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Become a volunteer in Portugal with International Volunteer HQ

Volunteer in Portugal

Volunteer in Portugal with International Volunteer HQ on a range of volunteer projects, including Youth Support, Homeless Support, Wolf Conservation and Food Rescue. IVHQ's volunteer opportunities in Portugal are located throughout the wider city area of Lisbon with​​ ​Wolf Conservation volunteers based in Mafra. With low volunteer program fees and top rated volunteer projects, you will not find a more affordable and trustworthy volunteer travel organization in Portugal.
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Watch IVHQ volunteers abroad in Portugal

At a glance…

  • Available year-round
  • 5 meaningful project options
  • Projects based in Lisbon and Mafra
  • Accommodation in dormitory style hostels​ or ​homes on-site
  • Between 5 and 20 volunteers start in Portugal each month
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals (depending on your project) and 24/7 in-country support
  • Program fees from US$455 (approximately CA$615) for 1 week
  • Affordable Portuguese language lessons available
My week in Portugal was amazing. It was challenging and rewarding at the same time. Having worked with IVHQ before, I knew I would not be disappointed and I was right. The local host team and accommodation staff went an extra mile to make sure we felt at home and were comfortable.
IVHQ Volunteer - Meher Mehtab
Meher Mehtab
Nationality: Pakistani
Age: 21
Destination: Portugal

Volunteer opportunities in Portugal

Environmental Scuba Diving in Lisbon
Environmental Scuba Diving volunteer in Portugal with IVHQ
Conserves the environment
4-6 hours volunteering per day
Active volunteer experience
Gain dive certifications as you contribute to preserving and conserving the local marine environment by cleaning up the sea floor and helping with research projects.
Suited to:
Active volunteers Independent travelers Solo volunteers Gap year Nature lovers

Environmental Scuba Diving in

Reducing underwater pollution and conserving marine life is largely an issue that’s overlooked in Portugal. Volunteers on the Environmental Scuba Diving project have the opportunity to help with underwater clean-up efforts focused on the protection of the marine ecosystem off the coast of Portugal in Cascais.

Volunteers are based in a local diving school that has an emphasis on local environmental protection. You’ll help to clean rubbish off the sea floor, learn more about the marine ecosystem and how to protect it, observe and identify fish and collect data on fish numbers. You’ll always be supervised by an experienced dive instructor and will receive on-site training.

Environmental Scuba Diving volunteering in Portugal with IVHQ

As part of the Environmental Scuba Diving project you will complete internationally recognized SSI (Scuba Schools International) diving certifications. The certifications you complete will depend on your current diving experience as well as your program duration and the weather conditions. The courses range from Open Water Diver through to Advanced Adventurer. Specialties such as Buoyancy, Marine Ecology and Fish Identification are also available once you’ve completed the Open Water and Advanced certification courses.

The Program Fee covers the cost of the required SSI online and in-person training, full scuba equipment hire and supervision from an experienced dive instructor. The program is open to beginners without any diving experience, however volunteers will have to learn the fundamentals and safety measures before engaging in any type of conservation activities.

Please note in your application when you apply for the program if you have any current dive certifications. If you do have certifications already, you will need to send a copy of these, as well as your diving log book, through to our local team in Portugal prior to your program starting. If you are under the age of 18 at the time you are volunteering, you will need to provide a signed statement from your parents outlining that they give you permission to dive. Volunteers are also encouraged to bring a medical certificate which clears you for diving to ensure you can jump straight into volunteering.

Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $455 for 1 week
  • Help to preserve and conserve the marine ecosystem off the coast of Portugal
  • Suitable for fit volunteers who enjoy scuba diving
  • Inexperienced divers can earn certifications before volunteering
  • Maximum duration of 4 weeks
  • Volunteering for up to 6 hours per day
Destination Highlights
Portugal at a glance
  • Based in Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
  • Accommodation in a volunteer hostel or house
  • Between 5 and 20 volunteers start in Portugal each month
Also available in Portugal
Our project options
Marine Conservation Volunteer Dive Project in Lisbon - Portugal Homeless Food Rescue Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal Homeless Support Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal Inclusive Agriculture Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal Wolf Conservation Volunteer Project in Mafra - Portugal Youth Support Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal
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Food Rescue in Lisbon
Volunteer on the Feeding the Homeless project with IVHQ in Portugal
Improves health & wellbeing
3-5 hours volunteering per day
Hands-on volunteer experience
Help to redistribute unused food from restaurants and supermarkets to up to 300 locals in need throughout Lisbon.
Suited to:
College students Solo travelers Mature volunteers Spring break Gap year

Food Rescue in

In Lisbon, people who can’t afford sufficient daily meals are able to sign up for meal packages through local community organizations. These organizations work across a wide range of different neighborhoods to provide food to these people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to feed themselves.

Food rescue volunteer in Portugal with IVHQ

You’ll join the efforts of a community movement aiming to eliminate food waste and end hunger by recovering food from local restaurants and supermarkets and re-distributing it among families, elderly and homeless in need. Volunteers generally help on the in-demand night shift from 6.30-10.00pm, packaging and serving dinner for up to 300 people every day.

This project is well suited to volunteers who like being active and hands-on, and want to help provide for vulnerable people. The Food Rescue project relies heavily on volunteers to deliver food on a wide scale across Lisbon, and currently serves around 20 different centers in-need throughout the city.

Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $455 for 1 week
  • Help to deliver dinners to up to 300 people in need across Lisbon
  • Assist on the busy night shift, helping to prepare and serve meals
  • Suited to active and compassionate volunteers
  • Volunteer for up to 4 hours per day
Destination Highlights
Portugal at a glance
  • Based in Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
  • Accommodation in a volunteer hostel or house
  • Between 5 and 20 volunteers start in Portugal each month
Also available in Portugal
Our project options
Marine Conservation Volunteer Dive Project in Lisbon - Portugal Homeless Food Rescue Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal Homeless Support Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal Inclusive Agriculture Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal Wolf Conservation Volunteer Project in Mafra - Portugal Youth Support Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal
Other programs you might like
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Homeless Support in Lisbon
Volunteer on the Homeless Support project with IVHQ in Portugal
Improves health & wellbeing
3-5 hours volunteering per day
Awesome variety of volunteer tasks
Help a local homeless center to provide the basics for homeless people, with a focus on combating addiction and the challenges it poses for those in vulnerable states.
Suited to:
College students Solo travelers Spring break Gap year Qualified volunteers

Homeless Support in

Homeless people in Portugal face inequality and poverty every day. However, with caring and compassion, volunteers are able to help to reduce these inequalities and support people to a place where they are able to make a positive difference in society.

Volunteers work in a homeless center with people from different backgrounds, providing food, accommodation and medication. There is a specific focus on those with addictions who don’t have any social or family support. The center helps to minimize the social and individual risks caused by addiction and is a place where they can feel safe and where volunteers are able to create great value and meaning for them, just through being there.

Homeless Support volunteer in Portugal with IVHQ

As a volunteer with homeless people, you’ll help with everyday tasks that include preparing, cooking and distributing meals, helping with sport and recreation activities, maintaining the center and sorting clothing donations.

This project is well suited to those with a caring disposition, who value inequality and providing opportunities for vulnerable people.

Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $455 for 1 week
  • Help a homeless {% tt terms.center %} to provide food, accommodation, medication and support to vulnerable people
  • Focus on combating the challenges relating to addiction
  • Suited to caring and compassionate volunteers
  • Volunteer for up to 5 hours per day
Destination Highlights
Portugal at a glance
  • Based in Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
  • Accommodation in a volunteer hostel or house
  • Between 5 and 20 volunteers start in Portugal each month
Also available in Portugal
Our project options
Marine Conservation Volunteer Dive Project in Lisbon - Portugal Homeless Food Rescue Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal Homeless Support Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal Inclusive Agriculture Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal Wolf Conservation Volunteer Project in Mafra - Portugal Youth Support Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal
Other programs you might like
Our programs in Europe
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Inclusive Agriculture in Lisbon
Inclusive Agriculture volunteers in Portugal with IVHQ
Supports community development
3-5 hours volunteering per day
Hands-on volunteer experience
Help the production of organic fruit and vegetable on a not-for-profit farm that employs disabled local workers to work alongside you. Assist on seasonal tasks to maximize the production, enabling the operation to expand and employ more people who otherwise can struggle to find jobs.
Suited to:
College students Spring Break Gap year Active volunteers Solo volunteers

Inclusive Agriculture in

In this unique project, volunteers play an important role in both producing organic crops for the community and helping to provide employment for the disabled. You’ll volunteer on an organic crop farm, helping to maximize their production of fruit and vegetables for sale. The profits then go towards employing disabled workers, teaching them modern farming techniques that enable them to receive an income, and even go on to other jobs in the agriculture sector.

