LIMA, Peru — As Chinese-made motorcycle-taxis try to avoid minivans on the chaotic and dusty outskirts of Peru’s capital, Lima, a glossy and incongruent structure rises amid the street stalls and shanties: a new shopping mall.
“Soon, everything will be possible here,” reads a banner.
Life in Villa El Salvador — a district mostly inhabited by impoverished indigenous Peruvians who migrated to the city in search of better prospects — is hard and gives little occasion for superlatives. But the superlatives burst forth when the subject turns to the Mega Plaza Express shopping center.
“I love it here. There was nothing to do around here before. Now I can come to the movies, take my children to the arcade, go to the supermarket and deposit my wage at the bank, all in one afternoon,” said Rosa Vilches, a worker at a nearby factory.
In recent years, rising Asian demand for copper and gold has bolstered Peruvian growth. The Andean country’s gross domestic product rose 6.7 percent year on year in October 2012, marking 38 consecutive months of growth.