Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Santa Cruz de la Sierra (locally [ˈsanta ˈkɾus de la ˈsjera]) (English: Holy Cross of the Mountain Range), commonly known as Santa Cruz (locally [ˈsanta ˈkɾus]), is the capital of the Santa Cruz department in eastern Bolivia.[1] Situated on the Pirai River in eastern Bolivia, the city of Santa Cruz and its metropolitan area are home to over 70% of the population of the department[3] and it is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.[4] The city was first founded in 1561 by Spanish explorer Ñuflo de Chavez about 200 km (124 mi) east of its current location, and was moved several times until it was finally established on the Pirai River in the late 16th century. For much of its history, Santa Cruz was mostly a small outpost town, and even after Bolivia gained its independence in 1825 there was little attention from the authorities or the population in general to settle the region. It was not until after World War II and profound agrarian and land reforms that the city began to grow at a very fast pace.

See also