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.

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.

Volunteer Programs in Rio de Janeiro

Displaying 1 - 15 of 21 programs
Iko Poran Volunteer Abroad - IKPVA
Truly the Most Affordable Program in Brazil from $400/2 weeks
9.49 •45 reviews

Iko Poran offers a wide range of safe, affordable and responsible...

Amigos de Iracambi - Iracambi Rainforest Research Center
Rainforest Restoration & Sustainability
9.88 •8 reviews

Join us in one of the world’s top biodiversity hotspots on the...

Eco Caminhos
Learn about bio-construction & sustainable living 2 hours from Rio
9.8 •5 reviews

Do you want to live sustainably and learn how to bioconstruct your own...

Movement Exchange
Volunteer, Dance, and Discover Art, Culture & History with Movement Exchange
Multiple Countries
10 •2 reviews

Travel, learn international dance, gain teaching experience, and have...

ELI Abroad
Wildlife Sanctuary in the Brazilian Jungle
9.33 •3 reviews

Volunteer with an organization that has painstakingly replaced non...

International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Brazil
9.1 •20 reviews

Trusted by 110,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer...

Global Crossroad
Volunteer in Brazil- Lowest Fees & Trusted Since 2003
10 •1 review

Brazil is a land with many enchantments. Its rugged mountains, nearly...

IFRE Volunteers Abroad
The Most Affordable Volunteer in Brazil - 25K happy Volunteers Since 2006
9 •1 review

Are you looking for an exciting cultural experience where you will...

Volunteering and Intern Brazil
Volunteer in Brazil | Part of Proceeds Donated
9.5 •2 reviews

Have you ever thought about visiting Brazil? Do you want to make the...

Volunteering Solutions
Volunteer in Brazil | Affordable Programs From 1 to 8 Weeks
10 •1 review

Volunteering Solutions works in association with local Brazilian...

Ecuador Volunteer Foundation
Sustainable Agriculture Volunteer Program in Brazil

We are passionate about creating solutions through volunteer work for...

Eco Caminhos
Videographer Volunteer Program in Brazil

Eco Caminhos is an Eco Farm that has the intention to become a fully...

RCDP International Volunteer Program
Volunteer in Brazil - Lowest Fees & 20K Happy Volunteers Since 1998

The people of Brazil are full of buoyant spirit and the culture is...

Working Abroad Projects
Working Abroad Projects: Volunteer in Brazil

Go beyond the ordinary and experience Brazil from a whole different...

Nikitas Language Abroad Schools
Affordable Volunteer Placements and Study in Brazil

Nikitas Language Abroad Schools offers a variety of volunteering...

What People Are Saying

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...

Football Football Football

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...

Volunteering In Rainforest

I'm staying at Eco Caminhos for roughly 5 months to complete my internship for Environmental Sciences, focusing on bioconstruction research. I think that Eco Caminhos is a good place for anybody that...

New open space being build for workshops, etc

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