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2018 MCHAP

Cultural Center - Comunal Kitchen "San Martin del Once"

Coordinadora de la Ciudad - CITIO

Lima, Peru

March 2017




Hirikiten (Fitekantropus Project´s partner) HabEtsam - Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Fitekantropus Project´s partner) Universidad de Alicante (Fitekantropus Project´s partner)


Comunal Kitchen "San Martín del Once"


Eleazar Cuadros Choque Javier Vera Cubas Paula Villar Pastor


As a result of the analysis carried out in the participatory process, it was strategically decided to concentrate efforts on the remodeling and expansion of the San Martín Communal Kitchen. This underutilized infrastructure in poor condition, which worked with the love and drive of the women who managed the place, was the only possibility of public equipment for the neighborhood, and the first step to recover the Tahuantinsuyo Park as a public space. The spaces were reorganized to improve the functionality of the Communal Kitchen (living room, kitchen, storage, services) and expand collective uses (multipurpose room, library, bathrooms, an orchard). The entire existing structure was replaced by a new one that supported a second floor, and all the facilities were renovated. Initiated the process in 2014 with the support of the international cooperation, the community did not stop. Once the financing was completed, work days were organized in which neighbors and friends got involved with labor. With the support of new institutional allies, the first floor was inaugurated and began to operate, dignifying its occupants. By 2015, with more works, the place and its surroundings began to be used freely and intensely. The 2nd floor was inaugurated at the beginning of 2017: a structure built by teachers and apprentices of the neighborhood as part of training workshops with teenagers an women. Facades filled with panels made one by one by each neighbor to their liking and with the waste materials of the work or that was at hand. A collective work that changes skin over time.


The FITECA (International Festival of Theater in Open Streets) has been transforming "La Balanza", for more than 15 years, into a living neighborhood, different from the model of a formal city where today fear and disagreement prevail. The "Fitekantropus" appears as a new paradigm of the inhabitant of Lima: a citizen who interacts playfully with his surroundings and, in opposition to the man-consumer whose world becomes a commercial center, builds his street as a House of Culture. The Fitekantropus Project begins, in 2007, with the hypothesis that the meaning of this event can be extended in time and space: evolve from a week-long festival in a public space, to a development project of the entire neighborhood. In a long process of inter-learning an Integral Urban Vision has been shaped: several projects woven in a single organism, are activated with community days of production of public spaces that provoke the development of "Anchor Projects", such as the Fiteca Culture Walk, the San Martín Cultural Center and the Tahuantinsuyo Park. These last two projects have progressively been made concrete thanks to the coordination between CCC (formerly CITIO), international cooperation institutions, NGOs, universities, the district municipality, volunteers and professionals, in the hands of the organized neighbors, who since 2015 have been refounding the so-called Human Settlements as "Cultural Districts".


The progressive implementation of the project has turned a space to eat into a living space that today is a milestone and a meeting place. Thanks to the physical transformation of space, the women who managed the San Martín Communal Kitchen have another role as cultural managers. From here the logic of the public is radiated, against the fragmentation and privatization that threatens the neighborhood. The project did not end with the inauguration of the work. Today the efforts are focused on keeping the space alive as a Cultural Center for cooperative management. Young people from the neighborhood are organizing to administer the library, and in the multipurpose room there are artistic and productive workshops, assemblies, exhibitions, film screenings and spontaneous games. The place receives many visits from different people who want to know and study the experience, and offer their support to continue working on the integral project. This monument in the park shows how FITECA inspires new local development initiatives. Remember its story of effort, trust and solidarity. It symbolizes what we are capable of doing if we work together and pursue common dreams. It highlights the work of women and the potential of their leadership. And it is a good example of the concept of self-management that is promoted: not an isolated group that struggles to achieve the minimum and claim it, but a great team that builds bridges, opens, invites, receives and recognizes it, takes and strengthens it, exploits and thanks, gives and spreads.

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