In the hills above Lima, Peru

A hillside community - note the ordered rows. The layout is decided by the community.

In 1952 Lima had a population of 0.75 Million people, by 1965 it had doubled to 1.5M and by 1980 it was four times more at 6M.  It now has a population of 9.5M and is growing all the time.  Lima used to be called the garden city since its grand houses contained garden couryards, but the new town is far from a garden.  With land scarce, the people use their indigenous building skills to carve a place in the hills that lie to the East, towards the Andes from where many have come in search of work. In 1950 75% of the population was rural, now 75% is urban and this story is repeated around the world.

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10 thoughts on “In the hills above Lima, Peru

    • Hi Rebecca,

      I hope you find some intereting stories that you can use for your homework. My latest story shows you how the people are building their houses into the hills. It’s amazing. I would find it hard enough just to climb the hills, never mind building on them, cutting out the roads, making a piece of land flat enough to build your house and then getting all the things you need to build it up to the spot you have chosen.

      If you have any questions about what you see, be sure to ask,


  1. Frank,

    Thank you for these very interesting comments and photos. Bruce and I went to Chiclayo in the north, and a fantastic museum showing the excavated burial site of the Lord of Sipan. Local people were rewarded by the authorities for any items they “found” and sold officially.

    Best wishes

    Maggie & Bruce

    • Val and I will be going to Machu Pico and Cusco but will not be going north. It’s such a vaste and amazing country. Glad you like the comments and photos.

  2. Hi Frank,
    These photos are great. How many people would be living in these houses, and what do they do about electricity and water supplies so far up the hills?
    Hope you are getting some rest, sounds like you have been very busy.
    Maddy x

    • These are family houses, so it would depend on the size of the family. There may be one or two children at first, and some of the family might stay in rented accommodation or with friends locally at first. Average family size in Peru is much the same as Britain.
      Over time you would want to extend your house so that the whole family can live there. Also, children don’t tend to leave the family house until they are married, so you may have a number of adults living under the same roof. By this time you would want to ensure you have more than one bedroom!
      Once you have identified and built on your plot, you discuss with your neighbours and agree where and how to build the roads you need.
      With a road above the house you can get a water truck to deliver water to fill your water butt, and so have running water in the house.
      Next, as a community you discuss and get some electricity connected. This will depend on the community closer to town having already got connected!
      Finally, you will get adopted by the Municipal Council and can start planning for mains water and sanitation. By this time you will probably have built your foundations and ground floor, with concrete and brick, and will be planning to extend by building your second floor.

    • When I come back I promise I will come and visit and answer all your questions. This country is just amazing.

  3. Pingback: Lima New Town « CAFOD Northampton

  4. Pingback: San Benito, in the hills « CAFOD Northampton

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