Villa El Salvador

During the 70’s in the city of Lima begun the phenomenon of invasions, where whole families due the necessity of better opportunities, migrated from rural areas to the city, occupying the lands of property of the State, in search of a place where build their own home. The largest invasion was recorded in 1971 when numerous families occupied both public and private lands in the Pamplona Alta area, causing uprisings and riots. To remedy this social problem, the President of Peru Gen. Velasco Alvarado, instead of keeping the policy of repression adopted by the Minister of the Interior Armando Artola, tried to find a solution, helping these families who only asked for a place to live. On May 11, 1971 with the joint help of the army, decided to move most of the people in a desert land in the Cono Sur of Lima, called Tablada de Lurin, with the promise of a model city for poor people, creating the community of Villa El Salvador. The history of Villa El Salvador speaks of a community so determined and united that in little more than 40 years has passed from possessing nothing, not even the basic services for a dignified life, to become one of the districts of the city of Lima, thanks precisely to the strength of its people. Villa El Salvador was born as “Asientamento Humano” what is most commonly called favela, where people only owned houses made of “Esteris”, without having a water, sewage and lighting system. In July 1973, after more than a year and a half of meetings between the neighbors, was formed the CUAVES (Comunidad Urbana Autogestionaria Villa el Salvador) which had the task of engaging the community in the future urban planning and in the social development of Villa El Salvador. For the first time in the history of South America a young community creates an open and integral development project.
The urban planning of Villa El Salvador began with the division into three main areas: the residential area, the industrial park and the area used for agriculture and breeding.
In a short time, thanks to the determination and the workforce of its inhabitants, Villa El Salvador has become a model city. Today it is equipped with all the services that a developed city possesses such as the water and sewage system, the electricity network, the roads, the public transports, the schools, the green spaces and much more. The incessant proposals for the improvement of the community and the total involvement of its population, starting from young people, makes Villa El Salvador constantly developing in step with modern times. Its history has something extraordinary and is more unique than rare. It speaks of strength, determination and cohesion, but above all about the redemption of a young community started from a disastrous social situation, teaching that nothing is impossible.