Community Training and Activities Center - Rio de Janeiro
Founded in 1984, this Brazilian non-profit organization operates on behalf of children and adolescents at social risk, ages six to eighteen-years old, and works to educate local citizens to help prevent negative environments for children and young adults. The association is maintained through cooperative arrangements with national and international corporate donors and civil society. Its performance is focused on community development work and offers educational activities such as art, music, sports, and recreation for children and adolescents coming from poor communities and neighborhoods near the center district of the city. Because the schools are overrun, kids only attend classes either in the morning or the afternoon. Free classes are offered at the community center to keep the kids off the streets. Currently, the organization teaches over 400 children at some point during the week, and there are long waitlists for all of the classes. Volunteers are needed to coach sports, teach music and dance, tutor English students, help with gardening, and assist in the computer lab. There are a few capacity-building classes available for adult training as well. If your interest is in social services or community development,or working with disadvantaged youth, this program is the one for you. This placement, like the education program, includes accommodations with a homestay family in Rio, and the center district is along the train route.
Wildlife & Environment
Wildlife Sanctuary - Curitiba
Just outside Curitiba lies a 183-acre property devoted to Brazilian flora and fauna. The organization that runs this property has painstakingly replaced non-native plants with indigenous species over the last fifteen years, and now the sanctuary is home to parrots of all colors, tortoises, tapirs, bush dogs, ocelots, pumas, jaguars, spider monkeys, and dozens of other types of animals. Some of the animals were the victims of abuse or found injured, but many of the valuable animals were rescued from the illegal pet trade. For that reason, the park is closed to the general public and the entrance is not marked. ELI volunteers help with the following activities: feeding the animals, cleaning enclosures, breeding programs, planting, monitoring behavior, assisting the full-time biologist, and visiting researchers and permanent staff as needed.
Participants at the wildlife sanctuary must arrive in Curitiba on a Monday before 3:30pm.
Environmental Conservation - Rio de Janeiro
ELI volunteers work with one of the most visited National Parks in Brazil! The Environmental Conservation has just completed forty-nine years of commitment to preserving a large green area in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The park contributes, among other things, to maintaining the temperature, water supply, and the exuberant and verdant mountainous silhouette that makes Rio de Janeiro a world class destination. The park is full of diverse plant and animal life, waterfalls, and caves, and is the home to many buildings of great historical value. ELI volunteers assist with tree planting, endangered plant and wildlife surveys, weed control, habitat restoration, conservation fencing, heritage restoration, reintegration of species, guided visits, construction and maintenance of trails, and teaching English to the park staff. Accommodations are provided with a homestay family in Rio de Janeiro.
Family School - Rio de Janeiro
The Family School works tirelessly to create opportunities and provide support to children and their families who are recovering from health issues. They offer health education classes, artistic classes, capacity building classes and workshops, and psycho-social and educational support for children and their families to ensure their healthy recovery. The objective is to avoid re-hospitalization. Volunteers teach and assist with a wide variety of classes: handcrafts, recycling, painting, drawing, dance, music, theater, computer skills, and English. Volunteers also assist with topical workshops, usually focused on STD prevention, hygiene, nutrition, and gastronomy. This is a lively, fun placement for volunteers who enjoying working with both kids and adults, enjoys the arts, or have interest in public health. This placement includes accommodations with a homestay family.
*Participants with these placements will need to get a Brazilian tourist visa. We recommend starting the visa application process four to six weeks before your arrival in Brazil.