Santa Cruz Viejo

This statue is one of the symbols of Santa Cruz. It’s called Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer).

Today Jade took me to the old center of the city, Santa Cruz Viejo–Old Santa Cruz. We try to do an excursion each day since we aren’t working yet and get some shopping/chores done, too. Today, we got a problem with my phone fixed (fingers crossed) and Jade got new glasses. We also walked the Plaza 24 de Septiembre, the center of the old town.

Located in the center of the “Casco Viejo” (old sector of the city), the Plaza 24 de Septiembre received its name in honor of the anniversary of the uprising that led to Santa Cruz´s independence from Spain. In the center of the plaza stands the statue of Ignacio Warnes, a local hero of the Independence War initiated in 1810.
The plaza was still decorated for Christmas.
Bordering the Plaza 24 de Septiembre is the Cathedral, el Club Social, the Municipal Cultural Center, and other buildings that maintain their colonial architecture and are considered part of the “historic patrimony” of Santa Cruz, a phrase that means cultural heritage. There’s not many old Spanish buildings left, however. Most were torn down before preserving the cultural heritage became important.
Cathedral Basilica of St. Lawrence. It’s possible to go to the top of one of the towers, but I wimped out. The humidity is 100% and temps were above 85F on this sunny afternoon. I’m getting lazy in my old age! Santa Cruz de la Sierra Cathedral, is the main Catholic church in the city.

I’ve found some day tours I want to take of the Santa Cruz area, but all are private tours. The price is the same for 1 person as for 5. There are some new teachers starting this year that I’ve not met yet. I’ll see if any of them want to split the cost of some tours. I’m particularly interested in the half-day, city tour to start with. Since we don’t work weekends, we can probably go on Saturdays. There are a couple of jungle/wildlife refuges in the area and there’s a tour of the Jesuit missions I’m interested in, too. Teachers report to the school next week, so I hope to meet some new friends.

Jade took me to a really great vegetarian restaurant. The food was great and prices reasonable. I ordered the Achojcha rellena (a stuffed vine fruit, similar to a gourd, common to the area). The cost was 22Bs (Bolivianos. Roughly 7Bs = 1US Dollar)
Here’s my meal. At the top is the Achojcha relleno. It’s stuffed with vegetables and tofu. Going clockwise: steamed broccoli; a tomato slice with mayo on top of shredded beets, lettuce & radish; steamed green beans and shredded carrots topped with sprouts; quinoa with veggies; and steamed squash (similar to pumpkin).
The drink is acerola juice. It tastes like a sweet and tart carrot juice. Tasty and very healthy.
More info on Achojcha
More info on Acerola
Another square in the downtown. This one has an artisans’ market on Sundays.
This is in my apartment. There’s been a LOT of rain. It’s a bad design for the condos, but the half-bath is located below street level and floods when rains are heavy. There was easily a foot of standing water for 2 days. All the two-story, floor plans in this condo association are the same, so I suspect everyone had the same issue. This room has flooded twice since I arrived a week ago. Based on the smell of the water, I’m never using that bathroom.