Most Affordable & Best Rated Programs in Brazil from $ 400/ 2 weeks

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About

Iko Poran offers a wide range of safe, affordable and responsible volunteer programs in Rio de Janeiro. Our variety of programs includes Teaching, Childcare, Child Development, Community Development, Environment (really, not a garden) Protection, Sports Development, Health Promotion, Arts & Design, NGO Development and a special program preparing costumes to the big Carnival parade. We have the perfect volunteer project that matches your skills and interests.

- Start dates: 1st and 3rd Sundays of every month
- Programs can last from 1 to 24 weeks
- Volunteers have Fridays off to relax and explore around in long weekends
- Volunteers receive an orientation covering the culture of Brazil and also a tour in the area
- Programs with 4 weeks of more have a free 20 hours Portuguese course
- Best rated organization in Brazil with 14 years experience
- Most affordable program and registration fee in Brazil!
- Recognized as a Public Interest Organization since 2007

Main differentiators to other companies operating in this field:
  • Volunteerism should not be expensive for the ones with good hearts that want to lend a hand.
  • Only international volunteer organization based in a developing country that also runs its own developing projects. Most of other providers are profit-oriented traveling companies based in First World nations.
  • We are not targeting any surplus revenues. All money charged is used to further achieve our mission and contribute to our local programs
  • Volunteers pay their program fee directly to the local organization.
  • Volunteers partake in projects developed and operated by local partner organizations and their respective community councils.
  • Volunteers have a unique experience of by actively participating in developing communities for a fairer world while creating a rich personal opportunity for cultural exchange.
  • They have the chance to experience Brazil from a community perspective.
  • Iko Poran caters to an increasing demand for better logistics in the reception, lodging, transportation and allocation of international volunteers who wish to perform in social development projects in Brazil.
Highlights
  • Volunteerism should not be expensive for those want to lend a hand.
  • Only international volunteer organization based in a developing country. Other providers are profit-oriented travel companies based in First World nations.
  • Free 20h Portuguese course to help you get the most put of your program for volunteers staying 4 weeks or more.
  • Volunteers receive a cultural orientation + city tour upon arrival.
  • Most affordable program and registration fees! Program fees starting at only $400 for 2 weeks

Questions & Answers

Hi Sabrina, Thank you for your interest in our programs. You can find detailed information about the fees on the Brazil's webpage and also on the Fees webpage of our website. Please feel free to ask any other questions you have. We are always happy to help :)
Hi Sabrina, Thank you for your message. The sooner you start the application process the better. First because you will secure your placement in our highest tourist season (summer on the Northern Hemisphere), and also because you will receive our pre-departure material, including fundraising guides, that can help you cover the expenses of your trip. The program fee is due only 30 days before the...
Nowadays we use a hostel and a volunteer house. Last July we had 25 volunteers at a time, 10 at the house and 15 at the hostel. They are both located in Santa Teresa neighborhood and volunteers usually do things together.

Reviews

94%
based on 38 reviews
  • Impact 8.9
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 8.9
Showing 1 - 15 of 38
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Alejandro
10/10

A marvelous, eye-opening experience

I had the oportunity to participate in a volunteer program with Iko Poran in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.
I was an english teacher for kids in a comunity. I had an excelent oportunity to learn about languages, people and new cultures as well as the one to help people and build a better future. The programs that the organization has are very fun and you really feel that you are helping.
The support that the members give you is great and i would like to congratulate Felipe, who really makes you feel like at home and trully fights with all his hearth to change the present and future of communities all around the world.
This was an amazing experience and i higly recommend it for everyone who feels that he wants to help and learn.

How can this program be improved?
Contact with bigger organizations to whom give the services
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Nathab
10/10

Absolutely amazing

Would highly recommend this. The people, culture, activities, and experiences will last a lifetime. I talk about them every day to this day. Felipe and his family are such amazing people. We participated in a capoeira class with a blind teacher who changed my life forever, played soccer with amazing children from the favelas to keep them away from drugs and violence, and of course enjoyed everything the beautiful country has to offer. don’t let the news fool you - Brazil is one of the most beautiful countries we have ever been to. Of course you need to be smart and safe but that applies everywhere you are in the world! The culture and people are one of a kind and so much fun.

