descent and her native languages are Spanish and Portuguese.
She runs a single parent support group in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and is a volunteer for Latino Outdoors, a non-profit committed to connecting the Latino population to the outdoors. Her first tent camping experience came fairly later in life when she had to ask for help in setting up her tent in the middle of nowhere in South Dakota. She is passionate about sharing her love for adventure with underrepresented minority populations and, for her, there is no greater thrill than exposing others to the wonders of rock climbing, hiking, mountaineering, backpacking, kayaking, cycling and triathlon.
She is a strong supporter of public charter schools and works as a communications manager at the California Charter Schools Association. She has worked as a country music disc jockey and photojournalist. Ana has two young adult children, and shares custody of her 9-year-old special needs son, who has an incredible talent for capoeira, a Brazilian martial art. She lives in Los Angeles.