Volunteer in Brazil – Most Affordable Volunteer Programs with Iko Poran!
If you have a cheap volunteer trip to Rio in mind, try out one of our highly affordable projects to volunteer in Brazil! People are very welcoming in Rio, and some of the most exciting projects to work as a volunteer in Brazil are waiting for you: football coaching, teaching English, childcare, working on Urban Environmentalism, Arts. When you are studying medicine, you can work as a medical volunteer in Brazil, make an internship at a hospital or work with health promotion. We have decided to set up our head quarters right in the heart or Rio de Janeiro, because we are passionate about this uprising country and its brilliant, full-hearted people. Come join us as a volunteer in Brazil and find out about the carioca way of life!
Programs to Volunteer in Brazil at a glance:
Location: Rio de Janeiro
Volunteer programs available all year round:
Special Program: Carnival Preparation
Start dates of the projects to volunteer in Brazil: 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month
9 different projects to choose from
Accommodation in a comfortable volunteer house with breath-taking views
The fee for the program to volunteer in Brazil covers: airport pickup, orientation, accommodation (breakfast), placement as a volunteer in Brazil, 24×7 support and 20h Portuguese course (programs with 4 weeks or more)
Program fees starting at only $260 for 1 week
Between 200 and 300 volunteers arrive in Brazil per year
Wide range of programs to volunteer in Brazil to match all skills & interests
Volunteer Opportunities in Brazil – Overview
Go for an unforgettable trip to South America and volunteer in Brazil. Since we at IKPVA as a grassroots volunteer organization make part of Rio de Janeiro, we understand the needs of the communities.
Work as a Volunteer in Brazil and Support the Communities in Rio de Janeiro
Your work as a volunteer in Brazil will help improving the life of the residents of the communites in Rio (or favelas) directly. There are so many opportunities to work as a volunteer in Brazil, from childcare at a day care center, teaching English to sports development, including football coaching. Get involved as an environmental volunteer in Brazil and help preserving the Tijuca Rainforest. Since you will see first hand the ecological challenges that Rio faces, your volunteer work will make a difference. Since we are committed to long term development, with 15 years of experience, we are able to offer you a unique experience as a volunteer in Brazil, and acompany your stay and work like nobody else.
Volunteer Work in Brazil with the local Communities
Iko Poran do an amazing job at putting you into contact with local communities and projects that need support. The work these projects do are extremely important in these communities and it was a privilege to be able to help with it. Everybody i worked with was very friendly and accommodating. I highly recommend others to pursue a volunteer project and believe it is just as beneficial to the individual as to the community you are working with. – Lisa
Local Partner Organzations in Rio de Janeiro ensure Quality and Success for your Volunteer Work in Brazil
IKPVA works with a wide range of local partner organizations closely involved in improving the lives of the residents of Rio’s favelas. So, all the programs to volunteer in Brazil are tailor-made for the residents of the communities in need for support and help. In exchange, you will have a beautiful cultural experience as a volunteer in Brazil, meet open-hearted people and see them grow.
Had a great Time! One of the best experiences with volunteer Projects in Brazil!
Had a great Time! One of the best experiences ever! Every minute worth it!!! It wouldn’t be possible without Iko! Thank you for the support and for the pre program manuals! – Sara Matos
We are clear about the Mutual Benefits from your Volunteer Work in Brazil
Benefits from your work as a volunteer in Brazil are mutual: you can help local people, help caring and educating children, preserve nature. In exchange you will make friends, meet open-minded people, learn about the Brailian Culture and even Portuguese…
Volunteering with the environmental program gave me the opportunity to see first hand the ecological challenges that Rio faces and make a difference myself while also having the chance to witness the incredible beauty of the city and parks as I was doing it! – Destiny
Just completed a month of volunteering in Rio de Janeiro with Iko Poran. I worked in programmes in teaching English, Art, and Dancing. It felt good to be making even a small difference in the lives of people who in many cases have so little. – Bob Black
Affordable Volunteering in Brazil
Volunteer in Brazil Teaching English in Rio de Janeiro
The volunteer project to teach English in Brazil introduces students from low-income communities in Rio de Janeiro to the world’s most commonly spoken language. Learning English will help the students getting in touch with people all over the world and communicate with tourists coming to Rio. Moreover, they will increase their career opportunities in the future.
