We started the Viracocha III Expedition project in November 2015. From then until now we have received all kinds of help in realizing our goals, including products, services, financial support and private investments. Without this support none of this would have been possible. All assistance has been used in the construction of the raft and the subsequent voyage. We are very grateful for all of the support that we have received. The following describes in detail what we have received and how it has been used.

Thank you Sponsors !

The Beginning of an Adventure

The total cost of the first phase of the Viracocha III project was USD$105650, of which 52% represented support received in the form of services and products, the other 44% invested by two co-producers and the remaining 4% was financed by the directors of the project.

November 2015 saw the harvesting of tortora on Lake Titicaca by Aymara artesans. Knowledge of ancestral traditions and techniques are passed down through generations. Totora is sourced and harvested from Desahuadero, Pariti, Suriki and Kewaya, all in Bolivian territory of Lake Titicaca. In total harvesting of four thousand bundles of totora cost USD$7,381.
Work site in Huatajata, Restaurant Inti Karka (from December 18, 2015 to September 5, 2016) value of USD$3251.
Labor for the harvest was included purchase of the totora.
Transportation by boat to reach the islands USD$509

And So it Began

In December 2015 on Lake Titicaca with the Cordillera Real as the backdrop, Aymara artisans have been harvesting totora over countless generations. The task takes time and patience and provided the tortora required to build the hull of Viracocha III. With thirty cylinders of totora, fifty centimeters in diameter and seventeen meters in length we were ready to move to La Paz, Bolivia.
Juan Limachi building cylinders in Lake Titicaca
Natural fiber rope used for this process cost USD$1250
The covers to protect the cylinders cost USD$295
The cylinders of totora were transported in three trips to the city of La Paz, Bolivia. The first of the trips was supported by the Municipality of the city of La Paz. The workers who loaded the totora charged USD$100, which included lunches. The second and third trips cost USD$400 which also included food for all builders, team members and filming.

Construction of the hull of the Viracocha III

The hull of the raft was built in the city of La Paz in the Plaza Gaston Velasco. Constrution lasted 6 months and required a lot of work and help of all kinds. The cost of labor for the construction of the hull was USD$32000 plus USD$4000 for the change of work locations, transportation and extra expenses, which was paid directly to the constructors' representative. In addition USD$7000 was paid to the expert of the ancestral cultures for the contribution to the project, their work and help. The Municipality of Cotahuma provided us with the workplace and Captain Phil Buck donated USD$500 to the Municipality of Cotahuma to improve lighting in the sector. A caretaker was hired for the raft at a cost of USD$2000. The ornamental masks for the hull cost USD$1100. Communications and logistics cost USD$2540 (flights, internet and calls). This video was made by Radek Czajkowsky.
Eucalyptus poles were purchased to build a platform to support the raft during construction. This cost USD$500, including tools and wire to build the structure.
The 'heart' of the hull was reinforced with 8 strong eucalyptus poles, each of 8 meters that cost USD$150. Other poles were used for the structure for the lee boards at a cost of USD$50.
Twenty rolls of rope of different sizes cost USD$7400, including transportation from Brazil and travel expenses to pick it up at the border
We bought eucalyptus poles for the masts and others of different sizes for decking and cabins which, including transportation, cost USD$625
USD$655 was spent on tools and food for the workers and volunteers cost of USD$1,942
The museum and associated cultural activities cost USD$540 (due to the theft of a projector that we had to replace)

Living in the plaza

The project directors together with some team members and some builders lived in the square to take care of the boat and record the process. For this we built houses of light materials and totora and fenced the work site. We went through extreme climates, complicated conditions and dangers but the experience was incredible and we could be part of the construction of our raft. The materials for the houses and walls cost USD$2000. The workmanship of the carpenter and the builders of the masks to decorate the prow and stern cost USD$600. The total used for personal expenses by the project directors (two people) was USD$6260 for a period of 16 months.

Mission Impossible

At the end of November 2016 the hull of the Viracocha III was moved from the plaza to the Chuquiago Marka Fairground to be exhibited to the citizens. All the maneuvers with cranes (transport to the south, El Alto, storing the raft in a warehouse, transportation, food and transport of the raft from Bolivia to Chile) had a total cost of USD$10,000.

Farewell Ceremony

The President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, bid farewell to The Viracocha III with a symbolic ceremony where Amautas (shamans) ask Pacha Mama and Cota Mama for permission for the raft to cross the border without problems. Las Challas are Aymara and Quechua traditions from ancestral times in which the ancient peoples connected with the spirits of nature to give thanks and ask permission.

Crossing Borders

After moving the hull of the raft from Campo Ferial to El Alto, we finally took the totora giant across the border of Bolivia and Chile (Tambo Quemado and Chungará). We spent several days in the Andes mountains processing the corresponding permits which cost USD$1,200. This covered the trip for team members, permits and snacks. To find a place for the raft, we made several trips to Arica for logistic purposes which cost USD$1,500.

