I volunteered with IFRE on another project not the orphanage one and while its a different experience as there are no reviews on the orphanage project, I´d like to give potential volunteers an idea of IFRE my experience and the staff.
Carnival is difficult time to volunteer and Rio is not really the same, unless the volunteer is here just to see carnival but if like me they want to appreciate Rio for all its beauty maybe carnival time isnt good – all depends. Brazil is stunning, it’s beautiful and the people are so warm – I do recommend the volunteer learns some Portuguese first though before coming as everyone loves interaction and are so friendly so in order to make it easy on the volunteer Portuguese is a plus!!!
Life in a favela is amazing – I preferred it to a hostel simply because you get to be part of a community, a family, get to know the Brazilian way of life and culture and not be a gringo (tourist) – just look like one!!!
Blake did a terrific job!!!! Big thanks to him!!! He meet me at the airport, took me to my digs and I got a great introduction to my new surroundings. He went out of his way to help in any way he could and if I had any problems I could call him he was definitely approachable and friendly– he. He suggested new projects I may be interested in places to see, he really knows Rio well and has many contacts.
Thanks Blake for making my experience more amazing, it really did rock!!!!
Good luck with your research and planning!!
Have the best experience ever!!!!!