Through the next couple of posts, I want to give you a quick overview of some of the different types of informal urbanizations in Lima.
These “pueblos jóvenes” are located in the northern part of the city. They were created in the 1990s, during Alberto Fujimori’s tenure as President, as a way to accommodate the high rural-urban migration taking place in the country due to the terrorism and violence. Although it is located adjacent to the bay, Ventanilla is actually extremely arid, with mostly sand, with very little, if any, vegetation and rain.
Initially, the main streets were delineated as well as some subdivisions within the created blocks. One can clearly see the outlined grid.
People were invited to claim their piece of land, which they did so by placing a first fence made out of vegetable fiber/hay, “esteras”. This material quickly became the symbol of an informal settlement, also being used as part of a wall or roof.
No services or urban equipments (schools, community centers, hospitals), except for perhaps electricity, were provided initially. In addition, there aren’t drainage canals, nor strict plumbing for potable water or black waters. Instead, water tanks sit on the roofs and in the side of lots. Alan Garcia “Agua para todos” (“water for all”), a program aiming to open access to potable water for all of Peru’s population, is supposed to take place soon sometime this year (I am still unclear how and what exactly the program will proceed)…
For bathrooms there are strict community rules concerning the construction of a latrine (hole of a certain size and deepness in the ground). In the same respect, there are specific self-regulating rules regarding garbage disposal (since the garbage truck only have access to the main avenues).
Since such a large percentage of the population lives in areas that are or began as informal settlements, there is an entire industry of prefabricated facades and panels that have developed.
Soon to come- San Juan de Lubrigancho and Villa El Salvador.