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Horse Patrol and Environmental Conservation Volunteer Project in Portugal - Porto

Horse Patrol and Environmental Conservation Volunteer Project in Portugal - Porto

Looking to discover the deep forests of Portugal by horse? Join an enriching volunteer project where you’ll bond with horses and immerse in nature, engaging in diverse activities like hippotherapy, forest patrols, and community projects for a meaningful environmental and social impact.

The project allows volunteers to be involved in a holistic experience centered at environmental conservation efforts at the heart of Porto’s flora and fauna, all while immersing yourself in nature’s beauty. Additonally, you will also interact with the disabled community at Porto, creating programs that drive their inclusion in society.

  • Programs start every Monday
  • Affordable fees from CA$989 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Hands-on conservation project that drives environmental and social impact

  • Expereince all aspects of horse care, from grooming, feeding, and horseback riding

  • Gain experience helping people with disabilities

  • Immerse yourself in Portugal’s natural scene and forests

'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

Key information

Protect the planet & preserve nature
Based on local NGOs in Porto
Dormitory-style hostel
Volunteers aged 16+
Fully hosted experience from CA$989 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 12 weeks
Discover Portuguese cuisine & culture
Up to 5 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Individuals, especially horse lovers, who are looking for an immersive experience with nature and horses, along with a strong sense of advocating environmental movements for Porto’s local communities.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Join a dynamic volunteer project where you’ll immerse yourself in nature and bond with horses, central to your activities. This project combines environmental education and social inclusion projects, such as, disability rehabilitation, social inclusion, all while engaging with these majestic animals. As a volunteer, you’ll collaborate closely with the organization’s staff and the local youth.

Your activities will be diverse and impactful, including (but not limited to):

  • Assisting with hippotherapy sessions
  • Tending to the vegetable garden
  • Patrolling the forest on horseback to prevent fires
  • Supervising children at educational summer camps
  • Reforesting wild areas with native trees
  • Collecting seeds, and herding goats and sheep

This project is a dream come true for horse lovers. These noble creatures will be your companion, guide, and transport as you navigate through the wild landscape of Porto. For volunteers new to horseback riding, the school offers affordable weekly classes.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #13: Climate Action

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #13: Climate Action

Climate change affects everyone, everywhere. 2010 - 2020 was the warmest decade ever recorded and Carbon Dioxide levels have risen to an all-time high. In order to keep global temperatures below the Paris Agreement’s 2 degree Celsius limit, we must take action to educate communities, conserve nature and promote sustainable solutions.

Why do Horse Patrol and Environmental Conservation volunteering in Porto with IVHQ?

When you volunteer in the Horse Patrol and Environmental Conservation in Porto, you will be adding value to the local community while, at the same time, developing personal and professional skills by:

  • Learning about how NGOs in Portugal operate
  • Supporting the mandate and operations of local NGOs
  • Participating in environmental conservation and social inclusion projects
  • Assisting in the development of disabled individuals through hippotherapy
  • Raising awareness of pressing issues in the Porto community

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers aged 16 or 17 on their program start date are required to provide IVHQ with parental consent in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional document to the Local Team.
  • All volunteers aged 16+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 16-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead.
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

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'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

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!

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Volunteer Abroad in Porto, Portugal with IVHQ


Experience the vibrant allure of Porto, Portugal’s eclectic gem!

This city is a tapestry of ancient charm and contemporary buzz. Wander through its serpentine, mural-adorned streets in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic center, where every corner tells a story.

There is so much to do!

You can hop on a vintage tram to where the Douro River kisses the Atlantic, discover sun-soaked beaches and chic outdoor cafés, try the typical “Francesinha,” immerse yourself in Serralves, and go to the famous library in the city center!

As night falls, the city transforms into a lively playground with an array of trendy rooftop bars, cozy cafés, and electric clubs.

Beyond its lively streets, Porto is the gateway to Northern Portugal’s rich tapestry of culture and scenery. It’s not just a city, it’s an experience!

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of each month, and volunteers need to arrive in Porto on the Sunday before program orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (Porto Airport) (OPO) in Porto on the Sunday before your program orientation. 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 transported to the volunteer accommodation in Porto. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are traveling in Portugal prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up at a prearranged destination in Porto on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is hosted by our Portugal team in Porto. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Porto – an introduction to Portugal and Porto, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, and an introduction to the project and placement, along with a tour of the local area. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.

