Gary Ward, from the UK, is volunteering at a Samba School in Rio de Janeiro. With the fellow Brazilian workers he is preparing costumes and the floats for the parade during the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro.
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Ever thought about traveling to Rio de Janeiro for Carnival while working as a volunteer at a Samba School? Join our Carnival project and dive deeply into Brazilian culture and society! Since we are working together with a samba school, you will participate in the preparation for the great day of the parade at the Sambódromo in Rio.
People join for rehearsal already several months before Carnival in order to construct the floats and design the Carnival costumes. You will have a deeper understanding of the work behind the scenes, since you will see how passionate the Cariocas are about Carnival. They come together in solidarity, dance and leave behind all social bounderies.
Iko Poran was value for money and I received ongoing support from Felipe, the project co-ordinator. I took part in 3 programmes, 2 with children and 1 helping prepare for carnaval; it was great for me as I expressed my interests and skills and the programmes were then matched to my specification.
The cultural change and language difference, can at first be daunting, but if you are willing to take advantage of the language lessons you receive as part of the programme and you embrace the culture, I believe you will get so much more out of the projects.
The children and workers I worked alongside were amazing and I was humbled by the warmth and positivity they showed, despite having very little material possessions.
As you are not working every day, you have the opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro and learn about the cultures of others. For me, Brazil is an amazing country and I hope to return, to see more.
The accommodation provided is basic, but the staff were friendly and so helpful that after 5-months, they became like family.
If you go with an open mind, respect the cultural differences and put in what you get out, I can assure you, you will have the time of your life. I didn’t want to leave, but I have amazing memories and friends for life.
Go for it, I say!