The pueblos jovenes, or new villages, surrounding Peru’s capital, Lima, are makeshift shantytowns sprawled on the desert foothills of the Andes Mountains. Families from all over Peru come to escape joblessness and lack of public services to begin new lives on the dunes. Homes made out of scrap material often have only sandbags for a foundation.

Some of the neighborhoods are still in their infancy, lacking roads, water and electric services, and formal deeds to the houses occupied by their residents. Others resemble more modern neighborhoods. Some were settled legitimately, while others were taken over by squatters. Neighborhoods taken over by squatters were dubbed invasiones. The photographs shown here come from the invasiones of Pamplona Alta and Villa el Salvador, where squatters have encroached on pig farmers’ lands. Utility companies are reluctant to create more infrastructure here until disputes are settled by farmers and invaders.