As a volunteer in Brazil you will teach English to local students, ranging in age from primary school age to elderly. Along with your teaching, you will also share perspective and encouraging cultural understanding with your students.
A Native Speaker in the Class Room Makes a Huge Difference
The inclusion of an English speaker leading the discussion makes a tremendous impact on language acquisition.
The Teaching English project supplements what students learn in school. Morevoer, it provides those who have never had any English instruction with an opportunity to learn the language.
I had a great time working with the kids and young adults in Rio de Janeiro
I had a great time working with the kids and young adults in Rio de Janeiro. I worked in English, Art, and dancing classes and they all had their different challenges in terms of resources available, students at different ability levels. It was very uplifting to be able to share my skills and hopefuly make a small difference to the lives of these young people.
Their enthusiasm for learning and determination to make their country a better place was inspirational. – Bob Black
Choose whether to Tutor a Few Students Individually or Teach a Full Class as a volunteer in Brazil
Placements on this project are flexible and volunteers can choose either to tutor a few students individually or teach a full class. Therefore, we strongly encourage our volunteers to create their own lesson plans. Often, the volunteers work together on these.
However, as a volunteer in Brazil you do not need to be a qualified or experienced teacher to participate on the Teaching English project. There is a minimum duration of 3 weeks for this project.
Sports Volunteer in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro
Sports have become vital for Rio de Janeiro’s lower income communities, providing children and adolescents with recreational outlets. At just about every corner of Rio de Janeiro, you will find locals playing the national sport of futebol (soccer). Since there are few entertainment options for youth in lower income communities, sports have become an essential part of favela life. Especially children and adolescents are passionate for sports and, of course, football (soccer)!
Given the lack of entertainment and job opportunities, children are increasingly getting caught up in illegal activities. Therefore, the Sports project aims to provide children with friendly competition in a safe and fun environment. Volunteers on this project have the opportunity to work with children in popular Brazilian sports, such as futebol, futsal, capoeira, and surfing.
“The Smiles on People’s Faces when I Bought Football Equipment”
My favourite memories are the smiles on people’s faces when I bought football equipment and stationary with money raised by friends and work colleagues. I was able to raise £530 in two weeks and would highly recommend raising some money through a donation website, so you can go the extra mile with supporting the locals. – Afonso, 31 years, from London
Volunteers do not need to be sports stars to participate on this project, but a passion and enthusiasm for sports goes a long way! We encourage the volunteers applying for the sports project to list their preferences and skills, however they need to be flexible and participate in a variety of sports where required.
Many ot the activities of the sports volunteers depend on the good weather, as they are outdoor activities. In the event of bad weather, our local staff will do their best to place volunteers at other projects, such as Childcare or Community Development.
Volunteer in Brazil on Community Development in Rio
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.
Volunteer placements include organizations working in health education and awareness, technology, arts, environmental development, media and design.
Painting and Restoration Work for 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.
If you are creative and industrious, this volunteer project is perfect for you! You work will be of great value and help developing the sustainability. Moreover, you will contribute to optimize the positive impact of the organizations’ initiatives.
This project has a minimum duration of 3 weeks.
Child Development or Childcare Volunteer in Brazil
Volunteer in Brazil working in child development or in a childcare centre and help us save our children.
It is undoubtedly the most beneficial way to increase the quality of life for children living in Brazil. The children will appreciate your love and dedication, since not all the children have equal chances in a country with one of the most pronounced gaps between the rich and the poor.
Volunteer in Brazil and Care for the Children at Day Cares in Rio’s Favelas
Since children in Rio de Janeiro attend school either in the morning or afternoon during four hours, they are left unsupervised for long periods of time if their parents are at work. Therefore your volunteer work will greatly help caring for the children in a day care centre, having fun with them, until the parents come back from work.
There are also several crèches (daycares) inside favelas of Rio that take care of babies while their parents have to work to make their living.
Provide care and attention for the children or babies
The childcare projects ensure that children and babies have a safe, educational and supervised environment. With your help, the children will spend the time with great activities, while their parents are still at work.
Childcare Volunteers provide children or babies with the care and attention needed to develop their social skills, and encourage them to develop an enthusiasm for higher education, teaching them vital skills to be competitive in a rapidly developing economy.
