Carnival Volunteer in Rio at a Samba School

Ever thought about traveling to Rio de Janeiro for Carnival and working as a volunteer at the same time? Join our Carnival project and dive deeply into Brazilian culture and society! Since we are working together with a samba school, you will participate in the preparation for the great day of the parade at the Sambódromo in Rio. People join for rehearsal several months before Carnival and begin constructing the floats, designing the costumes. You will have a deeper understanding of the work behind the scenes, since you will see how passionate the Cariocas are about Carnival. They come together in solidarity, dance and leave behind all social bounderies.

At the Samba School, People forget about all Social Boundaries

Canival Volunteer Rio de janeiro
Volunteers preparing for the Carnival Parade

Since love and passion for Samba makes everyone equal, at Carnival people leave all economic and social boundaries behind.

The Carnival project allows volunteers to join the preparations and embrace the hard work involved in preparing for one of biggest parties on earth!

You can also combine the Carnival project with teaching English in Rio.

As a Carnival Volunteer in Rio you will Help Preparing Costumes and the Decorations

Since Samba schools competing in Carnival have a full year of intense work to prepare the many costumes, floats music and dances for the celebration, volunteers help some of the leading Samba schools in the creation of costumes or decoration of floats.

Volunteers do not need to have any experience in costume or stage design, just a willingness to work hard.

Great Experience as Carnival Volunteer in Rio at Cidade do Samba

Thank you Iko Poran for such a great experience! I spent 1 amazing month volunteering at the Cidade do Samba for the Rio Carnival and that really exceeded all expectations! Absolutely loved it and I would do it all over again! – Nora Blu

Samba Schools unify the People from the Communities

Since Samba schools are born from the local favelas (urban slums), most of the schools choose their names after 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 volunteers are hard at work, they can also engage in some Portuguese and English language exchange with fellow workers.

Please note, the dates for Carnival change every year (it is held 40 days before Easter). Volunteers 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.

 

 

 

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 2 to 24 weeks

Orientation

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$ 199.00 on top of the program fee.
    Brazil Fees

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.

Free 20 hours Portuguese course for programs to volunteer 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.

 

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.

 

Requirements

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.

Safety

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.

 

Great Experience at Cidade do Samba

Thank you Iko Poran for such a great experience! I spent 1 amazing month volunteering at the Cidade do Samba for the Rio Carnival and that really exceeded all expectations! Absolutely loved it and I would do it all over again! – Nora BluCarnival Volunteer in Rio de janeiro

The best time to go to Rio to do volunteer work is during carnival. You will have to pay a little bit more, but it is definitely worth it! The Blocos, parade and weather is amazing! You will have a great time partying and seeing the parade, while helping out with whatever project you choose to do. – Afonoso, 31 years, London

Iko Poran was value for money and I received ongoing support from Felipe, the project co-ordinator. I took part in 3 programmes, 2 with children and 1 helping prepare for carnaval; it was great for me as I expressed my interests and skills and the programmes were then matched to my specification.

The cultural change and language difference, can at first be daunting, but if you are willing to take advantage of the language lessons you receive as part of the programme and you embrace the culture, I believe you will get so much more out of the projects.

The children and workers I worked alongside were amazing and I was humbled by the warmth and positivity they showed, despite having very little material possessions.

As you are not working every day, you have the opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro and learn about the cultures of others. For me, Brazil is an amazing country and I hope to return, to see more.

The accommodation provided is basic, but the staff were friendly and so helpful that after 5-months, they became like family.

If you go with an open mind, respect the cultural differences and put in what you get out, I can assure you, you will have the time of your life. I didn’t want to leave, but I have amazing memories and friends for life.

Go for it, I say! – Lucy Foreman

 

More Volunteer Opportunities in Brazil

Find out about all the programs to volunteer in Brazil here.