Truly the Most Affordable Program 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. These include Teaching, Childcare, Child Development, Community Development, Environmental Protection, Sports Development, Arts & Design, and a special program preparing costumes for 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
- You have Fridays and weekends off to relax and explore
- You receive an orientation covering the culture of Brazil and a tour of the city
- Programs with 4 weeks or more include a free 20 hours Portuguese course
- You’ll be joining the best-rated voluntary organization in Brazil with 17 years experience
- Ours is the most affordable program & registration fee in Brazil!
- Recognized as a Public Interest Organization since 2007

Apply today for the best travel experience

Highlights
  • We believe that volunteering shouldn’t cost the earth. Registration fee is only $ 149 and program fees start at only $400 for two weeks
  • We are the only international volunteering organization to be based in a developing country that also runs its own projects. Most providers are profit-making travel companies based in First World nations.
  • We are non-profit – fees received cover our costs and help us to achieve our mission by contributing to local programs. You pay the program fee directly to the local organization (in Brazil, this is Iko Poran)
  • You take part in programs developed and operated by local partner organizations and their respective community councils
  • We focus on providing a good experience for you - welcome, orientation, accommodation, placement and ongoing support.

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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 only 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

9.49 Rating
based on 45 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 8 of 45
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Joshua
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Cidade De Deus/City Of God

There are very few words I have to describe what I experienced during my time in Rio. From the crazy, but amazing brazilian population, to the hands-down best food in the world, to the amazingly juxtaposed scenery. Rio was something else. Crazy Night life, intriguing museums, stunning street art, mouth-watering restaurants, breathe-taking beaches. YES PLEASE.
The program itself is an amazing way to show you a glimpse of the beautiful, but tragic story of Brazil's Favelas. On one side we have the breathe taking beaches of Ipanema and Copocabana, and literally in their backyards we see hundreds of favelas. The borders are non-existent.
During my time, I was able to go to these Favelas, and not only help people out and do all that good stuff. But I was able to connect. Really connect. Familiarize myself with their situation. Each favela is a Micro-society in itself. Each with its own stores, own restaurants, own kids, own problems. If you spend enough time there, you get to truly see how these people live. How they cope. How they suffer. How they enjoy life, regardless of their circumstances. Its beautiful.

The kids are a joy to work with. Life is much easier if you can communicate with them, so i highly recommend learning some Portuguese. Everyone appreciates it. Plus the kids find it fun seeing gringos try and talk to them ;) You'll have tons of fun playing football everyday, and you'll very quickly pick up how eager everyone is to play, regardless of age, gender or skill level. Football is Brazil's National Religion. Get used it.
All's fun and games, however, being in that environment you can't help but notice the social poverty that exists. Many kids do have problems at home, or school, or even with themselves. But that's why the football program is such a wonderful tool. It helps these kids not only relieve themselves of Society's issues, but also teaches them how to deal with it.

Carlao, the project manager, is a hard-working, fun and honest man. Well respected in his community, Carlao spends his days working with the kids, and his nights playing in his Pagode group. I couldn't have asked for a better person to help me during my time there. Tamo Junto mano.

Felipe, the head of Iko Poran, was always there for myself and the other volunteers. Very easy to talk to, Felipe always did his best to help us get around both efficiently and safely. I knew we were always in good hands. I never felt shy or worried to ask him any questions. He would also go out of his way to make sure we enjoyed our stay there. Often he would invite us to different activities taking place, or show us the best restaurants around. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity Felipe!

Overall, I wouldn't trade the experience I had in Rio for anything. Not a moment goes by where i don't think about my time there. I long to go back to see those kids and play football for hours on end. Great friendships were made, many of which i still have right now. If you're reading this and still contemplating if you should go or not, DO IT. You're Welcome

PS: If you don't speak Portuguese and someone starts talking to you, just smile, nod your head, and say " Valeu" (pronounced VAH-LE-OH). Just youtube it, You'll be alright ;)

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Sometimes you can feel lost, or not very useful. This isn't because they don't appreciate your presence, its just that most times the days activities are decided upon on the spot. There isn't an extreme amount of planning. However, Its very encouraging if you have something prepared before-hand. E.g) a sessions on just possession play, or teaching them hoe to keep the ball better, or even another game such as dodge-ball. Putting in some effort shows you care, and that goes a long way. Everyone is open to new ideas. Don't be scared!
Default avatar
Rio
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Experience Like No Other!

I took part in teaching English at the Centro Social e Cultural Tatiane Lima over a 10 week period, as well as getting my hands dirty replanting trees, mending and creating pathways in the Tijuca Rainforest. Needless to say this was an amazing experience as a student studying anthropology & sociology, as it has given me greater cultural and societal insights into Brazil. Moreover, on a personal level the 11 weeks I stayed in Brazil were positively life changing and were boosted by Felipes support throughout - I am especially thankful for the connections I made through Felipe as he connected me to a wonderful Portuguese tutor, hostel/English teachers/rainforest volunteers and gave me a great tour of the city. The accommodation is relatively safe given the city, I stayed there for 10 weeks and was never fearful of my belongings being stolen, the staff there speak multiple languages which makes this experience accessible for people from many different backgrounds. Obviously extra precaution must be taken whilst in Brazil including not being flashy and being aware of your surroundings, however, the people and areas I was introduced to by Felipe were beautiful, kind and high spirited people only willing to introduce me to their culture. However, the relative precautions which must be take do not detract from the cities night life, culture and fun and I recommend for any prospective volunteers reading this to consider striking a balancing between immersing into the culture and volunteering as this is an amazing opportunity which has to be embraced 360 to get the real Carioca feel!

