A Controversial Place
Although the first thing that jumps out at you is the colors, that seem reminiscent of clay and hand crafts, you can't seem but wonder about the real experience of living in this particular part of the world. This travel souvenir from Bolivia shows a view of Cerro Rico from the city of Potosi, one of the most controversial places in the history of the Western Hemisphere.
Cerro Rico in Focus
Cerro Rico was the reason for the foundation of Potosi, a city that stands at 13,420 feet over sea level. This mount provided Spanish colonizers with the majority of silver that they extracted from the new world and then shipped to Europe. At those times, Potosi became a kind of mythical city thanks to the wealth that it produced to the Spanish kingdom. Within two hundreds years, the mines supplied more than 41,000 tons of silver which was carried on mules to Panama City and then shipped to Spain via the port of Nombre de Dios or Portobello. Upon the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores, the indigenous kept the secret of the riches that were hidden in this mount. But it didn`t take long for the secret to be revealed and the Europeans soon organized a social system called mitas to ensure the native's work inside the mines.
Today, travelers can get an idea of the city`s wealthy past just walking around and admiring some of its emblematic buildings. You shouldn't miss visiting the Cathedral, the Tower Company, the Mint or Casa de la Moneda, and of course the mines of Cerro Rico. By all means, this is a great travel souvenir to take back home.