Great program in Rio de Janeiro
Great program. Very interesting project helping and teaching children. And for sure, placed in the best city ever: Rio de Janeiro. For the moment, it’s been a memorable experience, easy to learn Portuguese as it includes classes too, and flexible working times in order to be able to travel around the magnificent country, Brazil. – Adriana Puiggrós
Volunteers can be placed in community centers working with children or teens or in crèches (daycares) working with babies.
These centers generally have few resources, so volunteers need to bring their initiative and creativity to make the most of the facilities available. Volunteers also teach English to the children through educational activities, such as copying, drawing games and role-play.
Medical Volunteer in Brazil: Health Awareness & Education
Working as a medical volunteer in Rio de Janeiro is a great opportunity to help the poorer parts of Rio with a variety of medical issues. As a medical intern, you can work in a clinic and assist the local doctors and nurses. In addition, you can also promote health awareness in the suburbs and favelas of Rio and provide important educational work.
An open-minded medical team on site is always at your side
As our interns told us, the clinics are full of devoted doctors and nurses who really gave them an insight into how the clinic works. The whole medical team is very nice and ready to work with the volunteers, even if the volunteers are still learning Portuguese. Finally, you can have good learning experiences, shadow doctors, and learn some basic medical techniques.
Raising Health Awareness
As a health volunteer in Brazil you will be on the front lines of educating and raising awareness for healthcare issues impacting local communities. Whether you are involved in hands on health promotion and canvassing, healthcare advising, contraceptive literacy, or leading disease awareness workshops – your work will make an immediate, positive impact on your project.
Immerse yourself in the culture and art of life of Rio de Janeiro
The Medical Volunteer Program allows you to immerse yourself in the culture and get a feel for the Brazilian health care system. But of course you also have enough free time to enjoy the vibrant life in the city center and to be on the beach of Copacabana or Ipanema!
Amazing Experience as a Medical Volunteer in Rio
Volunteering with Iko Poran is definitely one of the most amazing experience I ever had. The organization gives you the freedom to help in your own ways.
Working with kids was certainly a challenge but the support of other volunteers and people in charge of the projects make everything so much easier.
I also volunteered in a health project where people from the communities work together to inform people about important health issues. – Ana Norleyne – University of Texas
It is not necessary to speak Portuguese to have an awesome experience as a medical volunteer in Brazil, but if you can grasp a little you will go a much longer way.
Carnival on the Horizon: Volunteer in Brazil with Carnival Preparation in Rio
Carnival is an event that breaks all economic and social boundaries – a love and passion for Samba makes everyone equal.
As a volunteer in Brazil, you will join a Samba School and help with the preparation for the all important Carnival parade at Sambódromo. During your stay you will embrace the hard work involved in preparing for one of biggest parties on earth!
Samba schools competing in Carnaval have a full year of intense work to prepare the many costumes and floats. They rehearse the music and dances for the celebration. With your work as a volunteer in Brazil, you help some of the leading Samba schools in the creation of costumes or decoration of floats.
Manufacturing Costumes and Decorating Floats
However, as a volunteer in Brazil do not need to have any experience in costume or stage design, just a willingness to work hard.
Samba schools are born from the local favelas (urban slums). Thus, most of the schools take their names from the community they represent. Each school unifies and proudly represents people from that community and all Cariocas (Rio-born Brazilians) also have their favorite school.
Whilst you are working hard as a volunteer in Brazil with the Samba Schools preparation, you can also engage in some Portuguese and English language exchange with fellow workers.
Please note, the dates for Carnaval change every year (it is held 40 days before Easter). Please note, that for you as a volunteer in Brazil you do not get to participate in the Carnaval parade for free, this opportunity is available an extra cost and needs to be arranged in Brazil with our local staff.
Environmental Volunteer in Brazil – Community Garden
If you enjoy the outdoors consider working as an environmental volunteer in Brazil. From conservation projects to urban renewal, IKPVA has partnerships with a number of NGOs and projects helping to protect Rio’s stunning landscape or growing vegetables and salads in community gardens to alleviate hunger or donate to local crèches.
The Tijuca National Forest is the world’s largest urban forest, and you can work as a volunteer in Brazil on a reforestation project helping in the three nursery, counting species, opening and cleaning trails, cutting branches, painting fences/ signals, among other activities.
