Our group of 23 kayaks and two rafts paddled for five days to arrive at Caleta Tortel, where the RÃo Baker meets the Pacific Ocean. We camped on the property of homesteaders along the river and learned how the region was settled. Antonio Horvath, Senator for the region of AysÃ©n and a staunch opponent of the dams, joined us for the first day and talked with students about the politics of the hydroelectric debate. Brian Reid, a limnologist studying the Bakerâ€™s sediments, rowed a support raft and provided a scientific perspective on the potential impact of the dams.
Students finished their trip with a vist to the remote RÃo Pascua, where HidroAysÃ©n has proposed three dams. They met Hernan Guelet, a homesteader who refuses to sell his land to the dam-building company, and spent an afternoon on the edge of the Pascua writing in journals and reflecting on their journey.