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Divided by class, Peruvians united in love of beach

Rodrigo Abd / AP

A man is silhouetted in a wading pool as he cleans it out in the ocean waters off Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

Beach goers wade on the shoreline of Agua Dulce beach, in Lima, Peru during summertime in the southern hemisphere.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

Karina Alvarado and David Enriquez pose for a picture with their daughter at Agua Dulce beach. For five Peruvian soles or about two U.S. dollars beach goers can pose for a photo in front of backdrops of their choice that include forest landscapes, exotic beach scenes or atop horses.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

Lifeguards attend to Belen Godinez on"Agua Dulce" beach after she was saved from drowning in the ocean in Lima, Peru.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

A woman snacks on mango fruit as her grandson plays nearby on Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

Adela Cabrera, 19, poses for a picture on a horse at Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru. For five Peruvian soles or about two U.S. dollars beach goers can pose for a photo to record their day at the beach.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

A man opens a can of peaches on Agua Dulce beach in Lima, Peru.

While Lima's elite spend their summer weekends in gated beach enclaves south of the Peruvian capital, the working class jams by the thousands on a single municipal beach of grayish-brown sands and gentle waves.

Until the mid-20th century, Lima's lower classes couldn't afford beach-going, said Juan Pacheco, a historian of the city. Road-building to the coast solved that, and the rich began to largely abandon Lima's beaches to the poorer set.

Now, the only barrier to entry to Agua Dulce beach is two dollars, the price of bus fare to get there and home.

On some weekends during the Southern Hemisphere summer, which runs from December until March, as many as 40,000 people a day visit the half-mile-long strip of beach. They arrive in groups of 20-30, hauling enormous pots of fragrant chicken and rice.
– Associated Press

Editor’s Note: The images for this blog post were shot from January to March, but made available to NBC News today.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

A man walks along the shoreline next to a message in the sand that reads in Spanish "I love you Alfonzo,

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