Help as a volunteer in Brazil to protect one of the most magnificent contrasting landscapes in the world: cascading forests on massive mountains adjacent to a world-class city. However, the close vicinity of dense urban areas to the natural gems causes problems. Since many of Rio’s treasured green spaces suffer from damage by urban sprawl, your work as an environmental volunteer in Brazil is so important!
Combine your work at the Tijuca National Park as a volunteer in Brazil with the community garden experience
So far I have had a wonderful experience volunteering in Rio de Janeiro with Iko Poran’s Urban Environmentalism program. I am half way through my two-month stay in Rio and I already know that it will be a very valuable experience for me.
The project consists of work in Tijuca National Park and at a large community garden in a favela, where they grow almost every sort of common vegetable in Brazil. The people I work with in the communities are all incredibly kind and welcoming, not to mention they are doing work that makes a big difference for themselves and the environment. – Elisa
As an environmental volunteer in Brazil, you can help to support and develop some of the most precious natural spaces. Moreover, you can cultivate a vegetable garden with local people from a favela.
Volunteer in Brazil on Arts & Design
When you feel like sharing your creativity and passion for arts, go for a trip to Rio de Janeiro work as an arts volunteer in Brazil. Since the “Cidade Maravilhosa” has already inspired many artists and musicians, you may find young talents and help them grow. During your stay you will work with children and adolescents of Rio’s Favelas. Working as a volunteer in Brazil, you will develop their artistic talents, be it painting, sculpting, dancing or singing! You may even paint the walls of a school or orphanage. So you can have fun with the children and at the same time, raise the vibes of the local environment.
Work with Visual Arts, Music, Dance and Theatre as a volunteer in Brazil
There’s certainly plenty to offer on an arts project, since it features an invigorating mix of music, dance, and theatre to support the city’s most at-risk youth.
Working as a volunteer in Brazil with children from a number of favelas (urban slums) your efforts will play a valuable part in helping a project desperately short of resources. During your stay as a volunteer in Brazil, you will be able to absorb the artistic vibes of Rio.
While you are working as a volunteer in Brazil on the arts program you will help to educate and support the children of Rio by offering a cultural and artistic education. Since your volunteer work reinforces positive interests, you help to provide an escape from the omnipresent drug trade and under-employment.
About Brazil in Depth
Brazil is the size of a continent and covers almost half of South America. Moreover, its great cultural diversity and a huge variety of landscapes and people leaves a profound impression on everybody who chose to volunteer in Brazil.
With a tropical climate and vibrant colors. Brazil features a large variety of fauna and flora. Brazil’s attractions range from the impenetrable jungle to a variety of different mountain ranges. In the interior, large swamplands and a network of several large rivers stretch out until they arrive at the Atlantic coast with its 8.000 kilometers of continuous beautiful beaches.
Enjoy Brazil’s Vibrant Colors and the Joyful and Tolerant Temper of the Brazilians as a Volunteer in Brazil
While Brazil´s natural beauty is impressive, it´s the country’s culture that captivates visitors who come to volunteer in Brazil. The cultural identity emphasizes values such as tolerance, solidarity, and the joy of living. Brazilians are warm hosts who love to laugh, sing and dance.
Volunteer in Brazil to Help Giving Fair and Equal Opportunities for All the Brazilians
As a volunteer in Brazil, you will also experience a complex country, contradictory, sometimes unfair and unequal. In Brazil, a few previleged have one of the highest concentrations of income in the world. But at the same time, it is a land full of opportunity for you as a volunteer in Brazil. The complexity of Brazilian society accounts both for its difficulties, through its huge social contradictions, and for its great creative energy, which is necessary for Brazil to assume a place among nations more in keeping with its potential.
Most Affordable Fees for the Volunteer Projects in Brazil
- The program fee is paid directly to the host organization of the volunteer project in Brazil.
- All of the projects incur a registration fee of US$199.00 on top of the program fee.
What does in the volunteer in Brazil program fee include?
- Airport Pickup
- Orientation plus tour in the area including some tourist sites
- Accommodation for all projects
- Support from local staff & Program supervision
- In-country 24/7 support throughout your stay as a volunteer in Brazil
- In-country administration costs
- Donation to support the local project
There are no hidden costs for you, therefore these projects are the most affordable to volunteer in Brazil.
