Envahisseurs, soyez les bienvenus !

Photography : Laurent WEYL     Texts : Donatien GARNIER    

Sol de la Portada. On the northern tip of Lima, this slum was created by the invasion of 180 families five years earlier.
Milé Garro Matos, 25, inhabitant of the Sol de la Portada slum, helps her son do his homework while breast-feeding her newborn baby, Derek.
Milé Garro Matos and her son Steven. If all goes well, the invasion will be legalised and the Sol de la Portada families will become home owners.
The first group decision by the inhabitants of Sol de la Portada, just after the invasion in 2005, was to set up a residents association in charge of organising and drawing up a new neighbourhood.
Steven Garro, 6, has his dinner sitting in the only chair of his parents' wooden shack.
The inhabitants of Sol de la Portada, who have created a residents association, have carefully traced out the limits of their neighbourhood. They have drawn the streets, shared out plots of land fairly, and made provision for public spaces.
Steven Garro, 6, in the 3-roomed shack he lives in with his parents.
Sol de la Portada means 'from where the Portada can be seen'. At the base of the mountain, in Manchay valley, Portada III was also created by an invasion 17 years before. It is now connected to the mains water pipes, Lima electricity supply and a sewer system.
Two months after their invasion, Milé Garro Matos and her husband Félix knew that they would not be evicted. They built a wooden shack. They will invest in a brick building when they receive an owner's certificate, or deeds for their property. This can take from five to twenty years.
Drawn up in the first days after the invasion, and maintained, with difficulty by community work, the roads and streets allow tankers to supply the inhabitants with drinking water. But you have to walk up from the bus stop.
Every morning, except on Sundays, Felix Quispe Duran leaves home for work at 5am. He doesn't come home until 11pm.
It takes Felix Quispe Duran 15 minutes to walk to the paved road where he waits for his bus. It then takes another hour by bus to get to work.
Felix Quispe Duran is a ticket collector on the bus. He shouts the names of the streets and places the bus goes to out of the door, hurries passengers to get in, pay and get off the bus without wasting time. He works a 16-hour day.
All day Felix Quispe Duran, ticket collector on a bus, travels through part of the city. The journey changes according to well-controlled passenger numbers.
Felix Quispe Duran is a ticket collector on the bus. He shouts the names of the streets and places the bus goes to out of the door, hurries passengers to get in, pay and get off the bus without wasting time. He works a 16-hour day.
El Agustino area. On the bus where he is a ticket collector, Felix Quispe Duran goes through areas that are more or less finished, but are all part of the megalopolis. This is not yet the case for Sol de la Portada, the slum where he lives.
Steven Quispe Garro, 6, breakfasts on a bowl of porridge with milk and a piece of bread before going to school. Behind him, the tv, connected to cable, and an illegal electricity supply that has to be paid for to the undeclared supplier in Portada III - reels off news : news about citizens, macabre scenes. Politics. Adverts.
Steven Quispe Garro has to walk for 15 minutes on a stony path to get to his small private school in Portada III. Originally an invaded site, the inhabitants of this area have recently received deeds for their property and are finally being connected to the megalopolis.
Wilmar Tejeda Placencia, kisses his 3-year old girl before going to work. He is one of the few tenants in Sol de la Portada. But the "friends" who have rented him a place want to get it back. Wilfred has put a lot of energy into developing the land and he would like to buy it. He doesn't think, however, that he has the means.
Wilmar Tejeda Placencia is a guard in a gated community not that far from the slum he lives in. Here there are no worries about water or money. Wilmar is badly paid and would like to change jobs. While waiting for the opportunity to arise, he appreciates the peace of the place.
Twice a week, Jessyca Mori Garro, 17, pulls a heavy hosepipe up from the soft water tanker to the slum's shacks. The tanker was built by all the inhabitants and is filled up by lorries. In exchange for this service, Jessyca's family get free water.
Thanks to the voluntary work by the inhabitants during their rare free time, the neighbourhood is starting to take shape. The streets have been de-stoned, the land levelled. Large plastic buckets are painted red. They will be filled with sand and used to put out fires. It is the first step required for starting procedures to receive deeds.
Local elections are coming up and some parties go through the slums handing out presents. Women have been given what they need to set up their communal canteen : a gas oven, pots and some basic ingredients.
Whilst waiting for a specific place, the women of Sol de la Portada have set up their communal canteen in one of their homes.
Every day the women take it in turns to cook lunch in the communal canteen. Thanks to a collective funding system they provide 20 or so balanced and nutritious meals a day at a very low price.
Portada III. This sports stadium in concrete - commonly called losa deportiva - is the result of a project carried out by a part of the inhabitants. Seventeen years after the original invasion, Portada III finally has some limited infrastructure found in urban areas.
Amílcar Mendívil Arroyo (second from left) is one of the pioneers in building Portada III. He came at the time of the invasion, and has been the head of the residents association for a long time. Now an MP for this immense area that all the slums in the Manchay valley belong to, he is aiming for re-election. By his side, party militants.
Demonstration of skate-boarding in Portada III. Seventeen years after the founding invasion, the modern town has arrived in the old slum. Its central square, in concrete, is taken over for the day by trendy acrobats. They will make fans.
José Carlos Mariátegui College in Portada III. It was largely built by the inhabitants.
José Carlos Mariátegui College in Portada III. By rallying together to build their own primary and secondary schools, the slum inhabitants forced the State to respect its responsibility to educate.
A recent invasion in El Retamel valley, a vast unoccupied area on the right hand side of the Manchay-Pachacámac motorway. Unlike the spontaneous invasion of Sol de la Portada, this one was organised by a group who had the use of a piece of land without deeds. The invasion allowed its members to gain access to the land through a fronting company then, once the land had been urbanised, to sell their land for profit.
El Retamal valley. Cesar, who is already an owner of a house in Villa Maria del Triunfo, an older and more developed slum, made the most of this valley being opened up to buy two pieces of land. He will give them to his daughters, both single and with degrees. His parents-in-law, who have come up from the southern Andean countryside have also settled and become "near" owners of another piece of land in the valley.
Villa del Retamal, on of the 16 neighbourhoods if the valley. The residents associations show their ambitions in paint. Built in breeze blocks, the future hospital is the most complete building in the surrounding area. For the moment it is just an empty shell.
El Retamal valley. Deserted during the week, the valley livens up on Saturdays and Sundays, when collective chores destined to develop the various neighbourhoods take place. After the chores, everyone is busy doing up their own piece of land.
El Retamal valley. Three years after the beginning of the invasion, the valley looks like a large desert dotted with dumps. But the sixteen residents associations of the various neighbourhoods want to work together so that the valley will be a development zone, using the same model as the mythical Villa el Salvador.
El Retamal valley. For candidates in local elections, El Retamel valley has become unavoidable. First messages by the militants to newly arrived inhabitants - live here, vote here, vote for us.
El Retamal valley. To those who only see a deserted space, the new arrivals show a vision of urban density and activity, of economical and commercial activity in a short while, written in the history books of their megalopolis.