Volunteer with Community Development in Rio

Community Development in Rio de Janeiro

Go for a trip to Brazil and volunteer with community development in Rio de Janeiro.

You will have the opportunity to work with local organizations in Rio de Janeiro, providing assistance with day-to-day tasks in order to allow the staff to focus on big picture initiatives and development within their communities.

Work with Health Education, Arts, Technology, Environment

Volunteer placements include organizations working in health education and awareness, technology, arts, environmental development, media and design.

Community Develpment: Work with the Restauration of Local Community Centers

Volunteer work can also include painting and other restoration work for of local community centers. Moreover, you can help to establish new community development programs and assist with community garden projects and arts programs. Volunteers with at least intermediate-level Portuguese skills can work in outreach campaigns.

Sustainable Development for the Communities in Rio

Creative and industrious volunteers are well suited to this project and can offer great value in developing the sustainability and impact of the organizations’ initiatives.

This project has a minimum duration of 3 weeks.

Start Dates & Duration

Projects in Brazil start on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month. Participants on our volunteer in Brazil programs should arrive on Sundays. You can choose to volunteer from 3 to 24 weeks


Orientation takes place on Monday after the arrival date.




Fees and what is included with the volunteer program

  • The program fee is paid directly to the host organization.
  • All of the projects incur a registration fee of  U$ 149.00 on top of the program fee.

Fees 2020


What is included in the volunteer in Brazil program fee?

  • Airport Pickup
  • Orientation plus tour in the area including some tourist sites
  • Accommodation for all projects
  • Breakfast
  • Support from local staff & Program supervision
  • In-country 24/7 support throughout your stay
  • In-country administration costs
  • Donation to support the local project

There are no hidden costs. These projects are the most affordable to volunteer in Brazil.

Iko Poran is an NGO based in a developing country. We are dedicated to helping you help others, at the lowest possible price. We are interested in making volunteering abroad more accessible so that more people can help do really important work.

Participants in our Brazil programs normally find US$150 to be sufficient for weekly expenses in the country.

The program fee should be paid to the host country and it is due 30 days before the project start date.

When you plan to stay during the New Years Eve in Rio as a volunteer in Brazil, you are required to pay a surcharge of U$ 100 to cover accommodation premium prices from Dec 29 to January 2nd.

Carnival in 2019 is from March 1st to 9th. If the duration of your program in Brazil includes the Carnival week in Rio, you have to pay a surcharge of US$ 200 to cover accommodation premium prices during this period. Note that all projects will be closed during the Carnival.


Accommodation & Meals

As a volunteer in Brazil you will be staying in a happy and charming Hostel located on the lower part of Santa Teresa neighborhood.

The hostel has many leisure areas, free Wi-Fi everywhere, and laundry service. Breakfast is provided and there is a fully equipped kitchen that volunteers can use to prepare other meals. All rooms have lockers (just bring your own lock).

The house has 3 floors. On the first floor there is the reception where you can always find a friendly face, a large living/TV room, a veranda with a bar and tables to chill out, a big kitchen with a dinning area next to it, a big dinning table, and even a music room; if you play any instrument you are welcome to bring it along and/ or play with the instruments that the hostel already has.

On the second floor there are the shared dorms where our volunteers and other guests stay, and bathrooms. And on the third floor there are private rooms available at an extra fee.

The hostel tries to book one room exclusively for the volunteers. However, when this room is full, we accommodate volunteers in other rooms.

All services, such as supermarkets, drugstores, banks (ATMs), bars & restaurants, delis, fruit store, bus stops, and others are literally 5 minutes walking distance

The metro station to get to Ipanema, Copacabana and other areas is only 15 minutes walking distance. Volunteers stay in a peaceful oasis right “next door“ to the most vibrant and picturesque area of Rio de Janeiro.

Lapa is Rio’s buzzing nightlife spot with lively bars, pumping nightclubs and street parties that last all night. Lapa attracts foreigners and locals every weekend to drink caipirinhas and dance out some moves with many varieties of music playing. Whilst at night it comes alive, during the day it is a quiet neighborhood where you can wander the winding streets and visit the tourist sites and small bars.

The neighborhood Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro

Santa Teresa is a bohemian area with an intense cultural life. The charming neighborhood stands out for its unusual architecture. Enjoy a trip with the hundred and ten years old tram which still runs through its winding cobbled streets!

A residential sanctuary in the heartbeat of the Mata Atlantica (Tijuca National Park), the world’s largest urban subtropical rainforest, it provides access to the Christ statue of Corcovado as well as to the city centre, Sambodromo (where the samba schools compete during Carnival) and the city´s beautiful beaches.

Santa Teresa prides itself of the atmosphere reminiscent of that of a small town, and also enchants visitors with its panoramic views. Moreover, Santa Teresa offers a variety of options for eating local dishes to international cuisine.



You must be at least 18 years old at the start of your placement.

All volunteers must have adequate volunteer travel insurance and are required to provide a criminal background check to local staff on arrival in Brazil or during orientation.

Language Requirements

Knowledge of basic Portuguese is desired but not a pre-requisite. You will already learn a lot practising in your project where nobody speaks good English, but if you would like to speed up your learning we recommend that you take advantage of a very affordable 20 hours Portuguese course taught at your accommodation for only U$ 180.


You will have a competent support and advices from the local team and project leaders. Someone will always be available in the case of any emergency. Please keep in mind that you are in a different country and should take some precautions to avoid exposing yourself to certain risks.

The local coordinators will give you all the information to have a safe and unforgettable experience. We are based in Brazil and have been receiving approximately 400 volunteers per year since 2003 and we never had any major problem.



The Olympic and Paralympic Games created special times for Rio, but I also wanted to experience another side of the city. That is why I chose to register for an Iko Poran volunteer program.

I had some concerns about the safety in Rio, but they disappeared soon after I my arrival at the nice hostel in Santa Teresa, conveniently located near to the nightlife scene of Lapa, and the safety tips of the experienced staff of Iko Poran. Doing NGO development for Iko Poran itself I was able to visit several projects they offer in Rio. The fact that there is a lot variation in small scale projects allows volunteers to make a personal contribution.
It was only three weeks, but next to the Games, I will never forget my authentic Rio experience with Iko Poran!

Harm, 54 years old, Amsterdam



More Volunteer Opportunities in Brazil

Find out about all the opportunities for volunteer work in Brazil here.

As a volunteer teacher you can choose, whether to teach English at school or train sports and football with the boys and girls.

If you love to work with children, you can volunteer as a parenting teacher at a daycare in Rio.

Moreover, volunteers can do valuable work on community development in Rio, in order to improve the living conditions of the residents of the favelas. In addition, environmental volunteers can help with the reforestation of the Tijuca Rainforest.

You can also bring your artistic talents and do workshops as an arts volunteer. Finally, volunteers can participate in the preparations for Carnival at a Samba School in Rio de Janeiro.

Volunteering on Community Development in more countries

Visit our page with all the community development volunteer projects in Argentina , Kenya and Ecuador.