The District of Comas
The Peruvian district of Comas is one of 43 that make up the province of Lima, in the Department of Lima. It is located in the far north of the province, about 15 miles from downtown Lima, in the area known as “el Cono Norte” (the Northern Cone). Its altitude varies from 100 to 300 m, putting it at a higher elevation than most of the rest of Lima. Its borders on the north with the district of Carabayllo, and also shares borders with the districts of San Juan de Lurigancho, Independencia to the south, Los Olivos and the district of Puente Piedra. It is considered part of the Lima Metropolitan area. Nearly a half a million people live in Comas, making it one of the most densely populated districts in the city.
Like most of Lima, the area had been lived for hundreds of years before the time of the Conquistadors, originally by the Yungas and the Yauyos cultures. It’s location between the hills and the coast, plus its fertile soils, contributed to constant battles over the centuries, as different cultures sought to maintain control.
Modern day Comas began as a shanty town, one of the many pueblos jovenes that have sprung up around Lima. It was formed during the first organized “invasions” by immigrants from the highlands that began populating the periphery of Lima in the 1970s. The majority of the immigrants came from the regions of Junin and Huancavelica in Peru’s central sierra. It was officially created as a district on December 12, 1961, and is considered the cultural center of the Cono Norte. While at one time it was considered one of the poorest districts in Lima, it has over the last decade developed in a fairly middle class residential district. Currently, 80% of the district is fully urbanized, with sidewalks, electricity, water and sewer as well as phone and internet lines. Peru’s only civil aviation school, the Aeroclub de Collique, is found in Comas.