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What is Huaycán?

Posted on 10 August 2016

What is Huaycán?

Huaycán is a large urban developing community located in the Ate-Vitarte District in the outskirts of Lima, Perú. Its population is estimated to be about 180,000 people, living in residential zones A through Z that spread from one of Lima’s central highways to up high into the Andes foothills. 

How did Huaycán come to be?

Huaycán, like many communities in Peru, was founded as a result of a land invasion in the 1980’s. During this time, attacks from The Shining Path terrorist group forced many people living in the highlands to seek refuge in Lima. Abrupt overpopulation pushed migrants to the city limits, seeking not only safety, but also better education and resources.  Thus, "young towns" (pueblos jovenes in Spanish) like Huaycán were formed as these migrants insisted on claiming land of their own and forming their own communities.

So, why the name Huaywasi?

Glad you asked! We took the first half from Huaycán, and wasi means “home” in Quechua, the native language of the Andes. Huaywasi represents the strong sense of community that women in Huaycán have worked so hard to maintain.

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