James of Surco District
Distrito de Santiago de Surco (Spanish)
|Founded||December 16, 1929|
|• Mayor||Carlos Bruce |
|• Total||34.75 km2 (13.42 sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (PET)|
Santiago de Surco, commonly known simply as Surco, is a district of Lima, Peru. It is bordered on the north with the district of Ate Vitarte and La Molina; on the east with San Juan de Miraflores, on the west with San Borja, Surquillo, Miraflores and Barranco, and on the south with Chorrillos.
The northern parts of Santiago de Surco, which are close to the districts of La Molina and San Borja, are known as Monterrico and Chacarilla, and considerably more developed than the southern side of the district, having more upper-class housing and all four major shopping centers of the district.
The Santiago de Surco area was already populated before Inca times. During the Viceroyalty of Peru, Surco became a vacation spot for the wealthy. Back in those times, Santiago de Surco comprised not only its current territory but also the area of present-day Barranco, Chorrillos, San Juan de Miraflores, Villa María del Triunfo and Villa El Salvador.
One of the biggest attractions of Surco is the old Church San Juan Grande, which is currently under reconstruction. In earlier years this church remained unwatched and with no care from the municipality of Surco and was inhabited by locals in poverty.
It is said that this old church was communicated to the Santiago Apostol Cathedral a few miles from there in old Surco by a sort of underground passages built by the Jesuits to be used in case of war or danger. What is a fact is the old skulls and little babies bones found by curious people who walked in the catacums.
This church was built by the Jesuit order in 1752, using adobe, canes, stones and wood only. The Jesuit order was expelled in 1767 from all the Spanish territories due to disagreements with the Spanish monarch Carlos III and then after their properties were confiscated. Thus this place was abandoned. Thereafter, this land was sold in an auction. As a matter of fact, this land was divided into two pieces; A large(grande) parcel and a small one. The church then took its name from the large parcel, which was "grande" in Spanish.
This house-property was used as a shelter for Cáceres' troops in times of war. While sheltering at one point, Caceres didn't know from where the Chilean troops, who had just arrived a few hours earlier in Conchan, could attack the city. So he used the help of a young boy. There was an immense 300-year-old pine tree in the patio that divided the church from the house-property, and even though it fell in January 2001, it remains unbroken in the collective memory of Surco as a silent witness to what happened. Julio César Escobar, the young boy, became a hero at the age of 13 during the San Juan and Miraflores battle by giving his life for the sake of the country. Julio climbed up to the top of the pine tree, to be a lookout and warn Caceres about the Chilean troops' approach. When Julio saw the Chileans, he was too high to climb down to warn about the Chilean troops' arrival. The Peruvian troops fled from the shooting that had begun and Julio was not able to escape. Unfortunately, the patriots were defeated, and the kid hero was shot dead near the immense tree. The church was then sacked and burned by the Chilean troops, who later converted it into a stable.
The old district of San José de Surco was created by Law 6644 on December 16, 1929 out of the Barranco District. And in 1944, Santiago de Surco district is renamed and get territories from the old Ate district.
The district of Santiago de Surco, at that time, bordered to the north, with the districts of La Victoria and Ate. To the east, with the district of Pachacámac. To the south, with the district of Lurín. To the southwest, with the district of Chorrillos. To the west, with the district of Barranco. And to the northwest, with the district of Miraflores. Likewise, at that time, it covered the jurisdiction of the current districts of Villa El Salvador, Villa María del Triunfo, San Juan de Miraflores, and part of San Borja.
In the decade of the 40's and 50's, the eastern and southern areas of the district began to become overpopulated and suffer from a massive invasion, such as: "La Barriada de Ciudad de Dios" and the "Sociedad El Triunfo de la Restauración". Therefore, in the 1960s, Santiago de Surco began to suffer from a massive territorial cut. First, thanks to the founding of the district of Villa María del Triunfo, whose new district ended up also covering what would currently be Villa El Salvador. Later, in 1965, Santiago de Surco suffered another large cut, after the founding of the San Juan de Miraflores district, due to the settlement of the Pamplona Alta hill. Later, in 1983, the district got its last big cut, thanks to the founding of the San Borja district.
