Volunteering in Brazil
We all know Brazil is one of the most beautiful countries, with its rainforests, broad tropical beaches and large cities such as Rio de Janeiro. But unlike other tourist destinations, here you can do much more than just lie on the sand and contemplate the landscape that surrounds you. Resting and sightseeing during your holidays is good but not quite enough to make it a memorable experience.
By volunteering to do some social work you’ll get the chance to really know the local people and be renewed and enriched by an exciting and fulfilling adventure you'll never forget.
Rio de Janeiro is one of Brazil largest and most famous cities, with its unique carnival, the beautiful Copacabana beach and the spectacular Sugar Loaf. But it is also a city of big contrasts where the gap between the rich and the poor is painfully huge, and you can be of great help by taking part in one of the many programs available that need assistance.
Depending on your preferences, you can work in a favela (urban slum), coach sports, participate in educational and teaching programs or help community outreach and development initiatives.
What’s included in our fair-cost policy?
All our programs include a fixed price Registration Fee of US$249 and a Program Fee that varies according to the duration of the program and the services included.
The Registration Fee covers the costs of all that Connecting Worlds has to do in order to organise the experience in an efficient manner and offer each participant a quality program. These costs include marketing, staff salaries, travel costs of staff who visit and inspect each of the programs on offer and Connecting Worlds’ solidarity fund among others. We need this fee just to sustain the organization.
The Program Fee is the total cost of everything related to the services that the volunteer will be able to take advantage of upon arrival to the destination of their choice. For example, accommodation, meals, transfers, the donation made to the volunteer project, welcome orientation and constant 24/7 support. The payment for this fee goes directly to the country in which the volunteer will be stationed, directly benefiting the local community. It’s a fee which helps organisations that work in the country associated with the program at hand to move forwards with their projects and generate work opportunities for the local community.
Thanks to our fair-cost policy, the volunteer benefits from not having to pay high fees and our local partners benefit from being able to invest in their projects and keep things moving forwards. Connecting Worlds also benefits from keeping the costs of its programs as low as possible because we get the opportunity to support local communities and make a difference in our own small but important way.
The Carnaval do Rio (Rio de Janeiro’s world famous carnival) takes place once a year, usually in February, around 46 days before Easter. It’s the most awaited event of the year and it breaks all social and economic boundaries, uniting all Cariocas (Rio de Janeiro-born Brazilians) in their love and passion for Samba music and dance.
By participating in this project you’ll have the rare chance to be one of the backstage workers of the most popular celebrations worldwide. You’ll join a scolas (samba school that represent a favela) and share the enthusiasm and hard work with its members.
They may have been preparing for this moment for a whole year and still have a lot more that needs to be done, so you can help with the many details involved in the creation of costumes and decoration of floats.
To volunteer in this project you don’t need to have any previous experience in costume or stage design, you just need to be willing to work hard at sewing, cutting, pasting and other craft-oriented tasks.
Each Samba school unifies and proudly represents the favela or community they come from and usually takes the name of that favela or community. And every Carioca have their own favorite Samba school.
While at work in the preparation of the many attractions of one of this Samba schools, volunteers can also engage in some English and Portuguese language exchange with fellow workers.
Although participation in the actual parade is not included in the project, volunteers may come across this opportunity at an additional cost by arranging this independently once in-country.
The Carnaval project has a minimum duration of two weeks and is available between October and February every year.
Volunteers in this project have the opportunity to participate in the many activities of local organizations working in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. By helping with day-to-day tasks volunteers allow the local staff to focus on big picture initiatives and development. The organizations in which volunteers are placed are involved in activities related to health education and awareness, technology, arts, environmental development, media and design, etc.
Volunteer work includes painting and restoration of local community centers, assisting with community garden projects and art programs, as well as helping to establish new community development programs.Those volunteers with an intermediate level of Portuguese skills can work in outreach campaigns, and those who are creative and industrious can be very valuable in this projects by helping develop the sustainability and impact of the local organizations’ initiatives.
The Community Development project has a minimum duration of thrre weeks.
