Can a race save a river? It’s a big question that filmmaker Mike McKay examines in this C&K exclusive short, Botella.

The film’s focus is on the popular Rio Alseseca, located near Tlapacoyan in the eastern Mexico state of Veracruz. Noted expedition kayakers Darin McQuoid and Tom McEwan set the stakes, explaining how garbage piles up in a river that drains a city, and why paddlers are so drawn to a river that McEwan describes as lined with “one waterfall after another, every one different .. who’s not going to like that?” The event that’s helped lure paddlers from around the globe — and catalyze positive change on a local level — is the Rio Alseseca Race, which had its eighth annual run on Saturday with 42 competitors from 10 countries. Antonio Reinoso, owner/operator at eco-camp/outfitter Aventurec, which organizes the race, has certainly noticed the impact. “Little by little, the way people regard the river is changing,” says Reinoso, who also won this year’s short race.

See C&K’s previous multimedia coverage of the Alseseca Race, and click HERE for full 2016 results, highlighted by wins in the long race by Mexico’s Isidro Soberanes and Americans Elizabeth Markoff and Carson Lyness in the women’s division long and short races, respectively.