Pablo Alcalá was born in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas and raised on a cotton farm, one mile from the Rio Grande River. He attended the same school system his mother and grandmother attended, and where his mother has taught for a quarter century.

Before graduating from the University of Texas at Austin in 1997, Pablo interned at the Bloomington (Ind.) Herald-Times, the Santa Fe New Mexican, and the Palm Beach Post.   After college, he accepted a two-year internship with Knight Ridder, working at the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He also worked at the Vero Beach Press Journal in Florida.

In June 2000, Pablo left a paycheck behind to spend five months backpacking in Mexico, eventually venturing into Guatemala and Honduras.   He traveled cheaply, rarely spending more than $5 for a bed at a hostel and sleeping many nights in a hammock on the beach or in the jungle.

Pablo began at Herald-Leader in March of 2001. He has covered the effects of tornados, floods and ice storms.   He also covered the growing Mexican immigrant population in Kentucky, documenting how it's becoming a part of the larger community.

Early in the war with Iraq, Pablo was embedded with the First Marine Division and traveled with soldiers from the Kuwait border to Baghdad where they occupied what is now Sadr City.  

He has since accompanied Medical Mission Ecuador, a Lexington-based charity, to Quito and Ambato, Ecuador, to document the group's medical mission, providing surgery for impoverished children and adults.

Pablo lives in Lexington with wife, Jennifer. He enjoys biking the back roads of Central Kentucky, traveling, and cooking spicy food that reminds him of Texas.

 

PABLO ALCALA

 

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