If you are learning Portuguese, what better way to pick up the language than by being in a place that speaks the language? Brazil is the perfect example; how wouldn’t you pick up Portuguese while exploring this beautiful country? Though exploring can be expensive! So how about doing a little volunteering in Brazil to help stretch your budget? Not only will you get to see parts of the country through a truly local experience, but you will also have the opportunity to perfect your Portuguese through living with native speakers. Not sure where to start? Here are some great places to look for volunteering opportunities in Brazil.
WWOOF is one of the most established and well-recognized sites for volunteering opportunities that focus, on eco-tourism, the environment, and generally doing good. The vast majority of help wanted is physical; you could be helping on a farm harvesting crops, or assisting with preparing products to be sold at farmer’s markets, or anything in similar between. WWOOF work requires commitment and knowing what you’re getting yourself into; don’t expect these positions to be ones where you can slack off! Read the ads thoroughly before you contact your host, and remember to ask all the questions you can think of before even considering setting off.
So what can you do with WWOOF in Brazil? How about heading to Teresópolis where you can help maintain crops of broccoli and lettuce? In Catuçaba you could work in an agroforest where you would look after crops like bananas, and animals like cows and pigs. In Cavalcante you could help prepare seedlings for planting and assist with bioconstruction. Or in Borborema you could help take care of goats, cows, and chickens. Which of these appeals to you as the backdrop to learning Portuguese?
Workaway is another large volunteering network that hosts post ads for volunteering all over the world. Like WWOOF, you could find yourself being a farmhand or looking after cattle, though there are other sorts of positions too. From volunteering in a hostel to taking care of children, and anything else you can probably imagine, there will be something for you to do. Make sure you speak to your hosts thoroughly before you agree to do anything; this way you will know what accommodation to expect, who you’ll be working with, what there is to do in your free time, and so on. The last thing you want is to go to a place that expects seven days of work with no breaks, where you are working alone and have no opportunities to practice Portuguese!
So what kind of things can you find on Workaway? In Rondonopolis you could help with teaching English in both small classroom situations and on excursions around the area. In Itanhaem, you could collaborate with other volunteers at an artistic residency where you will be doing everything from gardening and general maintenance to helping out with various art projects. A new hostel in Guajiru is looking for volunteers to help with a range of activities. Or perhaps you want to turn your hand to helping with a sustainable eco-tourism spa in Bálsamo-São Paulo. The choice is yours!
Other volunteer opportunities
If you can’t find what you’re after on these two sites then have no fear, there are a couple of others available to you! HelpX is an older, more established volunteering site much like Workaway, though less pretty to look at and a little harder to navigate around. Which doesn’t mean there aren’t great opportunities available! Try your hand at organic farming in Urucura, or help host guests at a home being turned into a hostel in Ubatuba. You have a lot of options!
Finally, if none of these work for you, try places like Hostel Jobs or Free Volunteering. Both of these sites on occasion host ads for volunteering positions in Brazil, though they are few and far between, so keep an eye out and get in there quickly if something comes up! Whatever volunteering opportunity you choose we wish you luck and happy travels!
Packing already? We don’t blame you at all! Brazil is a wonderful country to get to know and explore. We are offering a scholarship that might be the perfect opportunity to get your language and travel dreams on their way. Visit our language travel scholarship page to find out more!