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 in Scotland. She was fond of telling her shipmates that women can be as strong as men and she proved that by lugging heavy boxes up and down steep ladders. During leave, she backpacked around Europe for a month. Her next tour of duty was working with the Seabees in Puerto Rico while wearing a cute, olive-green uniform, doing light construction, driving a forklift and being in charge of a supply warehouse.
After four years and three months of service, Ms. Cholo ended up in Biloxi, Mississippi. She ultimately moved back home to California and became the first in her family to graduate from college. She graduated from the University of Southern California and holds a dual degree in History and Print Journalism from the Annenberg School of Journalism & Communication.
Ms. Cholo is an award-winning journalist and 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. 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. Her native languages are Spanish and Portuguese.
Ms. Cholo is a volunteer with Latino Outdoors, a national non-profit organization, which seeks to connect Latino "cultura" and community with the outdoors. Her first tent camping experience came fairly later in life and that is when she fell head over heels in love with the outdoors, nature and spending time in the middle-of-nowhere. She loves hanging out with her 7-year-old son, hiking, backpacking, climbing mountains, cycling, kayaking, participating in triathlons and doing anything that sounds adventurous.
She is the media relations manager for the Milken Family Foundation in Santa Monica. She has also worked as a social activist, photographer and country music disc jockey. She lives in Redondo Beach, Calif. with her 7-year-old son. She has two young adult children.