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Pedro Ribera-Ortega

Pedro Ribera-Ortega

Honored May, 2001

Pedro Ribera-Ortega

Pedro Ribera-Ortega has been actively involved with city and religious interests since his junior-high days. "Santa Fe is unique," he said. "The old Spanish families have been involved in the church and state in order for Santa Fe to continue its Hispanic style. It's automatic for us."

Few know more about Santa Fe's rich Hispanic heritage than Ribera-Ortega. As a writer, teacher, archivist, linguist and mentor, he has spent his 70 yers fiercely protecting the city's cultural and religious traditions.

Ribera-Ortega is proud of his Hispanic heritage. He lives in the house he was born in and can trace his family back 20 generations to Spain. "He represents much of what makes the city of holy faith unique," says friend Richard McCord.

When he ran out of space in his house to fit all his historical books, Ribera-Ortega started an Hispanic historical center in Truchas. He has also written several bools. Perhaps his best known work is Christmas in Old Santa Fe.

As a teacher for 30 years, Ribera-Ortega taught Spanish, always encouraging Hispanics to learn the language that he considers an essential part of their heritage.

Story by Richard McCord
Photo © 2001 Steve Northup