A separate orientation dedicated to your placement will be held the following day. You will be shown how to travel to and from your placement, receive an introduction, and complete your volunteering hours.

Volunteer schedule example

First Day

You will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working alongside.


During the week, you will have a day shift, which will last approximately 7 hours from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Monday - Friday. Note that start times and daily workload will depend on your specific placement.

A typical day on the Horse Patrol and Environmental Conservation project is as follows:

7.00 AM - 10.00 AM Breakfast at the volunteer accommodation
7.30 AM - 8.00 AM Travel to your placement via public transportation, which can take approximately an hour depending on traffic
9.00 AM Volunteering on your placement begins alongside placement staff and other volunteers
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Lunch is served at you placement which you can enjoy with staff and other volunteers
2.00 PM Volunteering work continues after lunch until approximately 4:00 PM
4:00 PM - 4:30 PM Volunteering work on your placement usually ends. You are free to travel back to your accommodation, go sightseeing or shopping, or head to a local restaurant for dinner
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM Dinner is served at a local restaurant near the volunteer accommodation


Volunteers can travel and explore the eclectic city of Porto, Portugal. From visiting one of the oldest libraries in the world, catching a futebol match, or trying out a local francesinha, you can create an itinerary by yourself or with your fellow volunteers!

Volunteers staying in Portugal longer or who wish to travel before or after their program can visit areas further afield in Portugal, including Lisbon, the Azores, the Algarve, and many other places. With the advice and guidance of our expert local team, you can make travel arrangements once you arrive in Porto.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers are accommodated in a dormitory-style hostel along the scenic Douro River in the heart of the city – the perfect retreat for volunteers in Porto. The accommodation is just a stone’s throw from the metro and a short walk from Porto Cathedral and Torre dos Clérigos.

Volunteers can immerse themselves in the lively neighborhood, teeming with supermarkets, quaint cafes, bustling bars, and all modes of public transportation. Expect cozy accommodations shared with up to eleven other people per room. The rooms are equipped with air conditioning, en suite showers and toilets, and bedding. Along with personal touches, like reading lights and power outlets at every bed and individual lockers to store your belongings securely.

The accommodation communal areas feature a fully equipped shared kitchen and lounge area, allowing you to relax and mingle with fellow volunteers.

WiFi is available at the volunteer accommodation and is free of charge. Please note that the the signal may be weaker in some areas of the accommodation. WiFi is also available at many cafes and restaurants in the area.


Volunteers are provided with breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.

Breakfast is served buffet style at the volunteer accommodation. The buffet includes cereals, yogurt, seasonal fruits, bread, butter, jam, coffee, milk, and tea.

Lunch and dinner are served in a nearby restaurant which prepares tasty Portuguese dishes with fresh local ingredients. The menu consists of local food, a mixture of meat, fish, and vegetable dishes.

Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and lactose-intolerant options are available upon request.


  • USD
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week $690 Equivalent to $99/day
2 weeks $1,200 Equivalent to $86/day
3 weeks $1,710 Equivalent to $81/day
4 weeks $2,220 Equivalent to $79/day
5 weeks $2,730 Equivalent to $78/day
6 weeks $3,240 Equivalent to $77/day
8 weeks $4,260 Equivalent to $76/day
10 weeks $5,280 Equivalent to $75/day
12 weeks $6,300 Equivalent to $75/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately CA$471) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Porto generally find US$150 to be sufficient for weekly expenses, including transport and miscellaneous spending.
  • Any changes or cancellations within 14 days of your start date are subject to a US$200 late change/cancellation fee.
  • Meals
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • Transport to and from your placement each day
  • Return to the airport when your program finishes
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Check what's required to visit Portugal

Safety and support with IVHQ

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.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital Porto
Population 214,349
Languages Portuguese
Currency Euro (EUR)
Time zone UTC+00:00

Weather and climate: Porto has generally moderate temperatures. The average annual high is around 20 °C (68 °F) and average low around 11 °C (52 °F). The climate is also only mildly seasonal, from a maxima of 14 °C (57 °F) in January to 25–26 °C (77–79 °F) in August, while minima is around 5–6 °C (41–43 °F) in January and 15–16 °C (59–61 °F) in July and August.

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How to get started

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Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
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