The Pueblo Joven (= young village or slum) called Luis Alberto Kouri Haana and located near Lima was inhabited from March 2nd, 1996.
It belongs to the urban area of Ventanilla, the constitutional province of Callao. At that time, President Alberto Fujimori was in power.
160 families came to Luis Alberto Kouri Haana and bought a piece of land with a little amount of money they had. Everyone’s dream was to have their own home in order to improve the difficult living conditions.
After a few months, they were confronted with a catastrophic surprise: the people who sold the land were not the owners. They tricked the families, gave them fake papers, and then disappeared with the money.
For this reason, the possession of this slum was classified as an illegal invasion. This is how they call illegal settlements. Often the land occupiers are desperate rural dwellers who try to take part in the economic upturn that they heard of in the city, but usually, they do not have sufficient funds to legally purchase a property.
Such urban areas, that grow unregulated and often without any urban planning, are finally declared “real” neighborhoods over time. This also applies to Luis Alberto Kouri Haana.
The Bernales family was one of the tricked families. They came to this place hoping for everything to be better soon. Despite difficult living conditions, this family still had some hope. They believed that they would eventually become legal owners of the area.
Ever since they have been committed to gradually improving living conditions in the whole area. Nevertheless, for many years all families lived without running water, electricity and a sewage system. Many had built their own huts from plastic and wood.
The Bernales family began to open their house to around 50 children every week. They told them stories from the Bible and taught them Christian values.
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