Iko Poran is an NGO based in a developing country. Since we are dedicated to helping you help others, we offer lowest possible prices. We dedicate ourselves into making the programs to volunteer in Brazil more accessible so that more people can help to do really important work.
Participants in our projects to volunteer in Brazil normally find US$150 to be sufficient for weekly expenses in the country.
The program fee should be paid to the host country and it is due 30 days before the project start date.
Free 20 hours Portuguese course for volunteer programs in Brazil with 4 weeks or more!!
When you plan to stay during the New Years Eve in Rio as a volunteer in Brazil, you are required to pay a surcharge of U$ 100 to cover accommodation premium prices from Dec 29 to January 2nd.
Carnaval in 2019 is from march 1st to 9th. If you fancy to work as a volunteer in Brazil during the Carnival week in Rio, you have to pay surcharge of US$ 200 to cover accommodation premium prices during this period. All projects will be closed during the Carnaval.
Volunteer Projects in Brazil in Detail
Location in Rio de Janeiro
Our programs to volunteer in Brazil are based in Rio de Janeiro, which was the capital of the country until 1960. Therefore, Rio de Janeiro is a highly cosmopolitan city. Rio de Janeiro stands out for a wide range of attractions for visitors, including its legendary Carnival. The cultural diversity of Rio de Janeiro, with more than 400 years of history, attracts many visitors who come to work as a volunteer in Brazil. It is a huge city whose geography grants its title “Cidade Maravilhosa” (City of Wonders).
Accommodation & Meals for Volunteers in Rio de Janeiro
The hostel provides many leisure areas for you as a volunteer in Brazil, free Wi-Fi everywhere, and laundry service. Breakfast is provided and there is also a fully equipped kitchen that volunteers can use to prepare other meals. All rooms have lockers (just bring your own lock).
Hospitality on Three Floors
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 are here as a volunteer in Brazil and play an 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. If you fancy a private room as a volunteer in Brazil, you find them on the third floor. They are available at an extra fee.
Exclusive Room for the Volunteers in Rio de Janeiro
The hostel tries to book one room exclusively for the volunteers in Brazil. 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. While working as a volunteer in Brazil, you’re going to stay in a peaceful oasis right “next door“ to the most vibrant and picturesque area of Rio de Janeiro!
Enjoy the Vibes of Lapa’s Nightlife
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. Enjoy walking in its winding streets with its tourist sites and have a break in on of the small bars around.
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. During you stay as a volunteer in Brazil, you will enjoy a trip with the hundred and ten years old tram which still runs through its winding cobbled streets!
A Residential Sanctuary in the Heart of Rio de Janeiro
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. The Sambodromo (where the samba schools compete during Carnival) is close. To go to Rio’s beautiful beaches will take you only a short ride with the metro.
Santa Teresa prides itself of the atmosphere reminiscent of that of a small town. The artistic neighborhood also enchants visitors with its panoramic views. During your stay as a volunteer in Brazil you will enjoy eating out in Santa Teresa. Here you can find everything from local Brazilian dishes to international cuisine.
Start & Duration of the Volunteer Projects
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 2 to 24 weeks
Orientation for you as a volunteer in Brazil takes place on Monday after the arrival date.
Requirements to volunteer in Brazil
You must be at least 18 years old at the start of your placement.
All volunteers must have adequate volunteer travel insurance. Moreover, as a volunteer in Brazil, you are required to provide a criminal background check to local staff on arrival in Brazil or during orientation.
Language Requirements for your Volunteer Work in Brazil
Knowledge of basic Portuguese is desired but not a pre-requisite for you as a volunteer in Brazil. Since most Brazilians do not speak good English, you will learn a lot in your volunteer project and train naturally your Portuguese. However there is a way to speed up your learning curve. During you stay you can take advantage of a very affordable 20 hours Portuguese course taught at your accommodation at only U$ 180.
During your stay in Rio as a volunteer in Brazil, 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 where you should take some precautions to avoid exposing yourself to certain risks.
The local coordinators will give you all the information you need during your stay in Rio de Janeiro. So you will both have a safe and unforgettable experience with your work as a volunteer in Brazil. We are based in Brazil and have been receiving approximately 400 volunteers per year since 2003 and we never had any major problem.
Still in doubt? Read some testimonials of our volunteers in Brazil!