Surco, as it is commonly known, obtained the title of "garden district" four times in the management of Carlos Dargent. In its jurisdiction, families of high socioeconomic level largely reside (Monterrico and surrounding areas); while in the southern area there are homes from different socioeconomic strata, including: upper middle, middle and lower middle. The district covers the urbanizations of Valle Hermoso, Monterrico, Las Casuarinas, La Castellana, Los Álamos, La Floresta de Monterrico, Cerros de Camacho, Pancho Fierro, Santa Constanza, Chacarilla del Estanque, Higuereta, Neptuno, Tambo de Monterrico, El Dorado, Chama, Alborada, Liguria, Las Gardenias, Santa Teresa, Bella Luz, Vista Alegre, San Ignacio de Monterrico, Prolongación Benavides, Monterrico Sur, Los Rosales, La Capullana, Los Precursores, La Cruceta, Los Próceres, Santo Cristo, La Virreyna, San Roque, La Ensenada, San Pedrito, Sagitario, Surco Viejo or Surco Pueblo, Jorge Chávez, Santa María, Cercado de Surco, Los Parrales and Camino Real. In areas where per capita income is high, such as in Las Casuarinas, access is restricted. The price of a home in such an urbanization is usually very high. However, there are areas of this same socioeconomic level such as Chacarilla or other parts of Monterrico, where access is free. Santiago de Surco is characterized by being a large district with a large amount of green areas, being behind the San Borja district.
Due to the fame that the district has, some urbanizations belonging to the district of Chorrillos, such as the areas of La Encantada and Las Brisas de Villa, have expressed their desire to be administered by Santiago de Surco in June 2013. Despite the existence of Peruvian law, which establishes that every district must have territorial continuity, a factor that does not apply there. All this, due to the inattention on the part of the district of Chorrillos, to such urbanizations.
In the southern part of the district, divided by Tomás Marsano Avenue, there is a coexistence of different socioeconomic strata. Its population belongs to both the medium-high socioeconomic level: urbanizations of Los Próceres, Los Precursores, Sagitario, La Campiña, Viñedos de Surco, etc; as well as, at the average socioeconomic level: urbanizations of Rodrigo Franco and Surco Viejo. Likewise, there are areas inhabited by families of the lower-middle socioeconomic level, where the highest crime rate in the entire district is found: human settlements of Viva el Perú, San Gabino, Parque Alto, Parque Bajo, Tejada Alta, Manuel Medina Paredes and Señor of Miracles.
It is estimated that in Santiago de Surco, given its large size, there are around 60 small human settlements, located near its limits with the districts of San Juan de Miraflores, Chorrillos and Barranco. As in the districts of La Molina and San Borja, the homes in these human settlements and popular urbanizations are self-built. In human settlements such as Señor de los Milagros, Viva El Perú and Diente de Oro there are precarious construction homes. These are inhabitants who can be considered vulnerable people. Even so, a large part of these areas have basic public services.
Administratively, the district is divided into 9 sectors. It has a very varied climate and landscape. Due to its location, it can be considered part of Lima Sur; However, due to legal situations, Santiago de Surco is part of the Lima Center area.
Culture, education and entertainment
Some of the most exclusive and prestigious universities of Lima are located in Surco, including University of Lima, ESAN University, Universidad Ricardo Palma, and Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas. Other prestigious high-school institutions such as Markham College, Colegio Santa Margarita, Colegio Santa María Marianistas, Colegio de la Inmaculada and Colegio Cambridge are also located within the district.
Many of Lima's largest shopping centers are also located in the district, including "Jockey Plaza Shopping Center", "Caminos del Inca", "Chacarilla" and "El Polo". Santiago de Surco has won five awards for having some of the best-kept green areas in Lima.
La Vendimia (grapevine): The Viticulture Association and the Municipality of Santiago de Surco sponsor this showcase for regional crafts, cuisine and wine processes within the framework of the "Vineyard Harvest of Surco." The craft of wine preparation is demonstrated through macerating grapes by the traditional method of treading by foot. Grape fermentation and aging processes are also shown. A Reina de la Vendimia (Queen of the Harvest) is chosen and local performers stage their talents. This seasonal festival takes place from March 17 to 26, annually and it is one of the most traditionalist festivities. It is celebrated in downtown Surco.
The first Vendimia was started by Engineer Pedro Venturo Zapata, owner and operator of "Hacienda Higuereta y Anexos - Negociacion Vinicola Pedro Venturo S.A." (1925-1952)
Several of Lima's most important avenues pass through Santiago de Surco, including the South Cone avenues, which connect the district with downtown Lima, Cono Sur districts, San Isidro (Lima's financial district), and Miraflores. Three stations of Line 1 of the Lima Metro (Jorge Chavez, Ayacucho and Cabitos) are located in the district.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2015)
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- "Interactive City Directory". Sister Cities International. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- "Agreement between sister cities" (PDF) (in Spanish). Lima: Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
- (in Spanish) Municipalidad Distrital de Santiago de Surco - Santiago de Surco district council official website