Chaclacayo, a migrant neighborhood at the start of the Andes

Chaclacayo was once a resort town in the far eastern suburbs of Lima. But if some pretty districts still remain in some of its corners, we are already far from the greenery that attracted so much the bourgeoisie of Lima until the 70s. As many other places in the capital of Peru, the city grew without precise order, often against the interests of its own inhabitants. Today, Chaclacayo is part of the long conurbation that surrounds the central highway and the Rimac River, the routes that lead to the rich mountains of the central Andes.


Julia Castro lives in a house in Chaclacayo's slums. "My mother hoped to cultivate her little plot of land there, she thought it was dry because it was summer, but it's not. Here there is dust all year round." Migrated to Lima in the 70s to escape the violence of the conflict with the guerrilla of the Shining Path, Julia settled in a still rural Chaclacayo in search of better living conditions.

Fighting on despite difficulties

After losing her father, her craft skills allowed her to obtain the income to support her mother and sister. It is this spirit of initiative that led her to found CIAP with other Peruvian artisans. A project with ambitious goals, where artisans from all over Peru shared their forces to have access to the international fair trade market, while giving themselves the means to strengthen their skills. This ambitious project has led to many successes, such as the creation of an "artisan's law" to give specific rights to this community.


Unfortunately, CIAP's successes have not lived up to Julia Castro's expectations. After years of crisis and the blow of the COVID-19 pandemic, the association is aware that its best years are behind it. But if Julia has chosen to temporarily step away from the project, she is now trying to lend a hand as they try to recover... while continuing to make her projects grow, by joining the craftswomen of her district of the suburbs of Lima.

Manuel-Antonio Monteagudo

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