Volunteer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Rio de Janeiro is Brazil’s second largest city and revered as the cidade maravilhosa (marvelous city). The city definitely suffers the effects of crime and gang violence but Rio’s residents, known as cariocas, travel to the beaches of Copacabana and Pao de Açúcar as if they lived in utter paradise. Indeed, Rio comes quite close to that. Rio is a fantastic place to volunteer because first, there are issues for which an extra pair of hands can help; and second, Rio is one of the most culturally captivating places in South America and perhaps the world.

Photo Credit: Jaime Spaniol.

Youth Development

Whether it’s in a rural or urban area, volunteers are needed to offer youth support. One can give free classes and help young Brazilians to find jobs in the Rio’s poor suburbs or teach kids the importance of balanced diets so as to curb the high rates of malnutrition. Without this support, Rio’s youth will be stuck in abject poverty.

Community Development

Volunteers can help build communities through construction, athletic coaching, NGO development, promoting environmental sustainability—the list goes on. The fact that Rio’s population is so large means extra aid is needed to help smaller demographics cope with the changes of a developing city and nation.

Environmental Conservation

One of Rio’s main attractions is the city and the surrounding parks’ innate beauty. Habitat restoration, tree planting, fencing, and trail maintenance outside the city is crucial to preserving Rio’s greenery.

Volunteering Tips

Questions to Ask: If I don’t speak Portuguese, what’s the best way to communicate with community members? What are the areas to avoid at all times of the day?

How to Save Money While Volunteering: No matter where you are, remember to keep your belongings close so as to keep your wallet as full possible and your worries at a minimum. Consider multiple options when on a budget. Walk or take the bus instead of a taxi or try cooking at home with locally bought food.

Volunteer Support: Rio de Janeiro is a massive city, constantly bustling with American and European tourists; resources to accommodate these demographics are present. What’s more, your volunteer program will most likely have a more direct support system. If you require more political/diplomatic assistance, there are numerous consulates in Rio.

Don’t let the crime deter you from volunteering in Rio de Janeiro. If you do, you’ll miss out on a thriving and engaging culture in which certain groups badly need your help. Volunteering opens up a world of meaningful Portuguese opportunities that cannot be realized just by seeing the sights. You’re also guaranteed to get a tan.

Health and Safety of Volunteers in Rio de Janeiro

Pick-pockets and street muggings are the most common types of crime. Neither wear flashy jewelry in the streets nor walk at night alone. Taking public transportation at night is also not the safest decision. Always keep a close eye on your belongings, whether in the cities or on the beaches.

Try to avoid street food, which is usually prepared the night before in unsanitary conditions at the mercy of unclean hands. Staying as clean and sanitary as possible is best to avoid catching anything. To build your immunity, it is strongly recommended that you take the following vaccines: hepatitis A and B, typhoid, yellow fever, and rabies.

Showing 21 Programs

International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
Volunteer abroad in Brazil with IVHQ! Every year, hundreds of volunteers join IVHQ's highly affordable volunteer projects in...
ELI Abroad
Volunteer with an organization that has painstakingly replaced non-native plants with indigenous species on 183 acres! Now th...
Love Volunteers
Join Love Volunteers and their partner organisation in Brazil for the volunteer experience of a lifetime! Our programs work w...
Default Program Teaser Image
Volunteering abroad offers a unique opportunity for personal growth while making significant contributions to the local commu...
Iko Poran Volunteer Abroad
Iko Poran offers a wide range of safe, affordable and responsible volunteer programs in Rio de Janeiro. Our variety of progra...
Travellers Worldwide
Coach football to school children in Rio de Janeiro. Think of Brazil and great football/soccer start come to mind. You may be...
Working Abroad Projects
Go beyond the ordinary and experience Brazil from a whole different side and gain a perspective from the community through in...
Travellers Worldwide
Welcome to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's burning heart! Come learn special skills in photography or Latin American dances and expe...
Our free volunteer programs support underprivileged kids & teens - living a favela in Rio de Janeiro´s South Zone - with good...
Travellers Worldwide
The best way to learn a language is to live it! So join us on this project and experience life in Rio de Janeiro and take Por...
RCDP International Volunteer Program
Have you ever wanted experience the sunny, sandy beaches and spectacular scenery of Rio de Janeiro and at the same time wante...
Ecuador Volunteer Foundation
We are passionate about creating solutions through volunteer work for the most vulnerable sectors. With EVF you can participa...
New Hope Volunteers
Savor the Brazilian way of life by teaching English in the favelas, and soak in breathtaking beaches and dunes, along with th...
Travellers Worldwide
You'll teach, entertain and care for children ranging from 2 to 5 years. The activities are based on basic English lessons an...
Eco Caminhos
Do you want to live sustainably and learn how to bioconstruct your own house? Here at Eco Caminhos we truly believe in gettin...