Brazil is known as one of the most beautiful and exotic destinations, not only in South America, but the world over. With its magnificent beaches, tremendous wilderness, and rich cultural heritage, Brazil has always been a popular destination for foreigners. Even though Brazil is a progressive country with a growing economy, there are parts of the country that remain impoverished and are in dire need of volunteers.
Brazil suffers from a lack of teachers, infrastructure problems, and lack of educational materials. As a volunteer, you will work with teachers to create more interactive and student friendly environments. You would engage children and help them learn and stay motivated towards their education, along with broadening their views about different people and places.
The poverty in Brazil has expectedly had an impact on the health of a significant portion of the population. Medical volunteers in Brazil work on projects such as community health campaigns or assisting at a mental health center. Volunteers can also work on educating patients, in addition to providing them with treatment.
Brazil is home to over half of the world’s rainforests and is in fact thought to be the most diverse nation on earth. Unfortunately, though, there are many endangered species in Brazil. As a volunteer, you will have an opportunity to take care of animals in a protected environment. You could also work with a National Park and work on reducing park pollution, reforesting damaged areas of the park, and educating local towns about the importance of conservation.
Planning Your Trip
Volunteer Support: If you volunteer in Brazil through an organization, they will have a support system in place and they should be able to fulfill all of you needs and answer any questions you may have. Your home country’s embassy or consulate can also be reached in Brasilia for information and support. Checkout Expat Exchange to learn more about foreigners’ experiences in Brazil!
NGOs/Nonprofits in Brazil: Brazil has a number of nonprofits that work in diverse sectors. Here’s a list to help you find non-profits in Brazil.
How to Save Money While Volunteering: While Brazil does have expensive options for eating and shopping, there are many great local places which will help you stick to your budget. For getting around, try to use public transportation or walk instead of taking a taxi.
Health and Safety of Volunteers in Brazil
Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Typhoid vaccinations are highly recommended for foreigners visiting Brazil. Yellow fever is recommended if you will be staying in Brazil’s inland (not on the coast). For more information visit MD Travel Health.
Visas for Volunteering in Brazil
As a US Citizen, you will be required to get a Visa to Brazil. You must obtain your visa in advance from a Brazilian Embassy or Consulate closest to where you live. There are no "airport visas" and immigration authorities will refuse entry into Brazil to anyone not possessing a valid visa. More information about Visas can be found on VISA HQ.