Brazilians are big fans of sports and the passion for their national sport, futebal (football) unites all Cariocas regardless of their socioeconomic status. This activity is particularly vital in the favelas, where most children and teenagers can’t afford other means of entertainment.
Volunteers working on this project can help provide marginalized groups of kids with opportunities for healthy and constructive recreational activities such as football, futsal, capoeira and rugby, in a safe environment. You don’t need to be a sports star to participate in this project, though a passion for sports and some enthusiasm go a long way! We recommend you let us know your preferences and skills to help our local team place you, but flexibility and willingness to participate in a range of sports is necessary.
Since many of the placements for this project are outdoors, it depends on good weather conditions. In the event of bad weather, our local staff will do their best to place volunteers in other projects such as Childcare or Community Development.
The Sports project has a minimum duration of two weeks.
English, the most commonly spoken language and the one that gives access to new technologies and fuels the world’s economy, is usually out of reach for most low-income communities in Brazil.
Volunteers working on this project can provide many Brazilians who never had a chance to learn English with a first approach to the language. They can also provide those who had studied some English language at school with the opportunity to improve their command of the spoken language by participating in discussions led by an English speaker. This practise has a tremendous impact on language acquisition.
Placements on this project are flexible and volunteers can choose whether to tutor a few students or to teach a full class. As a volunteer for this project you are expected to create your own lesson plan and be open to work with others on it. As you’ll be working with CW’s local team and placement staff, you don’t need to be an experienced or qualified teacher, but you must be fluent in English and we encourage you to come prepared by completing some relevant training such as TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course.
The English Teaching project has a minimum duration of three weeks.
This is probably the most relevant and rewarding project because working with marginalized children and teens in developing countries really makes a difference in their future lives.
Most children in Rio de Janeiro go to school either in the morning or in the afternoon, so they are unsupervised for long periods of time if their parents are at work. Volunteers working on this project can help to engage these kids in productive activities within a safe and educational environment while their parents work in peace. As a volunteer you can give these children the care and attention they need to develop their social skills, teach them some English through recreational activities such as reading, drawing and role playing; and encourage them to develop an enthusiasm for higher education, essential to be competitive in a fast growing economy.
As a volunteer for this project you can be placed in community centers working with babies, children or teens and these centers usually located in poor areas, can be quite rudimentary; so your capacity to adapt and make the best of the facilities available will be highly appreciated..
The Childcare project has a minimum duration of two weeks.
This One Week Experience project provides you with the opportunity to participate in a variety of volunteer projects available and leaves you the time to enjoy some of the cultural and tourist highlights of Rio de Janeiro.
This program begins on the second Monday of each month and is structured as follows:
On the first day of the program a local coordinator will take volunteers on a walking tour around Santa Teresa and central Rio de Janeiro. Then they all will share a lunch at a traditional “kilo” restaurant and volunteers have the rest of the day to do what they want.
On the second day volunteers will do some work in a community garden at a favela, then they will play soccer with local children on Ipanema beach and have the rest of the day free.
On their third day at the program volunteers will have the chance to learn how to manufacture garments and souvenirs made out of scrap and recycled materials.
On the fourth day volunteers are expected to help with a local sport project, taking part in an activity such as soccer for the blind. In the evening they are invited to join in a weekly social night with other volunteers.
On the fifth and last day of the one week program volunteers will be taken to an excursion. The tourist destination will depend on the weather and can be either time at the beach or an arts exhibition, followed by a tour at the Sugar Loaf or to Corcovado mountains. Entry fees, which total BRL$ 62.00, are not included in the tour expenses and must be paid by each volunteer.
To be part of a volunteer project you must be 18 years-old or over. You’ll be required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and to provide a criminal background check to CW’s local team on arrival in Brazil.
Volunteers are not expected to be fluent in Portuguese, yet on certain projects such as Teaching English, a poor command of the local language will be a hindrance. This is why we encourage volunteers to take advantage of the very affordable language lessons offered by our partner staff in Brazil exclusively to CW volunteers. Many of those who have taken part in our projects in the past told us that taking these lessons helped them a lot in everyday volunteer work and to communicate with locals.
