Born in Granada in 1946, the Spanish luthier Francisco (Paco) Santiago Marin was but twelve, when he began working as cabinet maker. In 1964 he began his apprenticeship as a guitar maker with his uncle Antonio Marin Montero, because he realized that if one wishes to become a great maker, it is best to study with a great master. Antonio Marin has trained or influenced most of the guitar makers in Granada.
Paco spent nearly ten years in his uncle's workshop learning the art of handmade guitar construction before opening his own workshop in 1973. For Paco, basis of the Granada school are the guitars of Antonio de Torres, nonetheless he has never stopped investigating and developing its construction. He is not however a fan of modern materials and new techniques—which he notes although they may give the guitar more power, come at the cost of quality of tone.
He builds entirely by hand using traditional methods and designs. He makes more classical than flamenco guitars simply because there is a greater demand for his classicals.
His youngest son, Luis Santiago Hernandez (born 1969) started working with him as a youngster, building his first guitar in 1990. They continue to work together.
In 1997, the Second International Guitar Competition in Spain was held in his honor. Paco's stature among luthiers is such that Luis F. Leal Pinar devotes an entire chapter in "Guitarreros de Andalucia" (2004) to him.
His guitars have been bought by such great players as Manuel Cano, Camelo Martinez, David Rose, Konrad Ragossnig, and Eliot Fisk.