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Brazil

The Amazon rainforest, samba, Bossa Nova, Carnival… Brazil is famous for its spicy, friendly culture and some of the most diverse ecology on Earth!  Most of ELI's Brazilian volunteer projects are based in amazing Rio de Janeiro.You'll live in Copacabana or Ipanema and do valuable work in impoverished "favelas" in and around Rio.

Looking for a wildlife program? Our program near Curitiba has been a favorite for years!

Volunteer Programs

Wildlife Sanctuary

Wildlife Sanctuary - Curitiba

Just outside the city of 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. Accommodations in our lovely guest house are provided on-site, along with a fully stocked fridge so that volunteers can cook all of their meals. The minimum stay is 2 weeks. Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Teach English in Rio

Volunteer to teach English to adults and/or children in Rio’s favelas. Short-term intensive English classes enable favela residents to prepare for the job market, school exams, and to master areas of specific interest. Basic Portuguese is required for this program. The intensive nature allows short-term volunteers to have a bigger impact on their students than most programs.

Your duties:
Contribute toward material costs
Design English curriculum and lesson plans (optional)
Teach classes for 5 – 30 students (per class)
Network with local residents
Monitor students’ progress and write evaluations

Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Youth Sports

Are you athletic? The therapeutic value of sports can be life-changing in the favelas. Help empower youth through participation in sports. Soccer, volleyball, tennis and other sports are offered at our partner schools. Get involved!

Your Duties:

  • Support sporting programs in local schools
  • Lead and organize activities
  • Network with local school staff and Community in Action staff
  • Monitor students’ progress and write evaluations

Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Teach Handicrafts to Women

Are you creative? Do you have a skill that you can share with others? Maybe sewing, knitting, painting, perfume making, pottery, candle making, sandal design…  Numerous schools and community organizations around Rio are looking for teachers.

Your duties:

  • Contribute to material costs to teach handicrafts to Women
  • Design class curriculum and prepare lesson plans
  • Help participants market and sell their products
  • Coordinate with school/organization staff

Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Teach Art and Paint Murals

Can you teach art? Work with art students to develop their technique and refine their vision. Would you like to do your own art? Organizations are creating murals in the favelas as part of their restoration efforts. You can literally leave your mark on Rio. How cool is that?

Your duties:

  • Contribute to material costs
  • Teach and learn art techniques
  • Design activities and prepare lesson plans
  • Monitor students’ progress and write debriefs
  • Network with local artists

Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Provide Child-Care Support

Your days will include playing, nurturing, helping with meals and naps, tutoring, and providing general classroom assistance. A great gig if you like working with kids!

Your Duties:

  • Support basic child needs
  • Provide tutoring services
  • Help with meals, naps, and play-time activities
  • Design and implement new activities for children
  • Network with local school staff

Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Teach Computer Skills

Computers are such a part of our daily lives that it is hard to imagine that many residents of the favelas do not yet know how to turn on a computer, open a program, or conduct online research.  As a volunteer, depending on your skill-set and placement opportunities, you will be teaching classes as the primary teacher, supporting computer maintenance, or serving as a teacher’s aide.

Your Duties:

  • Contribute to computer training materials
  • Support the development of computer training curriculum
  • Develop lesson plans for separate classes
  • Teach classes for 5 – 15 students (per class)
  • Network with local school staff and Community in Action staff
  • Monitor students’ progress and write evaluations

Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Construction

Are you fit and handy? Work alongside favela residents to help them realize their dreams.  Help paint homes, complete landscaping projects, or support “basic” construction tasks.

Your Duties:

  • Help implement manual labor projects: painting, landscaping, basic home repair
  • Provide supplies, supporting local residents
  • Prepare and lead activities
  • Network with local residents
  • Monitor progress and write debriefs

*Projects are designed based on immediate needs within the community.  You may work solo or with other volunteers, depending on the time of year you travel to Rio.

Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Urban Gardens

How are you with plants? You don’t need to be a farmer (though if you are, that would be great!). Learn and teach about tropical urban gardening, medicinal plants, nutrition, and conservation.  Work in local schools to start small gardens for students and work in a local favela community garden.

Your Duties:

  • Design/Deliver garden-based educational curriculum in local schools
  • Network with local community residents and Community in Action staff
  • Introduce new gardening techniques to youth in the favela
  • Contribute to material costs: seeds, soil, tools, and supplies

Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Cost & Details

Cost - Brazil

Costs


Length of Program
Volunteer
in Rio*
Wildlife Project
Curitiba
1 Week US$370 n/a
2 Weeks US$645 US$1400
3 Weeks US$920 US$1830
4 Weeks US$1195 US$2260
5 Weeks US$1445 US$2690
6 Weeks US$1695 US$3120
7 Weeks US$1945 US$3550
8 Weeks US$2195 US$3980
 9 Weeks US$2370 US$4410
10 Weeks US$2545 US$4840
11 Weeks US$2720 US$5270
12 Weeks US$2895 US$5700

* An additional materials fee of $25 per week is required for the following projects: Teaching English, Art/Murals, Urban Gardens, Construction, Handicrafts

Application Fee: $200
The application fee is a separate administrative charge for all programs. It does not apply to the program fee. (Please see our application fee refund policy here

Credit card payments: Payment by credit card will be assessed a 3.5% surcharge. This is the fee that we will be charged for the transaction. Contact us about alternative forms of payment.

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

What's Included/Not Included

Rio Program Includes:

* Pre-departure information
* Airport Pick-up
* In-Country Orientation
* Placement
* Favela Tours
* Cultural Integration Sessions
* Portuguese translation support
* Donations to local projects
* Accommodation
* Breakfast
* 24/7 emergency service

Program Does Not Include:

* Round-trip airfare
* Brazilian Tourist or Intern Visa
* Return trip to airport
* Medical insurance
* Transportation to and from placement

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Start Dates

Please email for start dates: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Notes & Helpful Links

Notes & Helpful Links
Acquiring a Brazilian Tourist Visa can be a long process, get started early.  For more information, visit the Brazilian Consulate nearest you (as requirements can vary at different locations).  In Rio de Janeiro, you will fly into Galeao International Airport (GIG).  In Curitiba, you will fly into Afonso Pena International Airport (CWB).

Here's a handy tool to see what time it is in Brazil: Time Conversion Tool.  If you live in the northern hemisphere, remember that seasons are the opposite!  Check the weather in Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba.

Language Requirement
Participants in ELI's Brazil programs must speak one of these languages: English, Spanish, or Portuguese.  Portuguese classes are available in Curitiba.  It is very helpful to learn at least a few Portuguese words before you arrive, check out Duolingo's free online Portuguese Language Classes.

Where Can I Go?

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