If you’re interested in taking Portuguese lessons you can arrange it with the local staff once in Brazil.
Rio de Janeiro, one of the Brazilian most spectacular cities, located on the South Atlantic coast of the country, is where CW’s volunteer programs are carried out.
These programs begin on the first and third Monday of each month except for the One Week Experience, which begins on the second Monday of each month.
Childcare, Sports and Carnival projects have a minimum duration of two weeks, while Teaching English and Community Development projects have a minimum duration of three weeks. You can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from one to twenty-four weeks.
On the morning of your chosen starting date, some members of our Brazilian team will meet you in their Rio de Janeiro office and provide you with all the information tips you’ll need to make the most of your one week volunteer program in Brazil. You’ll be introduction to Brazilian culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety measures, travel opportunities, introduction to the the different projects and placements available.
During this orientation period you’ll also have the opportunity to meet other volunteers, exchange contact details and make new friends to share your spare time.
On the first day of your volunteer work, a CW coordinator will take you to your project placement and introduce you to the local people leading the project.
Volunteers are lodged in a volunteer house located in Santa Teresa. The bedrooms are suited for three to eight volunteers and have single beds and bunk beds with bedding provided.
The house is comfortable and has electricity, running water and WIFI, but you can expect to have low-pressure showers that are not always heated.
An abundant breakfast is included with the accommodation. It consists of coffee, tea, natural fruit juice, fruit, brown bread, butter, jam, cheese, ham, eggs and porridge. If you have any special dietary requirements please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you.
Other meals are not included but the volunteer’s house has cooking facilities and there are nearby shops to purchase food.
On a regular weekday volunteers have breakfast in the house at 7:300 and at 8:00 they are taken to their project placement where they’ll take part in the different tasks involved in that particular project from 8:30 to 2:00 in the afternoon. There’s usually a morning tea break and a lunch break.
Work and timetables may vary at each placement depending on the projects, but work usually ends at 5:00 in the afternoon and then volunteers are free to do what they want for the rest of the day.
Some will go to the beach, do some shopping or sightseeing, go back to their accommodation to rest, and some will go to their Portuguese lessons which are usually in the evenings.
201,032,714 people live in Brazil.
Population density is fairly high with around 24 inhabitants per kilometre squared.
Brazil’s national currency is the Real.
The official, national language of Brazil is Portuguese. In fact, it’s the only country in South America whose national language is Portuguese.
Brazil occupies the southern-half of the South American continent.
It touches borders with Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Guyana, Cayenne and French Guiana. In fact, that’s all countries which make up the South American continent, except Chile and Ecuador.
Brazil’s coastlines stretches along for about 7500 kilometres.
Brazil’s largest city is São Paulo, but its capital city is Brasília.
It is the largest Portuguese-speaking country in the world.
It’s the fifth largest country in the world, falling in neatly behind Russia, Canada, China, and the United States.
It covers an impressive area of 8,511,965 kilometres squared.
-For more information, visit the following link: https: http://www.cwabroad.org/brasil-p-6.html
|Volunteer duration||Program Fee USD*|
*Please note: All Volunteer programs in Brazil attract a Registration Fee of USD 279 on top of the program Fee. A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.You can calculate the value of your currency in US dollar using this currency convertor.
*Please read our refund policy.
What do my fees pay for?
Registration Fee: Discounted program fees, Support and guidance from CW staff, program marketing costs, staff salary, pre-departure assistance, CW Solidarity Fund, administration costs, travel costs to inspect programs and communication costs with volunteers.
Program Fee: Accommodation in a guest house, breakfast included, airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, in-country 24/7 volunteer support and in-country administration costs.
What’s no included: Air tickets, Lunch, dinner and any other snacks, Transportation to and from project, Vaccinations, Certificate of Good conduct, Visa, Local travels, transfer back to the airport at conclusion of program, Personal expenses and International Insurance against sickness, accident and 3er party liability. In addition to providing health insurance, the plan must cover medical evacuation and repatriation. Our participants in Brazil generally find USD 150 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses.