In recent articles I have told many of you the
wonders of my city, why you should come to visit Lima and how much you will
enjoy your stay. But to be completely honest, Lima, as any other city in the
world, has pros and cons.
You can easily see the difference between those who have an ideal source of income and those who live the day and this may be common in several cities, however I feel it day by day in my city and it never stops to amaze me how different things can be from one district to another.
Every time I travel to another city I visit the
most attractive places and I always wonder where are the zones were people lack
food, education, health, work and more. Sure normal tourists do not plan to
visit those places and tourism income always stays in the places where money is
already allocated. And this is the vicious circle of tourism and its revenues.
Well, the point is that some state manage their resources better than other and some cities are more popular than others, and people know this. So simple math, my city has no tourism, no work opportunities, no healthcare but that other city does, let’s go there. And this is how the dream of migrating to another city for a better life is born.
Now, migration from one city to another isn´t bad, the problem is when the city, its authorities and the government cannot respond adequately to the needs of the migrating population. People need water, electricity, healthcare, opportunities and a place to live. It is senseless that these people left everything behind for a better life, and they still aren´t getting it.
Villa El Salvador is a District in Lima that started as an informal settlement of people. At the beginning there was no electricity, no wells or access to water, no schools, no hospitals, no jobs, nothing. It looked like this:
However, thanks to the people on Villa El
Salvador, their willingness to grow, their cooperation and support from the
government, an informal settlement became a District, one of the biggest in
Peru, with several industries, more than 300,000 citizens, and public
transportation, electricity and water access superior to Peruvian average. In less
than 50 years Villa El Salvador became an international case study of informal
urban development, and today it looks like this:
This is proof that development is possible, when the people and the authorities cooperate. The people must pursue their development and organize themselves to achieve it, and the government has a responsibility to take care of their people. However, they also have to create better opportunities in other places, not to avoid migration to Lima, but to promote migration from Lima to other places. For example, in our case, not everyone is a city folk and some people born in Lima prefer a non-city environment, but the cannot migrate if they cannot find a job, an adequate house and more. But if we could find all these in other places in Peru we will migrate because our country is awesome, wouldn’t you like to live in a place like this?