Santiago de Surco
|Santiago de Surco|
|Founded||December 16, 1929|
|• Mayor||Roberto Hipolito Gómez Baca|
|• Total||34.75 km2 (13.42 sq mi)|
|Population (2002 est.)|
|• Density||7,200/km2 (19,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PET (UTC-5)|
Santiago de Surco, commonly known simply as Surco, is a district of Lima, Peru. It is bordered on the north by the districts of La Molina, Ate and San Borja; on the south by Chorrillos; on the east by La Molina, Villa María del Triunfo and San Juan de Miraflores; and on the west by San Borja, Miraflores, Surquillo and Barranco.
The northern parts of Surco, which are close to San Borja and La Molina, are known as Monterrico and Chacarilla and considerably more developed than the southern side of the district, having more upper class housing and the four major shopping centers of the district.
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.
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 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.
Several of Lima's most important avenues pass through Surco, including the South avenues, which connect the district with downtown Lima, 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.
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, Surco comprised not only its current territory but also the area of present-day Barranco, Chorrillos, and other areas.
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)parcels and a small one. Then, the church 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. Caceres didn't know from where the Chilean troops, which just arrived from Chile a few hours earlier in Conchan, could attack the city. So he used the help of a little person. There was an immense pine tree of more than 300 years of age back in the patio that divided the church from the house-property, but even though it fell broken in January 2001, It still remains unbroken in the memory of many surcanos as a silent witness of what happened that time. Julio, the little kid, became a hero at the age of 13 and during the San Juan y Miraflores battle by immolating for the sake of the mother country. The little kid hero, Julio César Escobar, climbed up to the top of the pinetree to be a watch and warn Caceres about the Chilean troops approach. When Julio saw the Chileans, he was to high already to climb down to warn about the Chilean troops' presence on time. The Peruvian troops had to flee through the shooting that had already begun and Julio did not have enough time to run away. Unfortunately, the patriots were defeated and the kid hero was shot dead close-by the immense pinetree.
Then, this church was sacked and burnt by the Chilean troops. Later on, the church was converted in a stable by the Chileans. This extract was translated by Daniel David Delgado Torrejon.
- Alberto Tauro del Pino, Enciclopedia Ilustrada del Perú, vol. XV, p. 2414.
- (Spanish) Municipalidad Distrital de Santiago de Surco - Santiago de Surco district council official website