Elisabeth remembers her childhood in Villa El Salvador. The clean stretch of sand, when the first invasions started, that reflected the moonlight with small white shells that twinkled like stars. She also remembers the community, cooperation, and organization that each of the people who came to Villa El Salvador, mostly migrants from the highlands of Peru, brought to their work in their effort to build the district.

“I want to share everything Villa has taught me”

Through the Mujeres de Arena (Women of Sand) collective, Elisabeth and her partners are working to empower the women who carried the leadership of the district when it was being built. Those women who had to learn about politics on the go.

They are giving them tools so that they can occupy positions in decision-making spaces like the municipality, and so that everything they know, can be validated and put into practice. They are also looking to invite women who are interested in politics, so they can also learn and transform their society.

In a country where the last parliamentary elections gave as a result only 28% of spaces filled by women, training women in politics is key for their representativity and development.

Elisabeth has learned throughout the years, and she is looking for other women to learn as well. “You’re going to be gone, in time. And you can’t leave with everything you have. You have to leave things behind” and what she wants to leave behind is everything Villa gave her.

Villa El Salvador was born from the sand, and now, opportunities for development are being born, opportunities to build and move forward. 


Elisabeth is a part of the Justa Women's Network, by the Justa Justice and Equality for Villa El Salvador project, implemented by UNDP in Villa el Salvador, as one of seven pilots being developed around the world.

She is also a member of la Instancia, a group that gathers representatives from community organizations, private sector, national NGOs, the State and international cooperation.


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