The Future of Santa Cruz de la Sierra

by Marco Antonio Suarez
(Bs. As., Argentina)

Hello. Thank you for this opportunity. I always go to Santa Cruz, the city, and other parts of Santa Cruz, the department, as well. I lived there and I will live there again soon. One of the things that makes Santa Cruz, especially the capital, stand out from all the the other cities in Bolivia and many cities in the world, in my opinion, is its spirit.

Here's an example, one evening this year, in a "Copa Libertadores" futbol match, the team "Oriente Petrolero" from Santa Cruz was about to be eliminated from the tournament whether they won or lost. They were playing at home, and they received an incredible support from the many fans that went to the stadium to watch the game that was played on a week night, with firecrackers and fire rockets of various colors that illuminated the night. The Argentinean commentators on Fox Sports were saying that there are teams who are advancing to the next round that don't get these many seats filled for their games. The Bolivians I've met living in Argentina, who are not from Santa Cruz originally, but lived there at least for a couple of years say that "there is life in Santa Cruz". And they are talking about the spirit of Santa Cruz. There are tons of examples of the enormous pride that the "crucenans" have. I have also become fascinated with the capital city's infrastructure.

While I'm there, every chance I get, I go to every section of santa cruz de la sierra and its outskirts, like "la guardia", "el torno", samaipata, warnes, montero, okinawa, (I haven't been to "minero" yet), cotoca, urubo, (I haven't been to porongo yet). And I'm not even mencioning the other parts of santa cruz the department, like valle grande, puerto suarez/quijarro, camiri, just to name a few. I've gone to the southernmost part of the city of Santa Cruz, many kilometers past "Plan 3000", and I saw that they are about to fill that area with new houses (plus they're constructing a "doble via" al Plan 3000 right now). As I get to know this city more, the more amazed I get by how fast and how much more this city is going to grow. When I leave for one year and then come back, I always look for the new "buildings" that have been completed or are about to be be completed that weren't there before I left. There are always new surprises everywhere.

I love the condominiums and the closed gated communities, because they are so modern and they have so much to offer to the residents. By the way, I really love going to Puerto Quijarro and Puerto Suarez. Because, before October of last year (2010), it was our only access to the ocean that we could use. And I love those places for various other reasons as well. And now they are building condominiums (I believe its a closed gated community) in Puerto Suarez, called "Urbanization Fortaleza" that's going to be right on the new "bioceanic corridor" that, incidentally, will lift the economy of the whole department of Santa Cruz, and of all of Bolivia.

There was an article in the newspaper of Santa Cruz, "El Deber" that says that there will be a "sin numero de viaductos" that will be constructed in Santa Cruz now. And I "love" the one in Avenida Cristo Redentor and the 4th anillo. The tunel of "El Trompillo" will be completed soon, too. And Urubo is going to have beautiful and sophisticated buildings, like "Condominio Vista Urubo 360". I can't wait for the buildings in Equipetrol to get completed, like "Riviera", "Torres Duo" and "Global Trade Center", and of course, "Ventura Mall" that's supposed to be larger than "Megacenter" in La Paz. There are just so many buildings and businesses that are changing the city of Santa Cruz, like in Avenida Banzer and Avenida Busch, that the list would be too long of what they have recently built and are yet to build (I hope I haven't overdone it with the amount of details that I've already included in this message), like the new universities and hospitals (at least one will have a heliport).

But outside of the capital city, I'm following the progress of the second "biceanic corridor" of santa cruz. The one that goes from San Matias through Okinawa and has a bifurcation approximately near that city, one road to the city of santa cruz, and the other to Cochabamba (especially the large trucks and 18 wheelers - to avoid making the traffick more difficult in the capital city). And so another bridge is being built that's parellel to -but larger than- the "Puerto Pailas" bridge that was recently built and is the longest bridge in Bolivia, so far.

Besides the "bioceanic corridor", the project in the Mutun mine with Jindal Steel will also improve the economy of Santa Cruz (and the whole country) once it takes off (and I'm sure it will). They're going to build more railroads, one that will go to Puerto Busch to transport the minerals through the Paraguay-Parana River,(and there are newspaper articles that are saying that they're going to building a train that will travel at a high speed that'll go east to west from Santa Cruz to Oruro to complement the bioceanic corridor (because Brazil, especially, will need it for exporting and importing). These trains will make Santa Cruz more prosperous and more beautifully decorated. And there is also the possibility of a "metro" that one candidate for mayor wanted to build for the city and, maybe, another one (after Percy, most likely) will make it possible.

I can go on and on on the many projects that will influence the growth of Santa Cruz de la Sierra into an important city in the world; but for now I'll leave these thoughts I've put down of how I feel about this beautiful and fascinating city with great spirit. (I wrote down these thoughts to express how much more beautiful I believe Santa Cruz will be.) But please let me add that since Brazil's economy and "real" are becoming so powerful, I think that they are constantly becoming an important factor in our economy, (and so are the other neighboring countries, but especially Brazil). And I think that when the Olympics and the World Cup are played (both will be hosted by Brazil) with the two bioceanic roads (hopefully the second corridor will be completed by then, too) that will go through the Department of Santa Cruz (and one through the Department of Tarija), there will be more money coming from Brazil, through Bolivia, and especially through this region. And cities in the eastern and northern part of this Department, like San Javier, Concepcion, San Javier, San Miguel, Santa Ana, San Rafael, San Jose de Chiquitos, Santiago de Chiquitos, and Robore, just to name a few, will also get developed in the near future, in a very noticable way (thanks to the "bioceanic corridor). (Without roads there is no progress.) (In Beni, Pando, and Tarija roads are being constructed that will be connected to Santa Cruz and Brazil, so the increase of progress and prosperity in this region and the country is imminent.)

I hope I'm right about everything I've mentioned here.

I still want opera theatres in the city of Santa Cruz, and at least one like "El Teatro Colon" in Buenos Aires. And I think that this city "needs" metros and/or subways, more viaductos, expressways, (and theme parks for more tourism).

I thank you for giving me the opportunity to say these things. I believe everything I've mentioned has a strong effect in the development of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Since I'm very fascinated with how it's changing its appearance, these details are all indicators, in my opinion, of how much more it's still going to transform itself in the near and distant futures.

I'm very grateful that there is someone, like you, who created what at least to me is such an important website, and I felt that I had to take it very seriously. Thanks again. And God Bless you.

P.S. Please don't stop making Santa Cruz (and Bolivia) known to the world.

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May 22, 2011
Thank you for sharing!
by: BoliviaBella

Dear Tony from Buenos Aires: thank you so much for sharing these thoughts on Bolivia and Santa Cruz. I think they're spot on and I agree with you about the cruceƱo spirit, it's what motivates me to want the world to know about our city and its surrounding areas.

I met a person from Buenos Aires, just today as a matter of fact, who said something similar too. It's a contagious spirit isn't it?

Thank you for your lovely comments about my site too. I think I'll never ever run out of things to say about Santa Cruz. Whether it's a new place I'm visiting or somewhere I've been a million times, I always see something new. Today it was all about butterflies. Tomorrow it'll be on to something else, but there's just something incredibly dynamic about Santa Cruz.

As a gift I've attached a photo of our cathedral, the heart of our city, to your story. Next time you're here climb up the clock tower and take a good long look around at our beautiful growing city from there.

Cheers! Bella.

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