As the director of the programme Felipe is was very helpful, encouraging and understanding and helped me get acquainted to the culture more quickly and get around. His openness in sharing his story and the development of the organisation is also inspiring . Lastly, as a student this was an amazing experience to practice ethnographic work for the first time in a completely other culture which is invaluable - I urge students in general to consider this as a cost effective option to garner more work experience to not only immerse yourself and study but to add to your resume.

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

Best volunteering experience ever

I spent four wonderful weeks volunteering with Iko Poran in Rio de Janeiro. Everything was organized very well and smoothly, from the airport pick-up and accommodation arrangement to the induction tour and individual projects. Despite initial safety concerns about living and working in Rio, the organizer of my trip, Felipe, ensured safety throughout my trip. The free private Portuguese lessons were another great feature of this program, and it helped me settle into the local daily life very quickly. What I appreciated most of the organization was Felipe's effort and flexibility to tailor the projects towards my interests. This allowed me to work on significantly impactful projects, but it also made my experience truly enjoyable and unforgettable.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would recommend everyone to try to learn a bit of Portuguese before coming to Rio. This can make a vast difference when communicating with locals who you may interact with during the projects and in everyday life.
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Caius
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best 2 weeks of my life!

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Brazil, firstly Felipe, who Coordinated the trip was FANTASTIC. He greeted me at the airport with a smile and throughout the trio went the extra mile. For example, the first night, he took me to a small gathering where there was live music. This was not included in the programme but is an example of Florida Felipe going above and beyond and genuinely putting your experience at the top of his priority lists. There are several other examples, but the word count won't allow me to write to them all.
I felt my programme was tailored to me and what I wanted to get out of Rio. The city is fantastic, and the accommodation and other people on the programme were great. I miss Rio! Thank you to everyone who made my experience!

What would you improve about this program?
I have no clue what I would improve! I felt the programme had an individual feel to it both Felipe and Virginia advised me on places to eat, drink and have fun.
Response from Iko Poran Volunteer Abroad - IKPVA

Dear Caius,
It was our pleasure and blessing to receive you in Rio. You made us all cry when we saw you teaching children how to play the piano in the Santa Marta community. You are a prince, you made all of us so touched and happy with your classes at Santa Marta. You made Virginia my assistant cry teaching the small Moises to play the piano.

Rebecca
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Making meaningful memories

Felipe, who runs this programme with his heart and soul, is incredible and inspiring. From the moment we first enquired about volunteering, right through to our departure, he answered all our questions, looked after our every need and was totally there to give us the best possible experience. There aren't many options for one week volunteering but he was able to create a programme that fitted each of us perfectly, (from football to capoiera on the sports programme to childcare and community support) and made sure that we got what we wanted out of each day. We are under no illusions about having changed the world, but he did enable us and those that we met and worked with, to have some meaningful and beneficial encounters that will certainly stay with us, long after our trip is over.
And it was also good to know, that the fees go directly to those locally on the ground, not to some large international organisation.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
As a family, we weren't looking for a social scene so were very happy in the local B&B. I recommend checking every detail of your needs and expectations with Felipe beforehand to make sure it is the right volunteering programme for you, and Felipe will do everything possible to make sure it is.
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Sam
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing project.

I spent summer 20018 with this program. This is an amazing project to be part of in every sense.

The accommodation was fantastic, and all the logistics, such as airport pick-up and so on were seamless. The orientation was fantastic - learning about the city, getting around, as well as receiving excellent training. The staff at the school were very supportive and friendly. And, the teaching was a lot of fun as well as rewarding. You really felt like you were helping. I was really well supported throughout my time in Rio, and felt so welcomed by the organization. There is a great atmosphere between the volunteers, and it was great socialise and learn about their projects too. Also, Rio de Janeiro is a beautiful city.

The program is excellent value for money and I would definitely recommend this project to anyone.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take the opportunity to visit lots of the different attractions in Rio de Janeiro, and close by. There are many museums, beaches and things to do.
Default avatar
Gary
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A great experience in Rio

Volunteering with Iko Poran in Rio was a great decision - I had a fantastic 12 weeks in this amazing city. I helped the Grande Rio samba school with carnival preparations and taught English in a community in the west of the city. I met some fantastic people and made many new friends. I found that being a volunteer enabled me to discover more of the real Rio and its people in a way that I couldn’t have done as a tourist.

The organiser, Felipe, is incredibly helpful and does everything he can to ensure you have a great time. He’s also a big Botafogo fan and I watched two matches with him at the Olympic Stadium, which was brilliant. The support offered by Iko Poran in general is very high quality and the programme was brilliant value for money. I’m thinking of doing more volunteering and I will definitely go with Iko Poran again.

Response from Iko Poran Volunteer Abroad - IKPVA

Dear Gary,
It was a great pleasure to receive such a hardworking volunteer and a nice person like you.
You will always be very welcome in Rio de Janeiro and in any of our programs.
Best wishes!!

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

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.

What would you improve about this program?
Contact with bigger organizations to whom give the services