Inclusive Agriculture volunteer in Portugal with IVHQ

Volunteers can have a big impact on this project, as by increasing the harvest, you’ll increase the money that’s available to employ more locals to work alongside you, giving them opportunities that are otherwise hard to find. The crop farm is run by a non-profit, which feeds all the money it makes from sales back into the operation.

Your role will depend on the season, but you can be involved in all aspects of the production process. This is a hands-on project, where you’ll be working in the field on things like planting, weeding, harvesting, ground covering or watering, or in the greenhouse, sowing and organizing. You can also help in the warehouse with putting food baskets together and storing produce. The farm is fully organic, so actively promotes sustainable biodiversity without synthetics.

If you’re planning to volunteer in winter, you should be prepared to have lower temperatures of between 40-60°F (5-15°C), so you’ll need warm clothing. As your tasks will vary based on the season, you should be open to helping out in whatever stage of the production process is prioritized while you’re there.

Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $455 for 1 week
  • Help on an organic crop farm with a range of seasonal tasks
  • Maximize the production of crops for sale, with the proceeds going towards employing disabled locals to work alongside you
  • Help in crop fields, glasshouses or storage facilities
  • Suited to hands-on volunteers who care about sustainable farming and creating equal opportunities
  • Volunteer for up to 5 hours per day
Destination Highlights
Portugal at a glance
  • Based in Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
  • Accommodation in a volunteer hostel or house
  • Between 5 and 20 volunteers start in Portugal each month
Also available in Portugal
Our project options
Marine Conservation Volunteer Dive Project in Lisbon - Portugal Homeless Food Rescue Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal Homeless Support Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal Inclusive Agriculture Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal Wolf Conservation Volunteer Project in Mafra - Portugal Youth Support Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal
Other programs you might like
Our programs in Europe
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Wolf Conservation in Mafra
Wolf Conservation volunteering in Portugal with IVHQ
Protects animals
5-8 hours volunteering per day
Hands-on volunteer experience
Help wolf conservation centers to care and cater for rescued wolves that are unable to return to the wild.
Suited to:
Active Volunteers College Students Solo Travelers Vets Animal lovers Families

Wolf Conservation in

Wolves are creatures that hold plenty of allure around the world, but many in Portugal are unable to live in the wild. Conservation centers accept wolves from zoos, illegal trapping or other captivity, helping to nurse them to full health and enabling them to be active and happy. The wolves are housed in large enclosures with the aim of providing a life as similar as possible to what they would experience in the wild.

As a volunteer, you’ll help centers with a wide range of tasks including feeding, cleaning, animal observation and monitoring, and facility maintenance. Local staff will guide you in your duties, though it’s important to note that you won’t have any direct contact with the wolves themselves.

Wolf Conservation in Portugal with IVHQ

This is a unique project for those who want to volunteer with animals, where you’ll get to help animals that you may not come across at home. Any tasks require medium to heavy physical effort (for example, carrying weights around 17lb/8kg). As the center is in a forested valley, the ground is irregular and with steep slopes, so you’ll need to be able to carry these weights while walking in such conditions. A high level of physical fitness is therefore required.

The Wolf Conservation project is located about 30 minutes outside of Lisbon. You’ll be accommodated at the center in a self-catering volunteer house, where you’ll need to purchase and prepare your own meals each day. You’ll be provided with transport once or twice a week to get supplies from the nearest town.

This project is only available for between 2-4 weeks, most of the year. Due to capacity limitations and limited work during the summer months, we are only able to offer a 2 week duration from May to September. This project is also not available in December or January, as the conservation center is closed to the public.

This is an ideal program for those who love animals and who are looking to join conservation efforts while spending time in quiet, natural surroundings, often only interrupted by the howling of wolves. Most of all, you’ll be contributing to a greater environmental and animal protection mission.

Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $455 for 1 week
  • Volunteer in a conservation {% tt terms.center %} for rescued wolves
  • Help with {% tt terms.center %} maintenance and routine tasks including feeding, cleaning and monitoring
  • Based 30 minutes from Lisbon in self-catered volunteer houses
  • Suited to enthusiastic volunteers who like working with animals
  • Only available for 2 or 4 weeks
  • Volunteering for up to 8 hours per day
Destination Highlights
Portugal at a glance
  • Based in Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
  • Accommodation in a volunteer hostel or house
  • Between 5 and 20 volunteers start in Portugal each month
Also available in Portugal
Our project options
Marine Conservation Volunteer Dive Project in Lisbon - Portugal Homeless Food Rescue Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal Homeless Support Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal Inclusive Agriculture Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal Wolf Conservation Volunteer Project in Mafra - Portugal Youth Support Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal
Other programs you might like
Our programs in Europe
Belgium Croatia Greece Italy Portugal Romania Spain All Europe
Youth Support in Lisbon
Volunteer on the Youth Support project with IVHQ in Portugal
Increases access to education
3-5 hours volunteering per day
Awesome variety of volunteer tasks
Help teenagers from underprivileged communities on after school programs, providing help with homework, games and activities to keep them entertained and inspired.
Suited to:
College students Solo travelers Spring break Gap year Qualified volunteers

Youth Support in

There are many underfunded organizations in Lisbon that aim to provide young people with a safe place to go after school, where they can come together, interact and take part in various activities. Many young people who use these facilities come from underprivileged backgrounds, and would otherwise be left to their own devices.

As a Youth Support volunteer, you’ll help to spend time with students aged between 11-18, organizing games and activities and simply spending time with them. You’ll help with homework, teaching English, arts and crafts and any other work that’s needed around the center.

Youth Support volunteer in Portugal with IVHQ

Your goal is to be a positive role model, helping students to think about their futures, inspiring them and encouraging them to set and achieve goals for themselves. You can also​​ ​work with underprivileged and teenage mothers,​ teaching English ​or taking care of their babies while they are studying or working.

During the school holidays, volunteers can also help with outside activities including trips to the beach, games and other activities.

2020 School Holidays:

  • Carnaval: February 24 - 26
  • Easter: March 30 - April 13
  • Summer: June 1 - September 6
Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $455 for 1 week
  • Help on after school programs for students from underprivileged communities
  • Assist with games and activities, homework and lessons for students aged between 11-18
  • Act as a positive role model, encouraging students to set and achieve goals for themselves
  • Suited to volunteers who enjoy working with teenagers
  • Volunteer for up to 5 hours per day
Destination Highlights
Portugal at a glance
  • Based in Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
  • Accommodation in a volunteer hostel or house
  • Between 5 and 20 volunteers start in Portugal each month
Also available in Portugal
Our project options
Marine Conservation Volunteer Dive Project in Lisbon - Portugal Homeless Food Rescue Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal Homeless Support Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal Inclusive Agriculture Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal Wolf Conservation Volunteer Project in Mafra - Portugal Youth Support Volunteer Program in Lisbon - Portugal
Other programs you might like
Our programs in Europe
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  • Most affordable fees - as the world leader in affordable volunteer travel, we’re able to keep our fees low by partnering with a local organization in Portugal to support meaningful community projects and local employment.
  • Superior support - your experienced IVHQ Program Manager, teamed with our local team in Portugal will ensure you feel supported every step of the way - from planning to volunteering.
  • Responsible projects - we’re dedicated to ensuring that our projects are responsibly run and have sustainable positive impacts that are supporting local needs.
  • Online training - as soon as you register on an IVHQ program, you will gain access to our interactive volunteer training to ensure you’re well prepared for your program.
  • Safety-first - volunteer safety is a top priority for IVHQ and we have clear standards for risk management on each program. You can feel confident that you are placed with trustworthy institutions, organizations and families that have been screened by our local teams.
  • New friendships - as an IVHQer, you’ll always be in the company of friendly locals and like-minded volunteer travelers who will quickly become your life-long friends.
  • Epic weekend adventures - you’ll have your weekends free to explore Portugal with your new-found friends.

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the registration fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!