Exhibit: History of the Phone Company - Manzana Uno Art Gallery
(Santa Cruz, Bolivia)
There's an interesting exhibit at the Manzana Uno art gallery on the main plaza commemorating the history of phones in Santa Cruz. It's pretty cool actually! You can see an exhibit of all the different types of phones that existed and how phones have changed over time. There are also some real antiques of truly ancient phone operating systems (back when there were only about 300 homes with phones and a human operator had to connect one house to another).
It's interesting because back when cities like La Paz and Potosí were large and wealthy, Santa Cruz was just a tiny town with a few thousand inhabitants in the middle of nowhere. Today, the COTAS, the Santa Cruz phone company, is the best in the nation.
Tourists really love the public phones in Santa Cruz because they are all shaped like tropical animals (toucans, jaguars, storks, snakes, etc.) You'll find one of these huge public phones on display here too.
The entrance to the Manzana Uno art gallery is behind the cathedral, or along the western sidewalk and it is split into two separate rooms in what used to be the city jail (now home to the new Independence Museum too). There's no charge to enter so just have fun with this one.