Cross-Cultural Solutions: Volunteer Abroad in Brazil - CLOSED

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from Cross-Cultural Solutions.

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About

Brazil has a distinct pulse, a rhythm of its own that you'll feel the moment you arrive. Whether you're playing soccer with the local kids, practicing Portuguese with new friends, or moving to the sounds of a capoeira drum.

With you volunteer with Cross-Cultural Solutions, you’ll experience not only the great things Brazil is famous for, but also a side that you never knew existed. By connecting with the local staff and serving others, you’ll experience Brazil not as a tourist, but more as a member of the community.

For two decades, CCS volunteers have traveled around the world to work on sustainable service projects. Volunteer in Brazil to help improve education for local children, assist with the care of children, work to empower girls and women through education, assist children or adults with disabilities, support individuals living with HIV/AIDS, or provide education and outreach surrounding important health topics.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

98%
based on 11 reviews
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9
  • Value 9.6
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 11 of 11
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Sarah
10/10

Best trip of my life

After college and before starting my career, I wanted to do something I would never have an opportunity to do again (at least not until retirement) so I decided to volunteer in Brazil for 3 months. The unique part about CCS is that rather than just traveling and visiting yet another touristy spot, you are really immersed in another culture. It is refreshing and humbling to say the least. I would say the thing I took away from this trip the most (besides a bit of Portuguese) is empathy for my fellow man. I also have a new found respect for non-English speaking people living in America. I no longer find myself frustrated with them and try to speak as slowly as possible because I was once in their shoes!

How can this program be improved?
Offer discounts more often and perhaps warn volunteers on possible safety issues. A couple of the volunteers had their purses stolen at the beach because they were obviously carrying expensive things (I.E. Ipods, expensive purses, etc) so a tutorial explaining that volunteers should not bring their valuables into view would have been helpful.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Sonia
10/10

My Trip to Salvador Brazil with Cross Cultural Solutions

Working at the orphanages Madre Teresa and Lar da Criança, and English language school in downtown Bahia, Salvador, Brazil, opened my eyes to the social, economic and political injustices that plague the country and deeply affect the people. The children are the ones I worked with closely.
My job at the orphanages was mainly to play with the children and hold the babies. Though these children face so many hardships, their resilience and happiness empowered me and showed me that no matter how bad things may seem, there is always hope - hope that tomorrow will be a better day and that, as long as we have each other today, that's all that matters.
Through my volunteer work in Brazil with Cross-Cultural Solutions, I made a lot of friends from all over the world, and together we learned how to Samba, do Capoeria, learn about the rich history of the City we were in and experience the live music bands and Samba Schools in Pelorinho. We also got to go to some very beautiful beaches and explore the picturesque town of Lençois.
This trip ignited a fire within my soul to continue to travel and volunteer abroad, but to continue to volunteer with purpose.

How can this program be improved?
I believe that volunteers who go to schools with CCS need to be informed about what has been done there by previous volunteers in terms of teaching, so that there is some continuity and progression on learning the English language. This is of course if the responsibility of the volunteers is to teach English as a Second Language.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Katie
10/10

Best three weeks of my life!

This was the best three weeks of my life. The host staff was very friendly, the food was delicious, and the house was very well kept and clean. Volunteering with the children was very rewarding. I will go back as soon as I can!

How can this program be improved?
Lower costs for others!
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Courtney
9/10

CCS - Brazil

I volunteered with CCS at Brazil for one week and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience! The staff at Home Base was very friendly and fun to be around, the faculty provided excellent advise and expertise about our assignments, and the actual volunteering was truly the highlight. Although I wished we spent more time at our volunteer sites during the day (four hours), I still had the opportunity to meet and socialize with the wonderful people of Brazil.

How can this program be improved?
If I could change one thing about the program, it would be to spend more time during the day at the volunteer site. I almost felt like four hours a day was not enough.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Jacquelyn
10/10

The Unspoken Language of Love

Each monrnig I woke up to the uniques sounds birds chriping in Salvador Brazil. I was filled with excitement of the day. I washed up and and went down stairs of the guest house to be greeted by the friendly house staff. I looked forward the my high energy breakfast served of eggs fruit and butter bread.
The morning rush to get breakfast and get on the bus by 8am to go to my volunteer site was very exciting for me. Each day I greeted the the children with love. though there was a language barrier, we sang songs and dance. It did not matter that the children understood everything I was saying because they understood the sincerity of my heart. I looked forward to each day teaching the children their shapre and colors in Portuguese, as well as singing songs in English and playing games.
In my spare time I explored the culture, through music art and dance lessons, and visired nearby cities and interacted with the locals of Salvador.
It is an experience that I will never forget. I am glad I had my first volunteer abroad experience with Cross Cultrual Solutions.

How can this program be improved?
I think this program could offer more planned cutural activites and cooking lessons.
Yes, I recommend
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David
10/10

The Awakening: My Volunteer Experience

I was fortunate to assist at a nonprofit school, and learn a great deal of what the children and their families experience on the daily. I realized just by the volunteers being there to help, was a huge deal. The teachers I worked with said the school needs volunteers like me there in order for the program to properly function. It felt good to know what little I thought I was doing, made a huge difference far beyond my understanding. A teaching staff of 6 women would have a difficult time instructing 75-100 kids if not for the volunteers sent by Cross-Cultural Solutions.

Laughter and good spirits masked the daily encounters the natives of Salvador experienced in such impoverished conditions. It was a pleasing sight to see how happy everyone was there. I learned most things we take for granted, they experience it like its their last. CCS educated us on Brazilian culture and allowed us to experience it first hand. It was an amazing experience, and one I shall carry with me forever.

