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The territory which Cieneguilla presently occupies has been inhabited for many centuries, going as far back as to the Spanish conquest, a time where 25 000 people lived here.
Before the Independence
According to documents found in Malache (Pachacamac), local cultures in the pre-Incan period (up to the year 1470) were influenced by Chavín civilizations, and established themselves in places like the ravines in Huaca Grande, Molle, and the mountains amidst Paquimilca, Huaycan, and Rio Seco.
Early local culture established itself around the first and second century, with the presence of agricultural workers. There are no vestiges of influence by Wari culture, unlike Pachacamac; the territory began to become populated by scattered rural groups. Around 1470 – 1533 Incan culture established itself culturally and politically, limited by the Spanish invasion.
During the Colony
In 1539, by decree of the Council of the City of Kings, these valleys became property of Don Nicolás de Rivera, “The Old One.” In 1565 Lurin Valley, annexed to Jauja Valley, goes on to become possession of Lima, and in 1573 the town of San Salvador de Pachacamac is founded.
Nevertheless, since the 18th century Cieneguilla has been distinguished politically and administratively by an unfortunate trajectory.
During the Republic
Only in the year 1878 was the District of Pachacamac defined with its annexes: Huaycan, Casa Vieja, Manchay, Cieneguilla, Casa Blanca, Venturosa, and Tomina, all with an urban population of 435 citizens and 823 rural ones.
During the Pacific War a Chilean squadron disembarked in Lurin, going through Manchay to attack Lima, and in this rural scenario the battle of Rinconada took place.
In 1895, Hacienda was the general encampment for Don Nicolás de Pierola and his troops on their way to Lima.
In the 60’s a campaign for urbanization took place, forming settlements composed mainly by workers from the haciendas, an effort that would quickly establish Cieneguilla as a district.
Character of the district
On the 3rd of March in 1970, the creation of the district took place, taking in the settlements like Huaycan, Chacra Alta, and Tambo Viejo as part of it.
Because of its environmental characteristics (including all its natural resources such as water, flora, and fauna) Cieneguilla has earned the recognition as an Environmental District, mandated by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism, and Integration.
Cieneguilla is located in the lower part of river Lurin’s basin, in Lima Province, in between 600 and 1 000 meters above sea level, and with a surface of 208 km2, which represents nearly 9% of Lima’s total surface area.
On this basin there are two other Limeñan districts: Salvador de Pachacamac, and San Pedro de Lurin, which has an estuary leading to the Pacific Ocean.