How can this program be improved?
It’s perfect!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Armando
10/10

Solid

The people at Iko Poran are really helpful as they stay with you every step of the way. They give you all of the info that you need so that everything goes smoothly. They also keep in close contact with you throughout the experience to make sure that you make the most out of your trip. Not sure how many groups they work with at a time, but they were still able to see us and check in on us everyday. The staff is also very friendly.

Yes, I recommend this program
Lisa
7/10

Volunteering with children in Rio de Janeiro

Iko Poran do an amazing job at putting you into contact with local communities and projects that need support. The work these projects do are extremely important in these communities and it was a privilege to be able to help with it. Everybody i worked with was very friendly and accommodating. I highly recommend others to pursue a volunteer project and believe it is just as beneficial to the individual as to the community you are working with.

How can this program be improved?
The one thing that i think could be improved is the organisation putting all the volunteers into contact with each other, as it can help with acclimatising to new places by having others to explore the area with.
Yes, I recommend this program
Jefrin
10/10

UCONN MHS Review

I had a great time in Rio learning about the culture and building relationships with the people in the Engenho de Rainha community. I worked with talented, passionate and hardworking health professionals who were willing to help and answer questions at all times. I really enjoyed being immersed in the community and learning about all aspects of the healthcare system in Rio de Janeiro in particular including the many challenges. This was an unforgettable experience I would highly recommend.

How can this program be improved?
More hands on activities in the clinic.
Yes, I recommend this program
Isabella
9/10

Great Experience!

I would definitely recommend this program to anyone. It was fun, educational, and a new experience. We met so many people who love and care about others. The state of Rio was beautiful and we had a decent amount of free time to sight see. The program leaders were super friendly and they gave a lot of information on how to get around Rio. Overall, we made new friendships and dove into a new culture. This was by far one of the greatest experiences of my life.

How can this program be improved?
Provide transportation.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Bob
8/10

Rio de Janeiro 2017

I spent the month of October working with Iko Poran in Rio de Janeiro on projects teaching English, Art, and Dance. I met some wonderful people, some of whom will hopefully remain friends forever. It was good to make a difference, even for a short while, to the lives of people who in some cases have so little. But what they may lack in resources they make up for many times in their enthusiasm for learning. I was able to contribute on a number of programmes and I think the more adaptable you are, the more you will get out of the experience. Rio de Janeiro is an amazing place, not without its problems, and you do have to take care travelling around, however one of the best aspects of the experience for me was being able to live almost like a local, travelling miles on the rattling buses, eating very economically in “local” restaurants, really feeling a part of the community. You just would not get that coming as a tourist. A tourist will get to know places....a volunteer will get to know people!

How can this program be improved?
I would have liked a brief sheet with information for the projects.
Address, contact details, history of the project, website if there was one, just to be as familiar as possible before getting struck in. Also some projects are quite far away and the prospect of getting lost was always there, although it didnt happen.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Nate
9/10

A brief stint in Rio

In June of 2017, I was given the opportunity to teach English as a volunteer in an informal community outside of Rio de Janeiro. Unfamiliar with Portuguese and inexperienced in teaching, I was very nervous to enter this new environment in an attempt to make a difference in the students' lives. I was unsure if I could make any difference at all, given I did not speak Portuguese and had never taught English as a second language to others. However, my initial unsettledness proved to be wrong and misplaced. I left the program with my desire to teach reaffirmed, some new friends, and a very fulfilling experience. Despite the language barrier between me and the staff at the placement and some of the students, I was proud of being able to reach them and teach English, be it simply introducing themselves or having a complex political discussion. Most importantly, however, I forged relationships with some of my students who I know I will never forget and who I promised I will visit on my next trip to Brazil. I strongly recommend the trip to anyone who hopes to teach at some point in their lives and to anyone who wants to work with people in a meaningful way.

