Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru, located in the central coastal part of the country, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. With a population of almost 10 million, Lima metropolitan area is the second largest city of South America (behind Sao Paulo). Lima is a very important industrial and financial center and its economy is amongst the fastest growing in the Americas.
More than 50% of Lima’s population however lives in poverty. Lima’s pueblos jóvenes (literally: young villages) are located in the outskirts of Lima. They are born as a result of the migration from the Andes. This migration started in the sixties and seventies and continues to this date. The early settlements were able to organize themselves over time and have evolved into cities providing the basic amenities (water, electricity,…).
As these areas have filled up, more recent immigrants are now forced to look for a place in the rocky and sandy hills around Lima far away from the water and electricity network. To meet their water needs, families have to purchase often unsanitary water from trucks that cost 10 to 15 times more than piped water would. Many of these families only have one short term objective: to survive. In some of these areas, 30% of the children never achieve the age of 2.