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Work with little ones who come from poor backgrounds and who could really use your time, energy and affection. The activities are based on helping the teachers to take care of the children, as well as developing educational games, and recreational activities. You'll mainly be playing with the children, feeding them, bathing them, reading to them and finding ways to interact and help them learn. There is limited staff at our creches, so any help you can provide is of huge assistance to them!


We've added some exciting new half-day and 1-day tours of Rio, with your own personal guide, to make your stay even more ejoyable!

You can add one, two or more of these low-cost / high fun tours to your itinerary and get to see Rio from a local's perspective.

See the "Optional Add-Ons tab below - the hardest part is which choice to make!


Price: £795 (approx. US$1,050) for 1 week
£275 (approx. US$380) for each additional week.
Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & Other Currencies
Duration: From 2 weeks to 6 months or longer, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates: All year round – you choose your start and finish dates (subject to school holidays – see dates below).
Requirements: No qualifications or experience required, but you must be enthusiastic. Minimum age 18.
What's included: Arranging your Programme
Full pre-departure support and assistance
Payment Protection insurance
Food (breakfast only)
Meeting you at the nearest Airport
Transfer to your accommodation
Daily transport to and from your project
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support
Free T-Shirt
Certificate of Completion
What's not included: Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required), Food (except breaksfast, which is provided, Return transfer to the airport.
Who can do this Programme? This project is open to all nationalities. Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in caring for, teaching or working with children overseas while doing voluntary work, teaching projects abroad, or study abroad. Also available as a summer placement in Brazil or South America, short breaks or for those wanting to do TEFL teaching.
Available as part of the Latin-American Triangle.


  • An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
  • New language skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
  • The enormous satisfaction of helping disadvantaged children and knowing that you made a difference to them.
  • An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
  • An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!


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The Crèches provide the children with an opportunity to learn by playing. Their main objective is to look after children from the local area whose parents need to work but don’t have anywhere or anyone else to look after the children. This is a great opportunity to give your assistance to hard-pressed staff, to children who deserve all the help and attention they can get, as well as to mothers who need to be able to leave their children somewhere safe while they go out to work.

As the children range from 1.5 to 4 years, the activities are based on helping the teachers to take care of the children, as well as developing educational games, and recreational activities. You will mainly be playing with the children, feeding them, bathing them, reading to them and finding ways to interact and help them learn.

If you have any special skills, such as playing a musical instrument, sports, arts, etc., please let us know as the Crèche would love you to teach the children these wonderful skills. The older children are also at the stage of learning speech, so any help improving these skills is very much appreciated.

The crèches have a maximum of 60 children divided into classes depending on their ages. They open early in the morning and provide breakfast for the children but your working hours are likely to be 9.30am - 3pm. The staff are extremely friendly and really appreciate your help. The children love having extra people to play with and their smiles really make it worthwhile! Just a small amount of your time can really make a big difference.

There are times when the crèche is closed due to holidays and festivals. Please see below:
• Summer Holiday: 21st December 2016 - 7th February 2017
• Winter Holiday: 17th July 2017 – 31st July 2017

Carnaval begins at midnight on the Friday before Ash Wednesday (usually around the second week of February) and last for five days, but the whole country stops for about two weeks. Carnaval is celebrated all over Brazil. The most famous is, of course, held in Rio, but the authentic versions of Carnaval are found outside of Rio.

The dates for 2017 are 24th February to 1st March.

If you speak some Portuguese (or even Spanish), you will find it very beneficial on this project. But don't be put off if languages aren't your thing! You're sure to pick up some of the basic words whilst you are there, and will find other ways to converse without language becoming a barrier. Don't forget that we can also arrange some Portuguese Lessons for you during your programme if you'd like.


You’ll stay at a welcoming modern hostel in leafy Laranjeiras, a wonderful area of Rio, just a 15 minute walk away from where you can take the train to Cristo Redentor – one of Brazil’s biggest attractions! With friendly staff and a relaxed atmosphere, you'll feel at home as soon as you step inside. The hostel comprises lots of facilities including 3 TV’s, computers, free Wi-Fi, and 2 communal areas with a bar, dartboard, snooker table and play station 3!

