Ortiz wins award at Nara Visa gathering

When someone is described as having earned so much respect and admiration through his honesty, hard work and caring of others, you know that person is Carlos Ortiz. He has lived his life by the traditions of the West, caring for the land, livestock, family and friends.

Both his paternal and maternal grandparents homesteaded and settled in the Trementina and Garita areas in the early 1900s.

There were 10 children in Carlos’ family, Carlos being the youngest. Times were tough as they were for so many at that time. During the drought of the mid-fifties his parents saw fit to sell the livestock and lease out their land. When one baby girl was 14 days old, they packed up all they owned and moved to Albuquerque to find work. Carlos was three years old when the lease was up and they were able to go back home. The first night back he asked for someone to turn the lights on. When it was explained that the coal oil lamps were the light, he countered with “There is better light, just pull the cord.” It was many years before they could “pull the cord” to get light. Due to the remoteness of their land, they had no electricity nor telephone until 1980.