How can this program be improved?
I think a better structure of the class would improve the program. There should be a clear list of subjects covered in the past and a trajectory for the future so a new teacher understands what material they should cover. Even if there is a new student, it would be useful for the volunteer to know the most effective order to teach English topics.
Response from Iko Poran Volunteer Abroad - IKPVA

Dear Nate,
We are so happy to hear that you had a meaningful experience in Rio. I am sure many volunteers feel the same way you did (nervous) in the beginning of their experience. Mainly because of the language barrier. Believe me, the language is not a barrier. I've seen people with no portuguese skills make lifetime memories as volunteers and people with great language skills that didn't succeed on their projects. Of course the language can help but by no means is what will decide how your volunteer program turns out. We are so happy you took this challenge and made lifetime memories and friends. It's a great idea to keep a record of what past volunteer have taught and a more structured way of teaching English. Thank you so much for volunteering with us.
We wish you all the best!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Alfonso
10/10

Sports Development Programme in Rio - Feb 2017

I was very happy with my time on the Sports Development Programme. My expectations of Rio were surpassed and I had an amazing time seeing the city, meeting people and doing my volunteer work. The coordinator, Felipe, was very helpful and it was a pleasure to stay with him and his family. The local people who helped with the programmes were really kind, patient and fun to work with.

I would advise future participants to try and learn as much Portuguese as possible before coming to Rio to give you a head start on being able to communicate with the locals. Don't assume that they may speak some English, because many of the locals don't and it will go a long way to show you have made the effort to learn their language. However, you will have lessons from a great teacher who is really patient and friendly. She will help you a lot with whatever level of Portuguese you are currently at and help you improve quickly. I learned a lot from her and really grateful for her time.

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 defiantly 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.

My favourite memories are the smiles on people's faces when I bought football equipment and stationary with money raised by friends and work colleagues. I was able to raise £530 in two weeks and would highly recommend raising some money through a donation website, so you can go the extra mile with supporting the locals.

After retuning to London, I now take regular Portuguese classes and use online website to learn as much as possible for when I return - you will want to return... believe me!!!

Response from Iko Poran Volunteer Abroad - IKPVA

Hi Alfonso!
Great to know more about your volunteer experience in Rio. You had the full "carioca" experience. Playing football and enjoying Carnival while helping others. We are so happy to hear that you had an amazing experience and Felipe was a good support and family for you in Brazil. I am sure people at the project were really happy with your donation (equipment). Great work doing fundraising. Ideas and actions that can create such a positive impact on your project. Please keep in touch.
We wish you all the best!
Iko Poran Team

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Martina
9/10

3 weeks in Rio

I spent 3 weeks in Rio volunteering for project Morrinho with Iko Poran last january. It was an amazing experience. The project I worked in was very interesting, and I got to know really nice locals and the way they lived in the favela (that has an amazing view of Rio by the way!). All the volunteers stayed at Felipe’s beautiful house, which was so comfortable and we had a beautiful terrace to get together, have dinner or a few drinks in. Rio de Janeiro is such a vibrant, beautiful and fun city to visit and it’s even better to get to know it with amazing people like the friends I made in the volunteer house. The 3 weeks went by too fast, I wish I could have stayed more time. If you have the time and can afford it, I recommend staying at least 5-6 weeks. I made really good friends there that I really miss and I hope I can go back soon to visit them! I’m definitely considering volunteering for Iko Poran again whenever I have the chance.

Response from Iko Poran Volunteer Abroad - IKPVA

Dear Martina,
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your volunteer experience in Rio. Morrinho is for sure one of the most interesting projects I know and Felipe is a great host. Thank you for choosing Iko Poran.
Just a reminder that you have 50% discount on future registration fees.
We wish you all the best
Iko Poran Team

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Adie
10/10

Child Development Program

I worked on the Child Development program while I was with Iko Poran. The program leader was very creative and open to any ideas I brought. The program did not provide many resources or materials, however I was able to bring whatever I needed to structure activities for the class. Working with the children was definitely challenging and you need to have motivation but it was 100% worth it. The biggest challenge for me was the language barrier, but luckily I was working alongside another girl who could translate for me and in addition I was taking the Portuguese classes offered through Iko Poran (which were amazing).