You'll stay in a dorm room (female dorms for woman and mixed sex dorms for men) but upgrades to a private room is available at a supplement. You will have access to a well equipped kitchen where you can prepare lunch and dinner and the hostel also offers a tasty Brazilian lunch for a good price.

Laranjeiras is one of the most traditional parts of Rio and is close to the Guanabara Palace and the Fluminese Football Club’s training ground. You are just a 15 minute walk from the closest metro station and you can reach Copacabana beach in under 30 minutes. Nearby are banks, restaurants, supermarkets, shops, bars – everything you could need is right on your doorstep.

Breakfast is included in this project and is a fabulous spread of coffee, milk, fruit juice, bread, butter, jams, meat, eggs, yogurts, cereal, fruit and cakes which should set you up for the day. You're located in the heart of Rio so there is an almost endless variety of dishes and restaurants, which is why we've provided the accommodation as breakfast only. Most of our volunteers regard eating out as one of the highlights of living in South America.

On your doorstep are numerous restaurants including local Brazilian fare, ‘Por Kilo’ restaurants (which charge based upon the weight of your food), Chinese, Japanese, Subway and snack shops galore! The snack shops, (Boteco’s) are a good option where ‘salgado’s are served (a type of savoury pastry filled with meat, cheese or chicken) and ‘pao de queijo’ (literally ‘cheese balls’ – delicious little cheese and bread balls) that all cost around Rs 4. One thing is for sure, you won't go hungry in Rio!


Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.

Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.


Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in mind. Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity!

As well as protecting all our volunteers, Travellers Worldwide is committed to all our projects and dedicated to practices which protect children and vulnerable adults from harm. Read Travellers' Child Care and Vulnerable Adults Policy.



Please with any questions and include your phone number, if possible, to help us give you the best possible response.

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Travellers Team Karen and Romulo (left and right) with volunteer Lucretia van Wyk from Namibia in the middle BACK TO TOP


Make the most of your time there! To help you do that, we've put together some exciting activities, courses and tours that you can add to your itinerary. These are designed to be fun, but also to enable you to learn, and expand your personal and professional development enjoyment ... but mostly for your enjoyment! :-)

1-day Walking Tour of Central Rio de Janeiro in Brazil

Price: £45 for the 7-hour tour
Includes Lunch, Refreshments, Entrance Fees and Transport. You'll be personally guided on the tour by Romulo, who is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about his home-town of Rio and Brazil in general.

You'll be picked up from the hostel at 9.30 a.m. for a full day tour of the city, including lunch. You'll see some of the famous sites of downtown Rio, including Otero da Gloria, Cinelandia, and Largo da Carioca and learn about the history of these areas.

We’ll stop for coffee at Confeitaria Colombo, a café in a historical building over 100 years old. After this welcome pit stop, we'll continue our tour to Mercado Popular and then Saara (Rio’s largest outdoor market), where there are hundreds of shops in small narrow streets. We continue onto Candelaria church and CCBB (one of the most important cultural centres in Brazil) with its neoclassical designs. The CCBB has a good bookshop and often has great exhibitions.

We leave here and walk up a small hill to Mosteiro São Bento, a good example of Brazilian Colonial architecture and amazing opulence! We head back down the hill to Praça Mauá, a large square with great waterside views and home to Museu do Amanha. You'll have time to visit the museum before heading back to the hostel (entrance fee not included).

Morning coffee and lunch is included on the tour. Comfortable shoes recommended. Don’t forget your camera!

Book Now

Walking Tour of some of Rio de Janeiro's famous beaches

Price: £37 for the 4-hour tour
Includes Refreshments, Entrance Fees (if any) and Transport. You'll be personally guided on the tour by Romulo, who is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about his home-town of Rio and Brazil in general.

You'll be picked up from the hostel at 10.00 a.m. We'll take a local bus to Gloria and walk down to the Promenade. Here you'll enjoy amazing views of Guanabara Bay, Pão de Açucar (Sugar Loaf Mountain) and Flamengo Park. You can watch the planes take off and land as they circle Sugar Loaf Mountain and enjoying watching beach volleyball all along the beach.

