The Carnaval experience program is an exciting program allowing one to see what happens behind the scenes for the preparation for this major event. You also experience how celebratory this event is over many weeks before the parade. It is an amazing experience to see firsthand how the people of Rio de Janeiro celebrate the biggest celebration in the world.
Community Development Volunteer Program in Brazil - Rio de Janeiro
Interested in being a Community Development volunteer in Brazil? International Volunteer HQ’s Community project allows volunteers to get involved in activities that benefit low-income communities in Rio. Many of our volunteers work with an organization which gives children opportunities through Arts and Music. Volunteers with renovation skills will also be very welcome. The more information you can provide in your application form regarding your skills the better.
- Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
- Affordable fees from AU$1155 for 3 weeks
- Includes accommodation, daily breakfast, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Make a meaningful difference to disadvantaged communities
Explore Brazil’s world-famous beaches
Stay in a hostel in the pretty bayside area of Gloria, Rio de Janeiro
This program is ideal for:
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
Disadvantaged communities in Rio de Janeiro struggle with a number of issues that impact the wellbeing of their people. As a Community Development volunteer, you’ll be assisting local teams and other volunteers working on events and initiatives to improve their community. You’ll be helping with the tasks that are top priority for them at the time so you know what you do will be worthwhile and appreciated.
Community volunteer work varies widely, but could include:
- Restoration projects
- Arts projects
- Health education and awareness
- Technology, media and design
- Environmental development
Please note this project has a minimum duration of three weeks.
Why do Community Development volunteering in Rio De Janeiro with IVHQ?
When you join the Community Development project in Brazil, you’ll be helping out local neighbourhoods while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Supporting disadvantaged communities
- Assisting with a variety of projects
- Gaining community development experience
- Practicing your Portugese
- Developing your communication skills
- Immersing yourself fully in the Brazilian culture
- Exploring Brazil’s most famous city, Rio de Janeiro
- Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate in this program. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.
- All volunteers are required to speak fluent English, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ before departure.
Brazil photo gallery
What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience
I gained a lot of world knowledge and grew as a person. I would tell someone that is thinking of joining to 100% do it because it changes your life, even just the people alone.
My volunteering experience showed me that I can leave my comfort Zone. that I am able to do with my life what I want. It taught me that there are ways I can make an impact on peoples lives. If you have never volunteered abroad it is a life changing experience and one that will have a lasting impact on your thought processes. It can open up Your eyes to different ways of life and can teach new life skills necessary for exploring other countries. The experience itself can lead to a better understanding of what you can do with your life going forward.
My favorite moment from the volunteer experience was walking into the project every day and being greeted by warm smiling faces, happy to see me. With a little time and effort, anyone can make a big difference to peoples lives. Don't over think it, just do it !!
Traveling to Brazil to volunteer meant so much more than just that. It meant growing up, dancing, singing, walking and helping others in the most genuine way possible. I met people and remembered people, and I took with me infinite lessons that were tattooed on my skin, for example, being authentic and putting aside the opinion of others a little more and living in a more transparent way. Volunteering showed me realities that are difficult to digest, but for the same reason, they make me feel more useful in the things I do because all the lessons I have had in my life experiences and in my professional career began to materialize and it becomes a joint with other generations that perhaps can learn with the same thing that I learned.
I am infinitely grateful and I return to my country revitalized, full of energy, optimism, and I see the world with different eyes. It was really a life-changing trip, thanks to everyone who allowed me, but above all, thanks to myself because it was years of savings, and many moons, tears and steps, but I made it.
To someone who is still hesitating about volunteering abroad, I would say don't hesitate. I believe that there is no more enriching experience than being able to get to know oneself by helping others. I am a faithful believer that there is no better way to travel than being able to contribute something to the country or community to which we travel. It is not only easier, cheaper and more accessible, but it is an experience that can change many lives, including of oneself. You not only meet many people, but you sow new seeds all over the world so that the next time you go to other countries, you already have a house to stay in and more people to help. We are living beings because we are surrounded by them, and it is a privilege to be able to help others because we grow by lifting others. Infinite thanks, IVHQ.
