Vamos a la playa – Justin An and Keegan Cook

This past weekend, the Brophy Peru team went to the Mejia Beach Jesuit Retreat House. It was around a three hour bus ride from the San Jose school. There, we had fun at the beach, reflected on our experiences in Peru so far, played games, ate, and more.

When we arrived to the Mejia Retreat House, we immediately went to the beach. The waves were massive and were up to 30 feet tall, so we couldn’t go too deep into the ocean. Micah Schulman said, “These waves are crazy.” At the beach, we bodysurfed, had sand competitions such as long jump, relaxed, and took pictures. We went back to the beach house for lunch. We had a breaded chicken and rice, which were amazing thanks to our amazing cooks: Maria Jose, Nancy and Bernardo.

The beach was so fun that all of us went back after lunch. Back at the beach, the waves eroded the sand into a mini cliff that would break if anyone stepped onto the edge. We also stood shoulder to shoulder in game of endurance. The goal was to stay standing still for as long as possible while waves crashed into us. For first game we stood facing the waves, for the second, we had our eyes closed, the for the third game, we stood facing away from the waves. We also saw a small stray dog on the beach. The dog was very friendly and enjoyed playing fetch with us.

At sunset, the way the sun hit the mountains in the distance while reflecting on the beach was beautiful. All together, we had a great time bonding at the beach with one another. For dinner, we had another great meal of fried fish and yuka potato fries.

After dinner came the reflection. It was really powerful. Some questions from Cordova that stuck were:




To answer the, “Who are the poor in Peru?” question, the first obvious answer was the kids that were at the Circa school, the people living in the mountains without water or electricity, etc. However, we all felt that this question went deeper. Most of us said that actually, we were the poor in Peru. The poor people we met were one of the happiest people we ́ve ever encountered. They were happiest with the least. I thought that we were poor because we lacked the happiness and humbleness the kids and adults had, even with little luxuries.

After reflection, most of us played Werewolves of Miller’s Hallow where the ́townspeople´ had to guess who was killing off everyone in the group. It was really fun and we stayed up until midnight playing it.

The place we stayed at was nice. It had a basketball court where we played hoops. The bunkbeds were comfy but it was difficult trying to get onto the top bunk.

The next day, we had a one last time at the beach relaxing, and then we were on our way back to our Arequipa host families. It was the first time in a while that we had time to relax. Overall, we all grew closer and became more like family.


5 thoughts on “Vamos a la playa – Justin An and Keegan Cook

  1. Looks like a fantastic and well-deserved weekend of fun to rest, relax and recharge. And being a Jesuit trip, time to reflect on your journey so far. I’m very proud of the work you are doing and how you are embracing new experiences. These are memories for a lifetime.
    Make the most of your last week! 😀

  2. Looks like an incredible trip… what a great experience! Safe travels and God bless.

  3. It warmed my heart to hear you compliment the cooks by name in your blog. This was a loving acknowledgment.
    As you continue to reflect on ‘who are the poor in Peru”, two more wise quotes from Mother Teresa are applicable here.
    “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread”
    “The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.”
    Consider this: When these communities and children see you coming…. this large group of young men from America walking up to help…right in that moment before you even picked up a shovel you have showed them great love and that you care about them. And so they look joyful, feel joyful, and are joyful to feel so loved.
    Thank you all for spreading this love and joy to those you have come into contact with and done work for in Peru.

  4. Your great insight, “we are the poor in Peru,” opens you up to receive, to receive the love of the people, to receive the grace to continue working when the work gets tough, to receive hope in the midst of poverty, to receive a way of looking at the world that breaks the stereotypes that have blinded you to diverse ways of seeing.

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