We'll take a well-earned rest at the Obelisk for refreshing coconut water as we leave Flamengo beach behind and walk towards Botafogo Bay. This is a gorgeous walk where you'll see small ships in the harbour and closer views of Urca and Sugar Loaf Mountain - and of course,, the Cristo Redentor.

We'll hop on a bus for a short ride to Urca and Praia Vermelha. You may even catch sight of some small monkeys here! We'll walk through to Urca Beach, where there are many bars and restaurants with lots of people hanging out and sipping on a cold drink. We'll join them and take in more stunning views!

After our long walk we'll take a taxi back to the hostel, arriving around 2.oo p.m. Note: Please wear comfortable footwear and, again, don’t forget your camera!

Book Now

1-D Tour of the Ilha de Paqueta (the Island of Paqueta) in Rio

1-Day Tour of the Gorgeous Ilha de Paqueta (Island)
Price: £65 for the 8-9 hour tour
Includes Lunch, Refreshments, Ferry Costs, Entrance Fees (if any) and Transport. You'll be personally guided on the tour by Romulo, who is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about his home-town of Rio and Brazil in general.

You'll be picked up from the hostel at 10.00 a.m. and return at approximately 6.30 p.m. The way to this lovely island is by ferry, which takes just over an hour from the centre of Rio. The trip to and from the island itself is pretty cool! The ferry journey goes under the Niteroi Bridge for amazing views of Rio de Janeiro – not to be missed.

The Island is car-free (except for 1 police car and the rubbing truck) and all transport on the Island is limited to bicycles, cycle rickshaws and horse drawn carriages - and that makes a tour of this island very special. You'll discover colonial buildings, a lovely park, a museum, outstanding view-points, lots of beaches. You'll also see the famous Baobab tree; legend has it you kiss the tree to bring you luck!

Our tour includes a cycle rickshaw ride which makes lots of stops for photo opportunities, including the time to visit the museum.

Book Now

Stand-up Paddle Boarding lessons in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil

Includes the hire of a board.
Includes transport to and from each lesson.
1 Single Lesson = £20.00
5 Lessons = £75

A popular and fun sport in Rio de Janeiro is the fast-growing Stand Up Paddle. This sport originated in Hawaii and is taking the world by storm ... everyone's doing it! Set on one of the most famous beaches in the world, Copacabana, you will spend a little time on land learning from the professionals on how to control the board with the paddle and keep your balance, before taking to the water for a great workout whilst admiring the stunning scenery.

  • All abilities catered for.
  • Lessons are one hour each

Book Now

Learn the art of Brazilian Cooking in Rio De Janeiro

PRICE: £65 for the half-day lesson
Includes lesson fees and ingredients.
Includes transport to and from the lesson.

A fantastic opportunity to join other foreigners for a real taste of Brazilian cooking. This is a fun half day where you will cook, eat, drink, have a lot of laughs and make new friends. You'll learn to cook traditional and exotic Brazilian food with a popular, friendly and knowledgeable teacher who will also give you an insight into the history of the food you will be cooking.

Your classes take place at a cooking school in the heart of Copacabana. Classes are 4 hours long and take place on Mondays to Fridays, mornings or afternoons, with two delicious menus to choose from:

  • Seafood Moqueca – a delicious Brazilian fish stew
  • Feijoada – a stew of black beans and meat which is part of the staple Brazilian diet
  • Vegetarian options are also available.

Book Now

Portuguese Lessons in in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil

** 1 Week Intensive Portuguese Course, 10 hours, private lessons, £545
(prior to starting your placement, including accommodation)
** 1 Week Intensive Portuguese Course, 20 hours, private lessons, £745 (prior to starting your placement, including accommodation)
** Portuguese Lessons, 10 hours per week, £180 per week (at the same time as your placement)
** Portuguese Lessons, 20 hours per week, £340 per week (at the same time as your placement)

Take Portuguese lessons alongside ANY project or as an intensive introduction course before you start. You can take a course for any length of time to run alongside your placement OR you can take a 1 week introductory course before you start your project at a super discounted price:

Your Portuguese lessons are with a private tutor for maximum exposure to the Portuguese language, and lessons are structured to suit your needs for maximum flexibility. Classes are held Monday to Friday and you will take your classes at a professional, prestigious school in the heart of Rio de Janeiro.

