Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Santa Cruz de La Sierra, also known as Santa Cruz, is the largest city in Bolivia. It is the capital city of the Santa Cruz department (in the eastern region of the country). In 2006, the municipality's population was 1,528,683. In 2008, the urban population was 1,545,161.
Santa Cruz is not only the most populated city in Bolivia, but the department is also the richest, with over 30% of the national GDP. The city is a major center of petrochemical production in Bolivia, especially because the production of natural gas that exports to neighboring countries. The main sectors that drive the economy are the oil, forestry and agrobusiness firms.
Santa Cruz de la Sierra was founded on February 26, 1561 by Ñuflo de Chaves, after an expedition composed of 158 soldiers who left the city of Asunción del Paraguay. The new town was baptized with the name of Santa Cruz de la Sierra in honor of the founder's hometown in the Castilian Extremadura. The foundation was made on the banks of the Sutús stream in the Chiquitos mountain range.
In 1601, the city was moved to Cotoca, about 200 kilometres (120 miles) to the west (Santa Cruz La Nueva).
At the same time, most of the population of the original Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz La Vieja) moved to San Lorenzo el Real de la Frontera, a nearby town founded in 1590 and moved in 1595.
In 1622, Santa Cruz and San Lorenzo el Real de la Frontera merged. The new city resulting from this union, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, is on the Piraí River.
- Cuellar Chavez, Bismark A. (2019). Historia de Santa Cruz. Sucre - Bolivia: Imprenta Rayo del Sur. p. 319.