Interview by Aurora Lucas
Some look to magazines and billboards to find inspiration. At Desafío, we seek the heroic in everyday people.
Flor Moreno, a female whitewater raft guide working for usat Desafio, is surely one of these magnificent and inspiring people. Flor is beautiful, courageous, and a trail blazer at heart. She has carved a path for fellow women and continues to do so every single day as she is out there as a whitewater raft guide in the Costa Rican landscapes.
Flor lives the life of her dreams, and inspires many others to do so as well. She has broken new ground by being a female white water rafter in a male dominated field.
My jaw dropped seeing her guide a raft down rapids, which affirmed that white water rafting can be achieved by those who set their mind to overcome, no matter what gender.
We had a conversation with her, and below you can read her words and get to know this inspiring woman.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I am from Argentina, and my city is called San Juan. Before discovering my passion for rafting, I only swam and did gymnastics.
I began to compete in rafting in 2011, because a female team formed in the province that I am from. In 2015, we were lucky enough to win the Argentinian championship and travel to Indonesia to represent our incredible country.
The following year we had the honor to travel to Dubai, and represent our Argentina again.
At what age did you begin whitewater rafting?
I started competing at age 20, and I am now 27 years old.
How many years, in total, have you been whitewater rafting now?
I have been rafting for about 7 years.
What inspires you to be a whitewater rafting guide?
Rafting became my passion because it is not only about knowing how to steer a boat in the water. It means you must entrust your life to your fellow paddlers, and to know that they are there to save your life under any circumstances or challenge.
These are amongst the strongest reasons I decided that whitewater rafting is my sport, and my career. What inspires me and motivates me is to try and influence other women to discover this magnificent world, and that everyone can do it. There are no limits - they only exist in our minds! It motivates me a lot to also see that my clients enjoy it as much as I do, and that they are able to forget their cell phones for a few, precious, and life changing moments.
During those moments it is only the team, nature, and the river that are with us. I am happy to be able to achieve that every single time I am working.
What are the challenges you have faced, and continue to face as a female whitewater rafting guide?
I will not deny that sometimes it is not easy to work in this area and field surrounded by men. Some of them believe that women cannot do what they are doing, or maybe that we just don’t have enough strength. But for me, that is actually not a limitation. It is quite the opposite! My challenge is to face more difficult rivers and realize that the only obstacle is in the mind, and one can achieve everything that is proposed, and set their mind on.
What do you love the most about your job?
Without a doubt, rafting is a lifestyle. I cannot imagine my life without it. The other raft guides have become my brothers. While we are in the water we face many challenges and that unites us even more. My plans for the future are to continue touring new rivers and I would love to inspire even more women to be a part of this magnificent and extraordinary world!
Who was your biggest inspiration and mentor when you were becoming a whitewater raft guide?
Although I started competing in rafting for years, and then eventually got to work, my greatest inspiration was a great guide and friend of mine from Jacopo, Italy. He was the one who taught me how to guide. He also told me many wonderful stories, and that propelled me to be even more awakened in my passion for rafting.
Flor is an astonishing individual to meet, and if you ever have the chance to visit La Fortuna, Costa Rica, make sure to ask her to be your raft guide. She is out there living her passion for whitewater rafting and connecting people with their greatest desires.
We all yearn for that human connection. Going whitewater rafting with a female raft guide that is breaking ground in a male dominated industry alongside abundant, beautiful nature is a total heart, body, mind, and soul experience.
It proves that there is space to be created for women in this sport too, and thankfully, as Flor mentions, the men who work alongside her on the rivers have helped create those meaningful spaces where she is able to thrive.