Book Now

Portuguese Lessons in Florianopolis in Brazil

Price: £70 per week for 5 lessons of 1 hour each per week
Includes transport to and from each lesson.
Includes Course fees.

Your classes will take place at the home of a local Brazilian teacher who has taught Portuguese as a foreign language since 2008. She also lived in the USA for 8 years and speaks fluent English. Lessons take place around 30 minutes by bus from your accommotion.
Classes are in one hour sessions and take place Monday to Friday, and they will be fit around your volunteering schedule.
Portuguese Language Lessons (5 hrs per week at the same time as your main project)
Lessons are available at Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced levels and are in the form of private classes that are prepared personally to fit your needs. You'll also be strongly encouraged only to speak Portuguese

Book Now

Surfing Lessons in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil

1 Single Lesson = £22.00
5 Lessons = £85

Includes transport to and from each lesson.

Surfing is a way of life in Rio and its home is Arpoador Beach, where our surfing lessons take place. Because of the fantastic rolling waves, the beach hosts to many surfing tournaments a year, and for the truly daring, spotlights on the beach also allow for surfing at night!

  • Lessons are arranged in conjunction with your main project and each lesson lasts one hour.
  • Lessons are arranged in groups with other volunteers or tourists up to a maximum of 4 people.
  • You can choose as many lessons as you like.
  • These lessons cater to all levels of skill, from Beginner upwards.

Book Now

Surfing Lessons in Florianopolis in Brazil

Price: £90 for a Course of 8 x 1-hour lessons
Includes Course fees.
Includes transport to and from each lesson.

The island of Florianopolis has 42 beaches and some of the most consistent surf spots in Brazil! Some of the beaches hold the worldwide surfing championships making it an ideal place to learn or improve your surfing skills. Lessons will take place on either Praia de Ingleses or Praia Barra da Lagoa, normally in the mornings. Your teacher speaks good English and is a member of the local Surf Association.

  • Lessons are arranged in conjunction with your main project and each lesson lasts one hour.
  • The course consists of 8 hours of surfing
  • Lessons are group classes with other volunteers/tourists up to a maximum of 4 people.
  • These lessons cater to all levels of skill, from Beginner upwards.

Book Now

Capoeira lessons in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil

Includes course fees.
Includes transport to and from each lesson.
£65 for the first 1 week (4 lessons)
£50 for each additional week of 4 lessons

Comprises 4 classes per week, Monday to Thursday, each lasting 1.5 hours

Our Capoeira lessons run concurrently with your main project and the course consists of 6 hours per week, 4 lessons each lasting 1.5 hours. These are group lessons which you will take with locals and foreigners and if you are a beginner please don’t worry, after the warm up a teacher will be allocated specifically for beginners and will help you with the moves.

You don’t need to be particularly fit, flexible or have previous martial arts experience to learn Capoeira but of course this well help. You need to wear comfortable clothing but the purchase of a uniform is completely optional.

Capoeira is not only a martial art, a dance and an art form steeped in Afro-Brazilian culture, it's also a language, a form of self-expression and freedom inside yourself - and the way to gain a deeper understanding of Brazilian culture! The basic moves are simple and, with a little practice, they are easy to learn.

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Ju-Jitsu Lessons in Florianopolis in Brazil

PRICE: £25 per week, includes 3 lessons a week of 1.5 hours each. Also includes transport to and from your lessons.

Lessons take place in a classroom attached to a local church, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Friday evenings for 1.5 hours each session. Classes are held in groups where you'll mix with other volunteers, tourists and local people. You will need to wear a kimono which you can either bring with you or you can purchase one locally.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the martial art with speciality in floor fighting and grabbing, in which weight and strength are not the most important in fighting. Practice this martial art in a Brazilian style, with an experienced Brazilian teacher with over 20 years experience, teaching in Florida and Hawaii. Get to know Jiu-Jitsu Brazilian fighters, make new friends, learn the Brazilian technique and have fun!

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Latin Dance Lessons in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil

£55 for fortnight (4 lessons of 1 hour each, 4 lessons in total per fortnight)
£50 per fortnight, i.e. each additional 2 weeks

Styles of dance taught: Ballroom Dance, Samba, or Forró.

