JESUIT MISSIONS/ CHIQUITANÍA
Chiquitania is the cultural site of villages that preserves their habits, ways of life and living together, customs and beliefs. The Jesuit Missions of the Grand Chiquitania are truly monumental treasures and have been listed as a Patrimony of Humanity by the UNESCO because they combine history, religious art, culture and beautiful scenery. Part of its attractions consists of the majestic beauty of its temples, the perfect symbiosis between nature and the Cosmos, and of the dreams and values that were created in the merging of the missions and native culture.
Fort Samaipata is the most important archeological cluster in the eastern part of Bolivia where diverse pre-Columbian cultures settled until they became the Inca ceremony center. The ruins of Samaipata covers a total of 10 hectares, the sanctuary stands out in the highest hill enhanced with zoomorphic figures carved in the rock. In this all day excursion one can visit the whole village and the surrounding areas, as well as appreciate the daily lives of its inhabitants. Samaipata was declared Cultural Patrimony of Humanity in 1998.
COTOCA VIRGIN LEGEND
In the final years of the XVIII century, three humble men who were accused of a murder they had not committed escaped towards the faraway lands of Chiquitos by ways of the Grand River. When they were already many kilometers away night came down on them and they decided to rest for a few hours lighting a fire to withstand the cold. Using an axe, one of them swung strong blows on a heavy tree stump, the man realized that as he hit the stump there came a hollow sound, he began to hit it vigorously and to their surprise found in the hollow of the stump a small image of the Virgin. The three men were so overwhelmed that they decided to take the image to their master, giving up their flight. The whole village heard about their miraculous finding and each day the number of faithful people that went to worship the Virgin and ask for favors increased. After a few years one of the devotees built the first chapel in Cotoca with palm leafs for a roof, this chapel was blessed on December 15, 1799.
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