Again many, many, many thanks are in order from the Somos del Rio team. In the last hours of our fundraising campaign we surpassed our goal and raised $11,095!!! We could not have reached our goal without your help. Thanks to you, what a short time ago was just a fledgling dream in our minds, is now coming to fruition.
Success on the Futa
After some long days of travel and a few major (camera bag stolen at the Santiago bus station day one) and minor (Pete getting off the bus for coffee in Temuco and the bus leaving without him) type setbacks, we are on track and making great progress deep in Patagonia. We’ve been working around the clock and everyone on the team has been making major contributions. Everyone we’ve met has received us warmly and we are continually amazed at the depth of the contributions from people we had never met before we started this project.
We managed to paddle and shoot on most of the whitewater sections of the Futaleufu, which are without a doubt some of the most scenic and exciting in the world. More importantly we talked with numerous personalities in the valley, including a Chilean medal of honor winning scientist, activists, local outfitters, campesinos (local farmers), legendary paddlers and even the mayor of the town of Futaleufu!
Immersing ourselves in the Futaleufu Valley was an amazing experience and it was a hard place to pull ourselves away from. We could all have easily stayed longer but the road south was calling. Seeing people’s passion for the river and the people it supports was incredibly moving and weighed on us heavily. We laughed, we cried, we felt it in our hearts how important the Futaleufu is to the people who live in the valley. There are so many layers to the threat of hydro-development in the region that it was hard to keep up with at times, but there is no question we all came away with a much deeper understanding of the issue.
On to the Aysen
Yesterday we got on a bus with all of our boats and camera gear strapped to the roof and headed south. After a taxing 12 hour bus ride we made it to Coyhaique, the largest town in Patagonia and headquarters for Sin Represas, a group that’s been pushing for protecting the regions resources since the early 90’s. Tomorrow we head south again for Cochrane and the Baker River.
Our spirits our high and we are putting all of energy into our investigation and capturing the best footage we can. I feel like I’ve never learned so much in such a short period of time. They are truly schooling us down here. This trip has already changed us all profoundly. Your support made this possible and we cannot thank you enough.