Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Brazil

Video and Photos

Down town Lapa - a free bloco early in the evening! This place is crazy later on at night.
Beautiful Rio - Parque de Tijuca. Lots of great climbs, walks and magnificent views to explore.
Free blocos or street parties, where everyone dresses up!

About

Trusted by 110,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer programs in Rio de Janeiro and 50+ other destinations around the world.

You can choose from 5 volunteer project options in Brazil and give back for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks. Your Program Fee includes airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support. You’ll be accommodated in a volunteer hostel, with other like-minded, impact-focused travelers from around the world.

IVHQ is trusted to support the meaningful adventures of thousands of volunteers every year, so before you even depart for Brazil, you’ll receive outstanding personalized service from your expert Volunteer Program Manager and exclusive access to superior pre-departure volunteer training.

With IVHQ, you can expect to establish real connections within the local community while supporting projects that make a genuine difference.

Highlights
  • IVHQ’s Brazil program is available year-round, starting on the first and third Monday of every month
  • Highly affordable program fees starting from $525 for 2 weeks - IVHQ provides the most affordable and top-rated programs
  • You’ll be joining between 20 and 50 other IVHQ volunteers who start in Rio de Janeiro each month
  • You’ll be traveling with IVHQ, the volunteer travel experts, and joining a network of 110,000+ volunteers. Our outstanding safety systems and track record set us apart - we are the world’s safest organization
  • Your efforts will have a positive impact because our programs are community-driven with a focus on supporting long-term local needs

Questions & Answers

Reviews

91%
based on 20 reviews
  • Impact 8.5
  • Support 8.8
  • Fun 8.8
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 8.1
Showing 16 - 20 of 20
Default avatar
Nicole
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Brazil - Construction in a Favela

*Disclaimer: IVHQ no longer works with Iko Poran*

A hands on approach to improving peoples lives - helping to build a home. Powerful, constructive, heart touching, rewarding and growthful. A life reinforcing experience - not to be missed. Thank you!

What would you improve about this program?
Offer a language course prior to visiting the country. (I did this under my own guidance - however it may be useful if this was offered by the organisation).
Default avatar
colella2
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Rio has Soul

*Disclaimer: IVHQ no longer works with Iko Poran*

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP rang my alarm each morning at 8 AM. Shower, breakfast, bus. Project.

My mornings began playing soccer (i.e., 'futebol' in Portuguese) for two hours with the children in the comunidade I worked in. This was to avoid melting in the pleasant, but blistering Brazilian sun during the Summer. Fast forward: the last 2.5 hours of each day were spent teaching English to eager young minds in a community with a lack of educational structure.

What was the best part of each day? It was the seeing the smiles on the faces of the children and young adults as they proved to themselves that they COULD learn to speak English. One word at a time; one sentence at a time...they learned.

Rio de Janeiro is without a doubt different from anywhere else I have ever traveled. It is gorgeous, the people are beautiful and the fun never ends, but is important to stay street smart and listen to the advice from more experienced peers in order to adequately navigate the streets of the sometimes dangerous and unpredictable streets of this city.

Just as in any city, it is important to stay focused, know where you are going and to speak the native language. It is not imperative to be fluent in Portuguese prior to arriving in Rio, but it sure helps to know basic words and phrases.

Thinking about volunteering or studying abroad in Rio? DO IT! The experience will forever change you and the memories will last a lifetime.

-Michael

What would you improve about this program?
The in-country volunteer organization lacks proper management - the individuals involved can be a bit rude and disrespectful, but overall, they are pleasant enough. I would imagine they are simply overworked and underpaid.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks for sharing a review of your experience on our Brazil program. We're happy to hear you enjoyed facilitating the learning of your keen students and have fond memories from your time volunteering in Rio de Janeiro. Our Executive Director, Daniel Radcliffe, is currently visiting our Brazil program and is addressing your feedback in regards to the organisation of the program and attitude of the staff. We appreciate your feedback and will ensure your concerns are addressed with the local team. It is of utmost importance that each and every one of our programs is run in accordance with the high quality standards that IVHQ is renowned for so your feedback is of great value to us.

Default avatar
Volunteer
3/10
No, I don't recommend this program

I am a little disappointed in the Rio trip

*Disclaimer: IVHQ no longer works with Iko Poran*

I don't know who wrote the other two reviews, but they are a little bit generous in my opinion. I would say that I have had a really nice time in Rio on my weekends and evenings, but the program that I signed up to do didn't exist, so I ended up having to regroup and go with the flow, and teach English instead. The comment about the houses is really weird to me because, being that I am pretty low maintenance about living conditions I would say that a house coated in three layers of mold is not nice. The meal that they promise is really just some bread and maybe jam or something. Expect to buy all your own meals.
The money that is supposed to go back to the projects doesn't get seen by those who need it, which means if you want any supplies for your activities you can expect to pay for them out of your own pocket and those who run the Rio project get really aggressive if you ask them about this issue. They are incredibly unprofessional.
Please keep in mind that IVHQ has many projects around the world and the net work with many different organizations. I am only speaking on be half of the Rio trip.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

We are sorry to hear you are disappointed in your experience volunteering in Brazil. At IVHQ, we pride ourselves on the high quality experience we offer volunteers in each of the countries where we operate programs. We actively encourage our volunteers to share feedback and any concerns they may have with our local staff and IVHQ Program Coordinators, so any issues can be resolved as they arise, while volunteers are in country. All of our programs are visited on an annual basis by an IVHQ staff member to ensure we are consistently delivering a high quality experience for all volunteers. Our Brazil program was visited by our Executive Director in January this year and while he did not receive any complaints from volunteers about the accommodation or staff, we have ensured your concerns are addressed by our local team in Brazil. In regards to meals, volunteers are informed that in Brazil, breakfast is provided and volunteers must arrange their own lunch and dinner. While all three meals are included in the program fees for other IVHQ programs, it is made clear to volunteers prior to applying and after registering to volunteer in Brazil that only breakfast is provided on this program. We are glad to hear that despite your concerns, you still had a nice time in Rio and we trust you enjoyed your time spent with the other volunteers.

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

Great Rio Experience

*Disclaimer: IVHQ no longer works with Iko Poran*

IVHQ in Rio is a very unique experience. You will not only get to see the favelas in a personal sense, but you will also get to have a lot of fun. The volunteer house community is close and going out in Lapa, or Ipanema, or whereever is common. Rio isnt the safest of cities, but the staff will help you to stay safe with some good advice.

Default avatar
qbnbrqa
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A must!

*Disclaimer: IVHQ no longer works with Iko Poran*

I volunteered with Iko Poran's Carnaval Prep Program, which was a really great time. I helped a samba school produce their costumes and other decorations for their floats. It consisted of a lot of cutting and glue-gunning which isn't the most fun, but with that came great social interaction with my fellow co-workers, who were all locals. We taught each other phrases, exchanged music, and shared laughs. If you are planning to do this program, I would suggest you do it only if you are staying for Carnival. That way, you actually see your work come to life.

Iko Poran's volunteer house was really nice too. It was big so there were so many people to get to know -- giving you ample opportunity to bond and build lasting connections. The Portuguese classes were helpful, however, if you're on a budget and feel conflicted about taking them, I'd suggest using the money for something else.

All in all, the program is awesome and I suggest it to anyone and everyone. The program coordinator is super down-to-earth and provides a great rundown of what to expect from the program/culture/country.

The only problem I had was leaving.