As for the program itself, I loved that there was always someone there I could contact if I needed anything, but I also had space and I was allowed to be as independent as I wanted. I met lots of amazing and inspiring people through Iko Poran and hopefully I will have a chance to come back and do it again sometime in the future.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Marcela
9/10

Child developement program

I volunteer for 3 weeks in a child development program where i got to work with a group of 10 to 15 children. It was a beutiful experience, because although the project didnt have many material resources, love and hard work were present all the time. My precence and in general volunteer precence is needed to keep up with all the children so its a very rewarding project. Its important that bring ideas to work with the children and to have initiative, the project leader is very open to new ideas, but as everything in life to need to have initiative.
It wasnt easy but it was absolutly worth it.
Ikoporan was very helpful when you need it, but it also lets you be independent which i loved.
I had a very good experience!

Yes, I recommend this program
Katrijn
9/10

Child development program in Rio de Janeiro

I was volunteering in Rio de Janeiro for only two weeks. My plan was to travel afterwards, so that's why I only stayed in Rio for such a long time.
I had a great time! It started by getting picked up by Felipe at the airport, while we were driving to the hostel he explained me a little bit how the program works and what's there to do in Lapa and Santa Teresia. I was volunteering with an Irish Couple and I thought it was really nice so I didn't have to go somewhere by myself.
The volunteering itself was absolutely amazing, we were playing ball games with the children, rope skipping, drawing, we did some painting as well and they loved it! There were around 10 to 20 children each day, I don't know on what it depended if they were coming or not, but mostly it was school I think. The children were between 2 and 14 years old, they could get a bit wild at times, but they were all very sweet and always really excited to see us.

I would definitely recommend this program, but in my opinion, two weeks is way too short! If you can stay longer, do it! It's definitely worth it. Also, try to get some basics in Portuguese, I could already understand and speak a little bit, but sometimes it was very hard because not everyone speaks English and they really do appreciate it if you try.
Rio is an amazing city, I totally fell in love with it! At first I was a little bit scared because everyone told me it's such a dangerous city, but in my opinion it's just like every big city and you should listen to people living there on where you can and where you can not go. I never went out by myself when it was dark and I never felt unsafe, but I think that's mainly because I listened to what Felipe said, like don't behave too much like a tourist, don't take any valuables, etc.

If you're still not convinced, trust me: just go!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Eric
10/10

Wish I was born in Brazil....

The experience in Brazil was literally one of the best times of my life.... The local citizens as well as fellow international participants made everyday so active and fun.

Being able to volunteer and help out at Tijuca Forest was soo refreshing and calmly. Hearing the birds sing, the monkeys tease, and the trees sway is an experience I wish I could bring with me everyday.... especially to the corporate meeting I'm currently sitting in... lol

All in All, IkoPoran & BRAZIL had it all;
- The people
- The fooooood
- The Acaiii
- The cutest cats
- The most beautiful humans

Coming back for sure!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Harm
9/10

Authentic Rio!

The Olympic and Paralympic Games created special times for Rio, but I also wanted to experience another side of the city. That is why I chose to register for an Iko Poran volunteer program.
I had some concerns about the safety in Rio, but they disappeared soon after I my arrival at the nice hostel in Santa Teresa, conveniently located near to the nightlife scene of Lapa, and the safety tips of the experienced staff of Iko Poran. Doing NGO development for Iko Poran itself I was able to visit several projects they offer in Rio. The fact that there is a lot variation in small scale projects allows volunteers to make a personal contribution.
It was only three weeks, but next to the Games, I will never forget my authentic Rio experience with Iko Poran!

Yes, I recommend this program

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About Iko Poran Volunteer Abroad - IKPVA

IKPVA offers a wide range of affordable, safe and meaningful volunteer projects in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Our variety of programs includes Teaching, Childcare, Community Development, NGO Support, Construction, Environment Protection, Animal...