Audiovisual Production

The process of construction of the Viracocha III was documented from the beginning by team members, while also working on audiovisual projects of previous expeditions. This is one of the aspects that we most enjoyed since it allows us to tell our story through creative language, leaving a lasting impression on people. In recording this project, a lot of time had to be spent on researching and recording images in different locations, as well as expert interviews and archival material.
To date the investment in film equipment has cost USD$3,200 including the purchase of a 4k camera, storage, audio and leasing of drones.
Many of the shots for the documentary are made in distant locations or difficult to access, as well as museums and extra expenses. The total cost of these trips in Bolivia was USD$1,439.
During the filming process of Viracocha III we also prepared the production of the two previous expeditions, episodes and documentary, which had a cost of USD$4,300 over two years of work with different editors, narrators, technicians and professionals. The project was marketed (flyers, impressions, web page), which had a total cost of USD$560.

We did it!

In Chile we have spent USD$33,847 so far, of which 30% was paid by the project directors, 27% paid by one of the co-producers of the documentary, 27% were private loans and 16% were from the proceeds raised from the on-site museum. We also received a lot of help from sponsors and friends in products and services, which in total is valued at USD$74,818 and for which we are very grateful, without you none of this would be possible! The audiovisual production of this phase has cost USD$510 (arrangement of equipment and locations). In logistics (flights and trips to Tacna and Bolivia) USD$2,302 has been spent.

On February 4, 2016 the hull of Viracocha III arrived to the Chilean coast. Arica, the city of eternal spring our new home on La Puntilla Chinchorro beach.

Our House on the Beach

Thanks to Condensa the owners of our accommodation and work site in Arica. We were able to locate our operations center and museum site on Chinchorro Beach, Sector La Puntilla. We recovered a building abandoned for almost 20 years, restoring it to life and opening it to local schools and the community.
The crane lowering the raft down from truck to the beach cost of USD$350
Labor and materials to renovate the house cost $USD3,000
For protection we constructed fencing around the perimeter of the site at a cost of USD$1,000 for labor. In addition we had a night caretaker at a cost of USD$1,000. Fencing materials were donated by ours sponsors Maderas Enco. The rent of the car cost of USD$3,000.
The structure to support the raft and work underneath cost USD$2145 (materials and labor)
Raising the hull of the raft onto the structure was sponsored by Torres Cranes and TPA
The Municipality of Arica helped us with meals for workers and volunteers from March 2017 to May 2017, valued at USD$15,384.

Welcome to Chile !

The Bolivian artisans traveled to Chile to finish the final details on the hull. They were paid USD$2,331 plus the bus tickets costing USD$123

Building the Dream

The Masts

We fashioned the curvature of the masts by soaking eucalyptus trunks in water for two weeks and then setting a fire under the water barrels to heat the water and soften the wood so that we could tension the masts to the required form. The barrels were provided by our sponsors LP Services. Torres Cranes provided machinary to raise the two larger masts.


For the upper structure of the vessel 3 sizes of pine boards were used. In total the cost of pine boards was USD$1,858 plus USD$200 in transportation. The boards were used for the decks, platforms surrounding the cabins, leeboards and oars, cabins, tables and the roofs of the rear cabin and the sleeping cabin. Tools cost USD$520. The freight cost was USD$210 and extra costs of USD$1,000.
Bamboo for cabin walls was harvested in the valleys of Lluta and Azapa by the volunteers and the transport cost of USD$150
Photo by Valentina Paz/ All Rights Reserved Buck Expeditions
Totora for matresses and walls were harvested by volunteers in the Lluta Valley and transportation cost USD$120
Forty eucalyptus buttons for the sails and five sliding blocks were made by hand from wood through our sponsorship from Parque Bicentenario
Three rolls of cotton cloth were brought from Tacna, Peru to make sails, doors, roofs and mattresses by hand. The cost was USD$1,275 plus yarn and needles costing USD$184
Paint for designs on sails, cabins and oars representing native cultures of South America cost of USD$900. Linseed oil for the protection of ropes and wood cost of USD$60.
The work of our expert in knots and experienced crew member of the expeditions Viracocha I and II cost USD$5,000
The result of almost 3 years of work is now evident - a raft made entirely of natural materials is soon to begin her journey across the Pacific Ocean. We thank all those who made it possible to reach this point in our adventure, the point at which the dream becomes a reality. The housing costs for the team behind this project were as follows: drinking water provided by Aqua Naturale; gas supplied by Lipigas (and prior to this sponsorhip at a cost of USD$160); chemical tuilets provided by Salitrera Irma; internet sponsored by Tic Chile for one year (and additional internet connectivity costing USD$153); electricity cost USD$2,078; water (kitchen) cost USD$250. Food and kitchen appliances for workers and volunteers cost USD$3,976.

An attempt was made to launch the raft on February 4, 2018. At that time we had the support of LP Services and the Municipality of Arica providing tractors (unused on the day) at a cost of USD$184

Preparing for Departure

The final details required to launch only represent 7% of the total of the project. The Chilean Navy has helped in many ways. For our safety and to comply with maritime law we are required to carry modern communications and safety equipment. At the time of writing we are looking to source first aid supplies and additional electronic communication devices (AIS and SART). We are currently in conversation with potential sponsors and suppliers. Sponsorship received to date is valued at USD$25,231.
Clay Oven and utensils costing USD$55
Anchors cost USD$23
Navigation lights cost $USD45
Navy permits and paperwork cost USD$43

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