Chicas al Agua


“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

A film by BoonDocs in collaboration with Chicas al Agua and Futa Riverkeeper.

Chicas al Agua is a growing program with an increasing number of participants each year. A sponsorship with NRS covers most of the gear needed for the program. However, the program is still lacking in kayaks and paddles. If you’re traveling to the Futaleufú River with a kayak and paddle and would like to donate your equipment to the program when you depart, you can contact them at info@futaleufuriverkeeper.org.