ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
Volunteers are accommodated in a volunteer house in Santa Teresa and can expect to share a bedroom with two to six other volunteers. Bedrooms are comprised of single beds and bunk beds with bedding provided. Living is comfortable and the volunteer house has electricity, WiFi and running water, however you can expect low-pressure showers that are not always heated.
Volunteers in Brazil are provided with breakfast at the volunteer house, but they need to arrange their own lunch and dinner. Breakfast generally consists of tea or coffee, toast, cereal, fruit and condiments. The volunteer house has cooking facilities to prepare meals and there are nearby shops to purchase food. If you have any special dietary requirements for breakfast, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you.
Orientation is hosted by our Brazil team at their office in Rio de Janeiro. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Brazil – Introduction to Brazil, Culture and Customs, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities, Introduction to Project and Placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
First Day: On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.
Weekdays: A typical volunteer day is as follows:
7.30 AM Breakfast at the volunteer house or homestay.
8.00 AM Volunteers travel to their placements.
8.30AM – 2.00PM Volunteers joins with the placement staff. Work and hours at the placement are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at. There is usually a morning tea break and lunch break.
2.00 – 5.00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel back to their homestays, go sight seeing, or do some shopping. If volunteers are taking Portuguese Lessons, these will generally take place between 4.00 PM - 6.00 PM and 6.00 PM - 8.00PM.
7.00 PM Volunteers return to the volunteer house for dinner.
Please note, this schedule can vary depending on the project that the volunteer is participating on.
During the weekends, volunteers have free time to relax or take the opportunity to explore Rio de Janeiro and other areas of Brazil. Popular tourist activities include, relaxing on the beaches of Copacabana, climbing Corcovado Mountain, visiting the statue of Christ the Redeemer, catching the cable car to Sugar Loaf Mountain, horse trekking and wildlife spotting in the Pantanal wetlands, exploring Iguaçu Falls and trekking through the Amazon.
Portuguese language lessons are available to all volunteers regardless of their ability. IVHQ recommends these lessons for all volunteers in Brazil unless they are fluent in Portuguese. Volunteers with a basic level of Portuguese should strongly consider these lessons to allow them to work and communicate more effectively during their program. These language lessons can be organized upon arrival in Brazil, during the program orientation. These language lessons are tailored to each volunteer's current level of Portuguese and must be paid for in Brazil to our local program staff.