Volunteering in Brazil – Rio de Janeiro – Program Details

Volunteering in Brazil Rio de Janeiro "Cidade Maravilhosa"

Volunteering in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, one of the most beautiful cities of the world - dubbed as "Cidade Maravilhosa" by the Cariocas, residents of Rio. Cidade Maravilhosa means the Wonderful City, as it stretches out with curving hills overlooking magnificent beaches, and protected by "Christ the Redeemer" on top of Corcovado.

Open-minded people at the "Wonderful City"

Affordable Volunteering in Brazil - Rio de Janeiro

Brazil Volunteers at the Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro

The residents of Rio are open-minded people and will welcome you with open hearts - even if there is a language barrier. If you can get any chance of learning some Portuguese before travel, that would be highly appreciated, even, if it is just a few words like "Bom dia" or "Tudo bem?" - you will make local people very happy! With volunteer programs  of four weeks or more, Portuguese lessons are being provided anyway.

Putting you into contact with local communities and projects

Iko Poran do an amazing job at putting you into contact with local communities and projects that need support. The work these projects do are extremely important in these communities and it was a privilege to be able to help with it. Everybody i worked with was very friendly and accommodating. I highly recommend others to pursue a volunteer project and believe it is just as beneficial to the individual as to the community you are working with. – Lisa

Teach English - and Learn Portuguese in Rio

Which brings me to the volunteering in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro - Teaching English is one of the most obvious choices, as children and adults want to learn the foreign language, not provided in the standard curriculum at public schools. For you, the perfect opportunity of getting the basics of Portuguese. In Rio, there is need of volunteer work, as many people live in the "Comunidades" or "Morros", shanty towns on top of the hills of Rio, and do not have full access to education, health services and more.

Volunteering on Arts and Design - at this colorful, inspiring place

A favourite choice , is volunteering on Arts and Design, probably because the Brazilian Culture with the Carnival in Rio, the Music is so inspiring for visitors. Find some of the experiences and opportunities for Arts & Design below, they speak for themselves.

I was accepted and treated with extreme kindness even though there was a language barrier. I made some amazing friends with the students who taught me so much about Brazilian culture, Portuguese, and art.  - Jissaura, from New York

Location in Rio de Janeiro - Santa Teresa

Many opportuniteis for affordable volunteering in Brazil are available in Rio de Janeiro. At the location in Santa Teresa, volunteer programs ranging from arts & Design, Childcare, Child Development, Teaching English, Environmental Protection and Community Development are available. 

Volunteering in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Ephrat bought new training jackets

Ephrat from Ethiopia bought training jackets and a new ball for the football school

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Lindsey Willis and Nathan volunteering in Argentina

Community Development – Volunteering in Argentina and now in Brazil

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The people at Iko Poran are incredible

The people at Iko Poran are incredible

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Great Time in Rio

I had a great time in Rio – Medical Volunteer

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Experience in Rio de Janeiro

Great Experience in Rio de Janeiro

I would definitely recommend this program to anyone. It was fun, educational, and a new experience. We met so many ...
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New Year Volunteers in Rio de Janeiro

New Year volunteers in Rio de Janeiro

New Year volunteers in Rio de Janeiro. Happy 😃 2018 and Welcome to Brazil. Felipe Murray with his volunteers on Escadaria Selarón ...
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Felipe with Samara Cipriano volunteering at Rio de Janeiro's National Park

Felipe and his family volunteer at Rio de Janeiro’s National Park

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Volunteering in Rio

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Carnival Volunteer in Rio de Janeiro

Carnival Volunteer in Rio at a Samba School

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Urban Environmentalism Program at Tijuca Rainforest in Rio de Janeiro

Urban Environmentalism Program in Rio de Janeiro – Elisa

So far I have had a wonderful experience volunteering in Rio de Janeiro with Iko Poran’s Urban Environmentalism program. I ...
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Teaching English in Rio - Ute Heinzel with her afternoon class

Teaching English in Rio – Interview with Ute Heinzel

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Volunteering with Children in Rio

Volunteering with Children in Rio – Lucy

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What to do in your Free Time in Rio?

Enjoy yourself, stretch out on the beach in Ipanema, get around in the artistic neighborhood of Santa Teresa, close to the volunteer accommodation, have a ride with the "Bonde" tramway to downtown, visit Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf - there are many options. Join with the other volunteers at the hostel, make friends, have a "churrasco" together. Recently, Felipe, director or Iko Poran, took his volunteers to a football (soccer) match a Maracanã Stadium - good fun!

Accommodation & Meals for the Brazil Volunteers

As a volunteer in Brazil you may stay in one of our two accommodations, both located in Santa Teresa neighborhood, Rio de Janeiro.

Both houses have free Wi-Fi and laundry service. Full breakfast is provided and there is a fully equipped kitchen that volunteers can use to prepare other meals. All rooms have lockers (just bring your own lock).

