WAZALAFKEN FROM SOURCE TO SEA
ESPAÑOL
WAZALAFKEN FROM SOURCE TO SEA
Español

The exploration of a river and the people fighting for its protection.

For the Mapuche people, rivers are sacred. Water is not only what sustains life: it is life itself.

The Film

A group of young environmentalists embark on a kayak expedition from the mountains to the sea through the watershed of the San Pedro (Wazalafken) River. A journey through the heart of Mapuche territory, where stories told by the local inhabitants of the basin unveil the profound spiritual value of water and call upon all of us to understand and protect our wild rivers.

THE EXPEDITION

The film follows a 200 kilometer kayak descent along the San Pedro River, from it’s headwaters to the ocean. The San Pedro is emblematic of river conflicts in Chile: it cuts through the middle of Mapuche territory and has significant cultural importance, yet lacks protected status and is threatened by several hydroelectric projects.

During the descent, the expedition team encounters local leaders, who share their vision about the importance of water for the Mapuche. Along the journey, these explorers find a common cause with those who guide their journey: to protect this sacred river.

Ultimately, this film is a way of revealing to the world the beauty of Chile’s wild and scenic rivers, and the need to protect them for the survival of humanity and our vital connection with our planet’s rivers.

Río Sagrado is a film supported by the National Geographic Young Explorers Fund. Additional support is provided by Planet Fuel, Fundación Plantae, and Outdoor Research. 

THE EXPEDITION

The film follows a 200 km kayak descent along the San Pedro (Wazalafken) river, from it’s headwaters to the ocean. The San Pedro is emblematic of river conflicts in Chile: it cuts through the middle of Mapuche territory and has significant cultural importance, yet lacks protected status and is threatened by several hydroelectric projects.

During the descent, the expedition team encounters local leaders, who share their vision about the importance of water for the Mapuche. Along the journey, these explorers find a common cause with those who guided them: to protect this sacred river.

Ultimately, this project is a way of revealing to the world the beauty of Chile’s wild and scenic rivers, and the need to protect them for the survival of humanity and our vital connection with our planet’s rivers.

Río Sagrado is a film supported by the National Geographic Young Explorers Fund. Additional support is provided by Planet Fuel, Fundación Plantae, and Outdoor Research. 

THE FIGHT TO DEFEND THE SACRED RIVER

Article and short video produced by National Geographic about the descent of the Wazalafken river, the mapuche cosmology, and the threats hydroelectric power plants pose to rivers in Chile.

THE FIGHT TO DEFEND THE SACRED RIVER

Article and short video produced by National Geographic about the descent through the Wazalafken river, the mapuche cosmology and the threats hydroelectric power plants pose to rivers in Chile.

WAZALAFKEN RIVER FROM SOURCE TO SEA 

Article in Domingo Magazine about the main motivations behind this expedition and the need to combine outdoor sports with environmental advocacy.

WAZALAFKEN RIVER FROM SOURCE TO SEA 

Article for Domingo Magazine about the main motivations behind this expedition and the need to combine outdoor sports with environmental advocacy.

THE TEAM

Direction
Nicole Ellena & Erick Vigouroux
Production
Jens Benöhr / Patrick Lynch / Henry Lystad / Alec Jacobsen
Edition
Carlos Lastra / Erick Vigouroux
Music
Daniela Millaleo / Javier Milanca
Camera
Erick Vigouroux / Carlos Lastra / Paulo Urrutia
Kayakers 
Canela Astorga / Jens Benöhr / Pablo Cariqueo /
Tobias Hellwig / Patrick Lynch / Paulo Urrutia
Collaborators
Matías Marín / José Manuel Bravo / Juan García /
Alessandra Ragonesi

THE TEAM

Direction
Nicole Ellena & Erick Vigouroux
Production
Jens Benöhr / Patrick Lynch / Henry Lystad / Alec Jacobsen
Edition
Carlos Lastra / Erick Vigouroux
Music
Daniela Millaleo / Javier Milanca
Camera
Erick Vigouroux / Carlos Lastra / Paulo Urrutia
Kayakers 
Canela Astorga / Jens Benöhr / Pablo Cariqueo / Tobias Hellwig / Patrick Lynch / Paulo Urrutia
Collaborators
Matías Marín / José Manuel Bravo / Juan García / Alessandra Ragonesi