Peter Ortega on passion and wood carving


Peter Ortega is a santero from Santa Fe, New Mexico. He not only enjoys the process of creating his folk art, but he’s also passionate about the relationships he builds with people who he meets through his work.


Peter Ortega was born in Tesuque, New Mexico in the adobe home that formerly held the family gallery El Dulce Hogar (Home Sweet Home) to the world-renowned Santero Ben Ortega Sr. and Isabelle Ortega. His ancestors are of Spanish descent, which is important to the history of his folk art that is known both nationally and internationally. It was from Peter’s late father Ben Ortega Sr. whom he received his training and mentorship some forty-five years ago. I learned everything from my father says Peter; he was a very patient man, he was truly my inspiration. A visit to the showroom in Santa Fe displays photos of Ben Sr. smiling out over the carvings with his patient eyes and warm smile. Each carving begins with a trip to the woodpile.

With his trained eye, Peter puts his skills, passion, heart and soul into the piece using the same tools he has used for decades. Dedication to quality, crafts-man ship and a sincere desire to bring happiness to people shows through in each finished piece. The distinct style of this master Santero carries on the Ben Ortega family tradition.


This episode of Beyond the Gallery is sponsored by the Great Southwest, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Great Southwest offers jewelry, arts and furniture, classic to contemporary. Learn more about Peter Ortega and view some of his work at

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