How can this program be improved?
I would only recommend that CCS informs volunteers of a list of items to bring to the residential headquarters. I found the headquarters to not have items on stock that most of us are accustomed to in the states.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Krisi
10/10

Review on CCS program in Brazil

I don't really know where to start other than to say I had the most amazing experience. The work the volunteers do is changing lives, and this experience was no exception. At the time I felt I wasn't making a big contribution but on reflection I realised that every little helps. The staff at home base were awesome, so helpful. And the nuns at MotherTeresa work tirelessly and taught me a lot. I would recommend volunteering to everyone of any age.

How can this program be improved?
I don't really have anything to add for this other than learn the language before you go. May be there could be some kind of CCS on line lessons, like a forum with other volunteers who are on the program at the same time as you? I don't know just a thought.
Yes, I recommend
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lucy
10/10

Transformative Experience

I volunteered in Salvador in 2005 and I carry the experience with me always because of the warm and extroverted Bahian culture, the supportive and friendly staff, the variety of places to volunteer based on your specific interests/passions. It's a wonderful way to have everything set up for you to simply arrive, you don't have to think about logistics which gives you time to learn tremendously about yourself and the interconnectedness of all things. Lots of opportunities for cultural experiences and language immersion and Bahia is an inspiring place. Ultimately, you take from the experience what you put in, but the program is solid.

Yes, I recommend
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Doris
10/10

Tranquillo!!

I volunteered with Cross-Cultural Solutions in Salvadora Bahia the summer of 2003. I worked as an ESL teacher, and music/movement teacher in the school "Frutos de Maes". From the minute I arrived and was greeted by some of the CCS staff, I KNEW it was going to be an amazing summer. I learned how to be resourceful, independent, and take initiative in making a difference. I learned gratiude and how to make the best of what you have!

I have a great photo album from my travels in Brazil, but I wouldn't need photos to remember the people and places. They're forever imprinted in my memory. As the founder of my music company, and a pre-school music teacher, I still use songs, dances, and experiences I learned in Brazil. Thank you CCS!

Yes, I recommend
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JMartin
10/10

Volunteer in Brazil

I made two trips to Salvador de Bahia in Brazil with CCS. Both times I worked in an orphanage. The volunteer experience was excellent and I enjoyed every minute of both trips. Salvador is a unique cultural environment where there is much to learn and do and the people are very friendly. I would love to return there for another volunteer trip in the future.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
nolove
9/10

My 8 Weeks in Brazil

I volunteered with CCS for 8 weeks in the summer of 2007. I loved my experience. I read a lot of negative reviews so I had to add my experience.

The “Home Base” all the volunteers stayed in was in a nicer neighborhood. I volunteered with my wife and we lucked out and go our own room with our own attached bathroom. Other volunteers had to stay in larger rooms with bunk beds. The house had wireless internet, lockers, hot water (in the mornings), 2 housekeepers to clean the common areas, a cook, 24 hour security, etc. We had no curfew and the staff was very flexible and accommodating.

We volunteered in the mornings and came home in the afternoon for lunch and then had optional language classes, culture classes, trips and free time. I know Portuguese so I skipped the language classes. The food was local. So some volunteers weren’t always crazy about it but I liked it and thought it added to the cultural experience. I did however teach the cook to make American style pancakes.
We also had weekends free so we got to go on weekend trips to tropical islands and amazing waterfalls. I went rock climbing, cave exploring, hiking, swimming, to lots of beaches, and even a cigar factory during my weekends free.

My placement was teaching English at a community school for underprivileged children called CEIFAR (There is a Wikipedia page about it that I wrote). I taught classes twice a week, helped in their regular classes twice a week and it was closed on Fridays. On Fridays, I visited other placements like a center for kids with HIV/AIDS, other English schools, some daycares etc. Since I spoke Portuguese, the staff liked to have me visit lots of different placements on Fridays where I could help.
I thought the mornings we not enough so I got permission to volunteer in the afternoons at an orphanage. It was down the street from CEIFAR. There I just mostly played with kids and talked to them. The got little attention from adults as they were very short staffed. The kids loved it and I had fun too.

My wife (a med student at the time) volunteered at the center for kids with HIV/AIDS. Upon her request, the staff worked out a once a week placement with a local community doctor so she could observe and do some things to help out.

We thought the staff in Brazil was fantastic. I still keep in contact with the house manager through Facebook. He went above and beyond by helping me fix our crashed laptop, and helping us change our plane tickets so we could stay a little longer.
I checked me receipt and I paid $4119 for 8 weeks. That includes food, transportation, the house to stay in, language and culture classes, day trip outings, the staff, insurance and I’m sure maybe even more than that. I talked to the house manager and he said the most expensive part of the whole thing was the insurance.

The other volunteers were wonderful and I made so many lasting friendships as a result. So many of the volunteers tried to extend their stays because the loved it so much. One volunteer I met had already volunteered with CCS in Brazil for 3 consecutive years.

I loved my experience so much that I looked at jobs at CCS when I got back. After seeing what they pay, I quickly changed my mind. The position I was looking at paid $30K a year to work in NYC. I make twice that on the west coast.

I highly recommend CCS.

Yes, I recommend

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About Cross-Cultural Solutions

For 22 years, CCS has been the standard setter for the safest, most meaningful, and enriching volunteer abroad programs while striving to be a global leader in child development and women's empowerment.

Since 1995, over 35,000 people have volunteered...