Northwest River Supply, a paddling gear company better known as NRS, released a new short film this week to celebrate International Women’s Day. The film spotlights Chicas al Agua, a free program featuring an all-female instructor team that teaches young women in Chile how to paddle and care for the Futaleufú River.
“…Futaleufú has been a recognized whitewater sports destination, where people from all over the world come to learn their rapids,” the Patagonia-based Futaleufú Riverkeeper, a collaborator on the film, posted on Facebook. “Villagers are already used to seeing cars loaded with kayaks and rafts roaming the streets. However, for some reason, something that wasn’t common was to see local women enjoying the sport, and the Futaleufú girls didn’t feel it was a sport for them, but for men and foreigners.”
According to the Futaleufú Riverkeeper, Chicas al Agua has helped more than 20 young women get into paddling and connect with their home river. NRS supports the program by providing gear to the aspiring kayakers.
“Knowing the intrinsic value and opportunities kayaking can bring to young women, a small group of female paddlers set out to create change,” NRS wrote in a Facebook post announcing the film’s premiere. “Chicas al Agua goes beyond teaching teenage Chilenas how to kayak. It bolsters confidence and builds a community of support while simultaneously creating a new generation of river stewards.”
Watch the film and learn more about Chicas al Agua at www.community.nrs.com
Cover Photo: Title photo graphic of the film Chicas al Aqua