Estrategia started to work in the District of Surco, to the south of Lima, at the end of 1989.
The people lived there in a precarious situation: in 22 sq m each and three families to a shack.
After 34 years of living in this situation, the new community leaders wanted to change the situation and found our organization – which was a new one, and so we focussed our work in the south of Lima.
The community leaders chose the name 'Estrategia', due to the fact that they wanted to find a strategy to start the upgrading of the area occupied with old housing built with mud brick units.
The German organisation, MISEREOR, supported the work of Estrategia in the early years, with an Upgrading and Renewal Program in the poor communities of the Surco district.
After this training process of working with the communities in the south of Lima finished, we and the grassroots women from the south of Lima started to train the grassroots women from the East, located in the Ventanilla district, Callao Region were 50,000 families live in poor conditions.
The women trained from Ventanilla district started to produce different concrete supplies for construction and we worked as trainers of the NGO together with SENCICO, a National Housing Research Institution in Peru.
After this stage of Estrategia's work, it increased and we started work in other communities of the Surco district like: Señor de los Milagros, Tejada Alta, La Huaca, San Carlos de Parque Bajo, San Carlos de Parque Alto, Las Delicias de Villa, Santa Isabel de Villa, Mateo Pumacahua,
In the case of San Carlos it was our first work in the community as a NGO and also got important results.
The San Carlos Upgrading Program was carried out by the population, in 1989 with the coordination of Estrategia, and the seismic and resistant construction was made by Estrategia and the Catholic University as trainers. However, it was the trained grassroots who were the ones who built the communal locals, and the women were the ones who produced the mud brick units to build the walls.
The grassroots women were included in two housing pilot programs. The women were included in the construction of the 25 housing units. The women's role was to produce the concrete brick units to build the housing program.
After Estrategia empowered the women from the South of Lima through productive programs like hydroponic plantations, nourishment production in artisan way like: cheese, jam, yogurt. etc., a new group of women from the west of Lima in the Callao Region started to be trained in land and housing issues related to: leadership, democracy, citizenship,
The women strengthened their organization after the exchanging of experiences between the women from the south of Lima and the women from the west of Lima. The women from the west are located in the Pachacutec community, formed by different human settlements and 250,000 people living in a precarious situation; without water supply and sewage, the population lives with strong pollution problems that affect the health of the population.
In this area, Estrategia with the participation of Arc Peace Peru, got the improvement of the human settlement named los Olivos de la Paz, E Sector of Pachacutec. and the area of the human settlement named Costa Azul human settlement.
The first housing pilot program started in the human settlement Los Olivos de la Paz. In this community, Estrategia built 10 housing units with 40 sq m each and a communal dining room. We also built an ecological park with the planting of flowers, vegetables, trees, and started the growing of rabbits and cuyes (guinea pigs).
Estrategia also built a school for the children of 3, 4 and 5 years old.
The schools were built with the supplies produced by the women – like the concrete brick units.
After this work finished, a new housing pilot program started and 15 housing units were built with the concrete brick units produced by the trained people, women and men.
In 2001, Luz Maria Sanchez Hurtado, General Director, received the Lewis Mumford Award from Architects, Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) (USA) for the programs implemented in Lima.
UN-HABITAT nominated various Estrategia programs as “Best Practices.”
Land and Housing Rights for Women
After this work Estrategia, with the support of the Huairou Commission, started to train the women in land and housing issues through today. This training benefited the women in order to build the strategies and tools they require to advocate for the land and housing access rights.
Estrategia and the women from Mujeres Unidas para un Pueblo Mejor trained until now, women from 16 districts of Lima.
Recovery from Earthquake
After the earthquake on August 15th, 2007, our organisation started to support the people from Chincha at the south of Lima.
The women and men from the area were trained in the production of supplies like concrete beams, concrete domes, and concrete brick units for the walls, and started to use the supplies in the improvement of their homes and also started to sell their products to get incomes to improve their homes.
The women trained at the West of Lima (from Pacahacutec area with 50,000 families) also started to build a School for the children, a data local for the students, the footpaths of the Avenida La Playa in the Ventanilla district a School in the same district of Ventanilla.
The Mayor of Ventanilla District included the women factory in the list of clients to buy the materials for construction from the local government and launched the Municipal Housing Program with Gender Equity.
This was successful work by Estrategia, in agreement with Catholic University.
Chocos Rural Community
GeoHazards International, to start a retrofit of the school in the Chocos rural community.Our organisation was invited last year, by
This is a pilot program to train women and men and to replicate this experience in their homes that were damaged after the August 2007 earthquake.
After Estrategia started to work in the Rimac district and got important results, many other communities around came to us for support; this is why we started to make a working plan to get some support and make possible the following programs focused in the Rimac district:
- The construction of retaining walls in the poorest areas to support the families previously residing there to build their housing units. This is an important requirement from the state to get the bonus from the state housing program.
- The trees' plantation on the risk areas – up on the hills to prevent disasters during some earthquake or other kind of hazards.
- The support to TB people with a housing improvement program.
- The construction of education areas to support the people with the training process they require to get the state benefits.
- The construction of health locals to support the families that are located far from the health centers and do not have any health service.
Estrategia started the construction of the Ecological Park in 2003 and the women from the area were trained in programs related to the plantation of vegetables, flowers, trees, and aromatic herbs, etc.
The women also were trained in the growing of rabbits, and cuyes (guinea pigs) that the women used to improve their quality of nourishment and to sell to get incomes from that.
Ecological Park started to produce compost and it was used for the plants and also for selling – the same with the flowers, vegetables, etc.