One of the major ethnic groups in the Amazon is the Chiquitano practicing subsistence agriculture, hunting and fishing, this group is mainly settled in San Javier, Concepción, San Ignacio and San Jose, the Missions were characterized as organizations of these ethnic groups were governed by the principle of land, with community ownership workshops, work was compulsory for all working people and a portion of what was produced for the maintenance of orphans, widows, the elderly and disabled.
The architectural features and spatial distribution mission followed a pattern that was repeated with variations in the balance, the San Javier Mission was the basis of this style of organization, a modular structure and a large square of environment in which focused the church, cemetery, schools, shops and homes.
Evangelization in these missions had great success using the Renaissance and Baroque music, a unique aspect that makes this region is that local people have developed their skills to present himself leaving a legacy not only in music, but also in architecture. The Jesuit Missions are a cultural legacy, an expression of art and architecture reflected especially in their temples as the original settlers were trained in the technique of the woodwork and then enrich the art with their own vision, evident proof of this is the successful International Festival of American Renaissance and Baroque Music "Misiones de Chiquitos", which takes place on a biennial basis in the international version.
Martin Schmidt priest, architect and musician with local people built the churches of the "reductions" with a local baroque style . They use of local materials such as wood columns carved drawers, pulpits and altars covered with gold, the carving of the images was a mixed work that continues until today. These majestic churches have been declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in the towns of San Jose, Santa Ana, San Rafael, San Miguel, San Ignacio, Concepcion and San Javier.
Santa Cruz de la Sierra and its surroundings tourist attractions:
Metropolitan Cathedral. Built during Andrés de Santa Cruz presidency, replacing the old church that occupied the place, built in colonial times, the church today has an eclectic style and was designed by French architect Philippe Bestres. Inside is the Cathedral Museum, which contains pieces of historical and artistic wealth.
24 de Septiembre Square. Observed around colonial style buildings and major public buildings such as the prefecture, the municipality and Casa de la Cultura.
Theme Parks. Play Land Park and Aqualand, the best theme parks in the country.
Noel Kempff Mercado Zoo. Where you can see several species of tropical fauna, is the largest Bolivia´s zoo.
Botanical Garden. Found in more than 500 species of flora and 1,000 species per catalog.
Arenal Park. Initially designed as a reservoir of rainwater from the center of the city, it is Lorgio Vaca´s mural, one of the most famous artists of Bolivia.
Piraí River Cabins. Huts serving food typical of eastern Bolivia, riverside Piraí around can also be performed on a bike or horse rides.
Lomas de Arena. White sand dunes around lagoons where water sports are practiced.
Güembé Biocentre. Theme park with swimming pools, and a butterfly orchid, it´s also possible to rent cabins and halls for business presentations.
Cotoca. It is a small town 16 km from Santa Cruz de la Sierra, is home to the Shrine of Our Lady of Cotoca "Patron of Eastern Bolivia," is also important for its handicrafts and typical restaurants.
Location: The city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra is located southeast of Bolivia, in the province of Andrés Ibáñez department of Santa Cruz, is also the capital of the department.
Elevation: 428 masl
Average temperature in winter to 14 º C in summer and 31 º C.
How to get to Santa Cruz de la Sierra from La Paz: Santa Cruz has a bus terminal with daily arrivals from various parts of the country, in addition to two airports, one international and one domestic airport.
How to get to San Jose de Chiquitos from Santa Cruz de la Sierra: To reach San José de Chiquitos you can take a bus from the bus terminal in the city of Santa Cruz which salts every evening, on a journey of approximately 4 hours. The other option is to take a train from the same station on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, a journey of about nine hours.