Sur Chico








For decades waves of migration from Peru's countryside -Andes and Amazon- moved into Lima, searching for economic opportunities and education, turning Lima into the 2nd largest city in America. People settle on very different terrains, hillsides, river banks and vast sandy expanses, developing the so-called Young Towns -Pueblos Jovenes-. By slow accreditation or invasions at different periods, some Young Towns are still in the formation process; others have been developing for 40 years. The most populated boroughs in Lima started as Young Towns.
People first built precarious homes with simple materials to create entire neighbourhoods where there was previously an empty desert.
The migration proliferated during the 1980s as people flew off from internal conflicts developed by terrorist groups in Peru's countryside. Internal migration continues, and people organize in groups to take possession of empty lands building their homes in them.

One of my earliest memories is travelling with my family from Lima down to 121 kilometres on the South Pan-American road. Almost every kilometre of the journey, I recall a vast empty desert splashed from time to time with green valleys and the Pacific Ocean not far from my window. The area is called Sur Chico -no accurate translation, but it means Small South- by local people. This project is on the exponential change of what used to be an empty desert. I explore changes altering our collective memory concerning the environment: the open desert, the green valleys, and our traditions and habits, reflecting on the urban condition generated by accelerated economic growth, focusing on Peru.
There has been exponential economic growth in Peru during the last decades, resulting in Rural-to-Urban migration, building homes and entire neighbourhoods where previously there was only desert.