Monday morning, January 16, 2012, we boarded the bus and set out to see Villa El Salvador. Villa El Salvador was established in 1971 and has since become a model for how self-management and popular participation can transform a shantytown in the desert into a habitable place, with levels of sanitation and education that are the envy of other Latin American towns and cities.
We were first taken to the city municipal building where we had a brief audience with the mayor (who happens to be just 27 years old!). Afterward, we were provided a police escort for our bus (not sure why, but they were very excited we were there) to their industrial area, comprised primarily of high-end furniture and leather goods stores.
Our class was in the afternoon and was about poverty in Peru, which was fitting with the field trip.
For dinner, a few of us went to a place called Alfresco. This was a recommendation from our travel coordinator, and it did not disappoint. I had the tuna and salmon ceviche. Cody had the black rice (squid ink) with octopus, Greg had a different ceviche and Tim had a flounder dish. Everything was excellent.