Santa Cruz Bolivia Temple
Joe: Say what you will about Mongolia, but I think Santa Cruz might be the new always-a-bride’s-maid-never-a-bride darling of our lists like Bentonville/Rogers Arkansas was for so long. Geoff, you yourself wrote just a scant 6 months ago that Santa Cruz, the largest city in Bolivia has eight stakes, “making it the area (not country) in the world with the most stakes but without its own temple. Indeed, Santa Cruz has more stakes than Cochabamba, Bolivia’s only temple!”
I’d only challenge the 8 stakes, since one map I’ve seen had 10 within the city alone and a few on the outskirts. La Paz, Bolivia’s capital also has a cluster of several stakes within the city, and could make a compelling guess on its own, but Santa Cruz wins out if there’s only going to be one. I do think South America is woefully underserved if you look at a temples-to-stakes ratio, and it wouldn’t surprise me if we saw in the not too distant future, three temples in Bolivia, much in the same spirit as predicting a third one in Nigeria.
I also mentioned, six months ago, hat this architecturally alluring cultural icon of a city, dating back to the 1500s would be a field day for the temple design committee, which, I’d like to add, given what we’ve seen for the new Brasilia, Brazil temple, I’m confident they’d take the bait.
Geoff: I have no arguments against! This one is gaining in popularity, and as many non-lusophone heavyweight countries in South America receive second, and even third, temples, Bolivia is due to add another to its ranks.
There might be an easier way to a second temple in the country, however. Here’s my plan: The international community unrecognizes the results of the War of the Pacific, thus retroceding northern Chile—and along with it, Antofagasta, soon to receive a temple—to Bolivia. Bolivians rejoice about reclaiming their coastline (and the lucrative mining that comes with it), and all will be well! No more problems for anyone! You don’t need to miss Evo Morales when you have an ocean!