Spot Christ the Redeemer from the Roof Terrace of the Volunteer Accommodation in Santa Teresa

Sport Christ the Redeemer from the Roof Terrace

Spot Christ the Redeemer from the Roof Terrace

The first one is a very nice apartment/ house style where the office is and the local coordinator lives.

The house has 3 floors. On the first floor there is a really big living room, a veranda with a hammock and a big dinning table, and a small room for up to 2 guests with a small bathroom by the laundry area.

On the second floor there are 3 big guest rooms for up to 4 volunteers each and two bathrooms. Private rooms are available at an extra fee.

The third floor is a big terrace with two sides: on the left side there is a small kitchen open to a big dinning area covered; the right side is a really big open area with amazing views to the mountains of Rio, including the Corcovado Mountain with the Christ Redeemer on Top.

The supermarket is at 8 minutes walking distance and bars and restaurants are 6 minutes.

Staying at a Hostel in Santa Teresa

The other accommodation is a very nice hostel located about 10 minutes walking distance from the volunteer accommodation.

The hostel has 2 floors with a veranda at the entrance. On the first floor there are two living rooms, a dining room, and the reception.

The second floor has 3 big dorms, one of them can lodge up to 6 guests at a time and the other can lodge up to 8 volunteers each. One of the rooms is reserved only for women and the others are mixed. There are also two bathrooms with many showers and toilets in both of them.

There is one room reserved only for volunteers, but when the room is full we accommodate volunteers in other rooms. Private rooms are available at an extra fee.

There is a supermarket across the street and restaurants and bars 2 minutes walking distance.

Santa Teresa - Artistic Neighborhood in Rio

Volunteers in Santa Teresa Rio de Janeiro

Volunteers in Santa Teresa Rio de Janeiro

Santa Teresa is a bohemian area with an intense cultural life, it is known for its unusual architecture and the hundred and ten years old tram which still runs through its winding cobbled streets.

A residential sanctuary in the heartbeat of the Mata Atlantica (Tijuca National Park), the world’s largest urban subtropical rainforest, it provides access to the Christ statue of Corcovado as well as to the city centre, Sambodromo (where the samba schools compete during Carnival) and the city´s beautiful beaches.

With an atmosphere reminiscent of that of a small town, it enchants visitors with its panoramic views and offers a variety of options for eating local dishes to international cuisine.

Start & Duration of the volunteer programs

Projects in Brazil start on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month. Participants on our volunteer in Brazil programs should arrive on Sundays. You can choose to volunteer from 2 to 24 weeks


Orientation takes place on Monday after the arrival date.

Requirements for Brazil Volunteers

You must be at least 18 years old at the start of your placement.

All volunteers must have adequate volunteer travel insurance and are required to provide a criminal background check to local staff on arrival in Brazil or during orientation.

Language Requirements

Knowledge of basic Portuguese is desired but not a pre-requisite. You will already learn a lot practising in your project where nobody speaks good English, but if you would like to speed up your learning we recommend that you take advantage of a very affordable 20 hours Portuguese course taught at your accommodation for only U$ 180.


You will have a competent support and advices from the local team and project leaders. Someone will always be available in the case of any emergency. Please keep in mind that you are in a different country and should take some precautions to avoid exposing yourself to certain risks.

The local coordinators will give you all the information to have a safe and unforgettable experience. We are based in Brazil and have been receiving approximately 400 volunteers per year since 2003 and we never had any major problem.

Brazil - Volunteer Program Fees

Please Note:

  • The program fee is paid directly to the host organization.
  • All of the projects incur a registration fee of US$ 229.00 on top of the program fee.

Brazil Volunteer Programs - Fees


What is included in the volunteer in Brazil program fee?

  • Airport Pickup
  • Orientation plus tour in the area including some tourist sites
  • Accommodation for all projects
  • Breakfast
  • Support from local staff & Program supervision
  • In-country 24/7 support throughout your stay
  • In-country administration costs
  • Donation to support the local project

There are no hidden costs. These projects are the most affordable to volunteer in Brazil.

Iko Poran is an NGO based in a developing country. We are dedicated to helping you help others, at the lowest possible price. We are interested in making volunteering abroad more accessible so that more people can help do really important work.

Participants in our Brazil programs normally find US$150 to be sufficient for weekly expenses in the country.

The program fee should be paid to the host country and it is due 30 days before the project start date.

Free 20 hours Portuguese course for programs with 4 weeks or more!!

Volunteers staying during the New Years Eve are required to pay a surcharge of U$ 100 to cover accommodation premium prices from Dec 29 to January 2nd.

Carnaval in 2018 is from February 9th to 16th. If your chosen duration includes the Carnaval week there is surcharge of US$ 200 to cover accommodation premium prices during this period. All projects will be closed during the Carnaval.