Villa El Salvador (VES) is a low income residential district on the southern outskirts of Lima. The district is the result of a massive land invasion by immigrant families who had left the Peruvian highlands in 1971 and were relocated by the military government to a desolate empty desert area around 32 km from the city center. Villa El Salvador began as one of Lima’s numerous pueblos jóvenes (shanty or young towns).
The poor district evolved over the years into a huge urban zone, famous for its "self-management" by the population. Mainly through the efforts of its inhabitants, the area was supplied with electricity, water and sewage. Despite several programs including public kitchens, health facilities, the Vaso de Leche program (glass of milk program which today supplies children with milk all over Lima), income-generating projects and schooling, Villa El Salvador has still a long way to go.