Glimpse of Surco’s past

April 23rd, 2007

In the clean ordered urban streets of the Limeño district of Santiago de Surco there is a living glimpse of it’s past, from a time of farms and plantations, when the urban sprawl hadn’t quite reached quiet little Surco.

As recently as 100 years ago, Surco was still rural. Lima was some 30 minutes away by horse and Miraflores and Barranco a shorter 15 minutes. Newer houses were being built near to the new thoroughfares where farm houses and windmills once stood. Like this it continued until maybe around the 1970’s when every available space had been built upon and the streets paved. In this short time the area surrounding old Surco town had gone from farm land to city. People had left the old urban centre and moved to this new suburb.

But one small corner has survived all this time and sits unvisited and unknown just 4 blocks from Ovalo Higuereta. Built around 100 years ago, surrounded by accompanying land, the home consists of a large balcony, a small granary with bell tower, a well – since covered up for safety and a large windmill that looms over the neighbouring modern apartments.

The family who live there are currently involved in a legal battle with developers who want to continue demolish their home and build apartments. We spoke to the mother of the family who didn’t know much about the building’s history but told us about her passion for taking in stray dogs in the area. She also spoke of the home being haunted – she regularly sees the ghost of a small girl who lived there before the current family.

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