“And when one leaves our comfort zone, that is when we realize for the first time, our potential.”— Nancy, Chicas al Agua instructor.
Despite growing up next to one of the world’s most famous rivers, many of the young women in Futaleufú never learned how to swim. Deep in Patagonia, where gauchos still ride horses down dirt roads, an undertone of machismo lingers. Kayaking, like any “rough” sport associated with adrenaline and risk, hasn’t really been an option. By foreigners and men, sure, but teenage Chilenas? Almost never. Chicas al Agua changed everything.
A completely free program, led by an all-female instructor team, Chicas al Agua teaches the young women of Futaleufú to kayak and to care for the river. Instead of being told, “you can’t” or “you’re not strong enough,” the girls are given the opportunity to find out what they are capable of themselves.“I thought at the beginning I was going to drown… I don’t have fear anymore, I have respect.” – Isabella, Student
Sponsored by NRS, this film was born out of a fierce desire to support the vision and continuation of this incredible program. Our hope is that with the film's exposure through film festivals and online distribution that we can not only spread awareness, but also garner much needed support for the program. NRS not only supported the making of this film, they actively assist the program with ongoing gear donations. Pyranha Kayaks also donated a selection of much needed boats to Chicas al Agua. Futaleufú Riverkeeper is the fiscal sponsor of Chicas al Agua. If you are interested in supporting the program, please email Program Coordinator Phoebe Moriarty-Lev here or visit https://www.futaleufuriverkeeper.org/.
Presented by NRS Films
Produced and directed by Liz McGregor
Executive Producer: Ashley Peel
Directors of Photography: Josiah Roe and Felipe Zanotti
Edited by Felipe Zanotti of Z Films
Starring: The Students and Instructors of the Chicas al Agua program
Co-Producers: Melanie Kurtz and Stacie Wunsch
Additional camera by Liz McGregor, Rayno van Heerden and Melanie Kurtz
Sponsored by NRS, Pyranha Kayaks, Futaleufú Riverkeeper & Bio Bio Expeditions
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Premiered / released on March 8, 2023 (International Women's Day)
Status: Currently in film festivals worldwide