Santa Fe Living Treasures ‚Äď Elder Stories

"Every one of them is like a son to me," Manny has said, and his wise, loving leadership has not only inspired his boys to excellence but has steered them away from drugs, crime, dropout, rebellion and a host of other pitfalls waiting to ensnare the young. "Manny has led these Scouts to the realization that true self-worth can be earned only by the hard work of achieving a worthwhile goal," says one of many letters of support. "They are tomorrow's leaders."

Beyond his dedication as a Scoutmaster and higher-level leader in the program, Manny has made many more contributions in other activities. He volunteers to mentor students at Tesuque Pueblo and E.J. Martinez Elementary School. He is part of the Kiwanis Club team that builds Zozobra each year. He is very active in his church.

"I could never become an Eagle Scout," he says modestly, "but each time one of these boys does, it's as if it were me." His many supporters, however, are emphatic in their praise. "Manny Ortiz is more than a man," says one typical letter. "He's a phenomenon!"

 

Story by Richard McCord