Carmen de la Legua is one of six districts that make up the Constitutional Province of Callao. It is located west of Callao downtown. In antique times, the area known today as Carmen de la Legua was inhabited by a few farmers living on the shores of the River Rimac. During the colonial period a footpath lined with thick bushes lead through today's district of Carmen de la Legua from the port of Callao to Lima.
On this road, called "Colonial" (today's Av. Oscar R. Benavides), a church was built halfway from Callao to Lima about one "legua" from either town. This church was dedicated to the Virgin Carmen, until now the patron of Callao. Aristocracy and other travelers stopped here to rest from their journey and prayed to the image of the virgin. At these times the area was barely populated.
Only in 1840 the first migrants settled on the open plains near the River Rimac. During the War of the Pacific more people, especially from the Tarapacá region, came to Carmen de la Legua and settled on land given by the government. At the beginning of the 1950s, when the first Peruvians fled the Andean highlands and provinces, the population of this area increased heavily. Finally on the 4th of December 1964 the district of Carmen de la Legua was officially established as district of the Constitutional Province of Callao.
The church and sanctuary of Nuestra Señora Carmen de la Legua, which over 400 years ago marked the basis of today's district, was unfortunately partly destroyed by a car bomb in 1992. Today it is beautifully restored.