Santa Cruz de la sierraSanta Cruz de la sierra

Santa Cruz de la sierra

This is the most flourishing region: the economic development of the 20th century created for the cambas, people who live in the plains, contrasting to the kola, living in the Andes, a very strong “regionalist” feeling. The ways of life and mentalities are also very different. Besides that feeling of economic superiority, the cruceños people are more open-mind and happier, which we easily could associate to the subtropical climate, where the average temperature is 23 degrees all year. In the eastern plains, there are more orientations towards Brazil and economic growth (thanks to the “train of death ”) rather than La Paz that has an Andean climate and a “backwardness”. Even if Sucre is the constitutional capital and La Paz the political capital, Santa Cruz is, without doubt, the economic capital. At the beginnings, it was a small agricultural town that lived on sugar, cotton, and rice, the discovery of hydrocarbon resources led to stupendous economic growth in the region. Since then, the neoliberal model is very present and many headquarters of huge national firms have settled there. However, there is no building, neither traffic: the meticulous preparation of its urbanization (rare situation in Latin America) into 8 concentric rings allowed it to stand with a provincial atmosphere, relax, also clean and well done, a little bit like a new rich and quite a poser. In addition, Santa Cruz is also, and above all, the entrance door for various extra-urban richness with the natural parks of Amboro and Noel Kempff, the beginning of the Amazonian forest, the circuit of Jesuits’ missions (see after), Saimapata ruins…

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