Rio is an amazing place to visit, and volunteering with children in the favelas is so rewarding. Every day you can see the impact of your help. And to make it better, the children are so grateful and respectful, they are always excited to see you and they are eager to learn - so embrace every moment of it! As someone who has travelled a lot, I can say with certainty that Rio is unlike any other place in the world! Rio is vibrant and so full of life, and this experience really opened my eyes and taught me a lot about myself.
To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.
Academic course credit
Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!Learn about course credit
IVHQ’s volunteer projects are based in the glittering city of Rio de Janeiro. It’s the second largest city in Brazil and home to glorious beaches, breathtaking scenery and a huge selection of cultural activities including the world’s biggest street parade, Carnival.
The volunteer accommodation is based in Glória, a bayside neighborhood in central Rio which is close to Copacabana Beach and many restaurants, bars, art galleries, museums and tourist attractions.
Arrival and orientation
The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of each month and volunteers need to arrive into Rio de Janeiro on the Sunday before orientation.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Galeão-Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (GIG) or Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) in Rio de Janeiro. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee. When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation in Rio. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation. If you are travelling in Brazil prior to your volunteer program, you will need to arrange your own transport to the hostel accommodation.
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 - an introduction to Brazil, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.
Volunteer schedule example
On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local team member and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.
Work and hours at the placement are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at. A typical volunteer day is as follows:
|Breakfast at the hostel.
|Volunteeers travel to their placements.
|8:30 - 2:00PM
|Volunteers join the placement staff and begin work. There is usually a morning tea break and lunch break.
|2:00 - 5:00PM
|Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel back to their accommodation, go sightseeing, hit the beach, or do some shopping.
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 and Ipanema, climbing Corcovado Mountain, visiting the statue of Christ the Redeemer, catching the cable car to get a 360-degree view of the city from Sugar Loaf Mountain, horse trekking and wildlife spotting in the Pantanal wetlands, exploring Iguazu Falls and trekking through the Amazon.
Accommodation and WiFi
Volunteers stay in a hostel in the central Rio neighbourhood of Glória, which is a short walk from the metro station.
You can expect to share a bedroom with 5 to 8 other volunteers of both genders. Bedrooms have bunk beds with bedding and air conditioning provided. All rooms have a communal, co-ed bathroom equipped with western toilets and hot showers. You should bring your own towel or can rent one at the hostel for 5 BRL. Lockers are available but you’ll need your own padlock.
Accommodation upgrades to private or matrimonial rooms or homestays can be requested subject to availability at an additional cost after registering for the program. All upgrades must be arranged through the local team prior to your arrival. Additional accommodation before and after your program can also be arranged subject to availability. Please ask your IVHQ program manager for more details.
WiFi is available for volunteers to use at the hostel. You can also purchase a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone to keep connected.
Due to the higher costs over busy Carnival week, an accommodation surcharge will apply to any volunteers on the program over the Carnival week period.
You’ll be provided with breakfast at the hostel, but will need to arrange your own lunch and dinner. Breakfast generally consists of coffee, tea, natural fruit juice, fruit, bread, butter, jam, cheese, ham and cake.
The hostel has cooking facilities to prepare meals and there are nearby shops to buy 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.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|AU$1155 Equivalent to AU$55/day
|AU$1395 Equivalent to AU$50/day
|AU$1636 Equivalent to AU$47/day
|AU$1876 Equivalent to AU$45/day
|AU$2358 Equivalent to AU$42/day
|AU$2839 Equivalent to AU$41/day
|AU$3320 Equivalent to AU$40/day
|AU$4283 Equivalent to AU$38/day
|AU$5245 Equivalent to AU$37/day
|AU$6208 Equivalent to AU$37/day
- Daily breakfast
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteer Service
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately AU$527) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in AUD.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Brazil generally find US$250 to be sufficient for weekly expenses, including lunch, dinner and miscellaneous spending.
Portuguese language lessons
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 organised 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.
Check what's required to visit Brazil
Safety and support
IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.
- All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
- All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Essential country information
Weather and climate
The climate of Brazil has a wide range of weather conditions across a large area and varied topography, but most of the country is tropical. The different climatic conditions produce environments ranging from equatorial rainforests in the north and semiarid deserts in the northeast, to temperate forests in the south and tropical savannas in central Brazil. Many regions have starkly different microclimates.