You can choose to learn Samba, Forro, or Ballroom dance and you will have 2 x one hour of group lessons per week. You can also learn Tango or Zouk but these classes are taught only once a week – but you can mix and match!

These dance classes are designed to be taken alongside your main project. The classes tend to take place in the evenings on Mondays to Saturdays and your timetable will be given to you prior to your arrival. You will take group lessons with locals and foreigners.

The dance studio is a short bus ride away from your accommodation and the cost of transport is not included in the price.

Brazilians seem to be born with the natural ability to dance and it’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement of Samba in Brazil – it’s everywhere! You can put into practice what you learn at your classes at the multitude of clubs in Rio!

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Photography lessons in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil

Includes Course Fees and transport to and from each lesson.

  • 2-Week Nature Photography Course - £345
  • 2-Week Lighting & Studio Photography Course - £445
  • 4-Week Beginners Photography Course - £595
  • 8-Week Full-On Photography Course, includes all 3 individual elements above - £1,145

Take some inspiring photography courses in than Rio de Janeiro alongside your main project. You'll enhance your Brazil experience and really capture the flavour of this beautifully enigmatic city with your lens. Courses are available at beginner, intermediate & advanced levels to cater for any kind of student.

The Photography Centre is the oldest and traditional photo school in Rio. It's located around 15-20 minutes from your accommodation on public transport. Courses run throughout the year - as you'll be working 1-1 with your tutor, the course can run at any time. All lessons are taught in English and all course materials are in English.
You'll have lessons 2 or 3 times per week. You’ll be taught using videos, slides, enlarged photographs and your course book. You’ll also have access to all the different cameras and studio equipment at the centre. Most students will work with both digital and film cameras. On the course, you will cover a variety of skills and ideas and have the opportunity to put them into practice in beautiful Rio de Janeiro! For example, the basic course covers:

  • How to use digital and film cameras
  • Technical skills including composition, lighting & colour usage, flash techniques, exposure and filters
  • Practical studio photography, including portraits and still life
  • Practical outdoor photography
  • A visit to a professional studio

Book Now

Terms and Conditions apply for Add-Ons, please see here.




Location: Laranjeiras is one of the most traditional parts of Rio and is close to the Guanabara Palace and the Fluminese Football Club’s training ground. You are just a 15 minute walk from the closest metro station and you can reach Copacabana beach in under 30 minutes. Nearby are banks, restaurants, supermarkets, shops, bars – everything you could need is right on your doorstep!


  • Visit the beach! Choose from the famous Copacabana, Ipanema, Barra de Tijuca (pronounced Ba-ha), and Leblon, to name but a few! Copacabana is probably the world's most famous beach, with 3 miles of sunbathers and beach parties in front of one of the most densely populated cities on the planet.
  • Ipanema is Rio's most chic beach for the rich and the beautiful. Brazilians prefer busy beaches, with crowds of people, beach volleyball players, food sellers and sun tanners.
  • Volleyball, futevolley (volleyball but where you can’t use your hands!) and beach soccer.
  • Futebol (soccer) is the national obsession, and Rio is the location of Maracana Football stadium, the largest stadium in the world. Many football legends have played in this ground.
  • Surfing in perfect rolling waves is ideal for beginners or more advanced surfers.
  • There are excellent opportunities for rock climbing in and near Rio and hiking is great along the coast and in some of the national and state parks.
  • For some adrenaline packed fun, try hang-gliding, especially around Pedra Bonita, near Pepino beach.
  • The city has grown around the very green Tijuca Forest, creating the largest urban forest in the world. There are various trails into the forest and exploring it could easily take an entire day.

Like Mardi Gras, Carnaval has its roots in ancient pagan ritual. The wild parties began in the Middle Ages. Over time it flourished and incorporated extravagant costumes from India and primitive carnal beats from African rhythm. Carnaval takes place before Lent where Catholic Brazilians officially gave up luxuries such as meat, alcohol and pastries.

The excitement of Carnaval builds practically all year round. Rehearsals at samba schools begin in August and marching percussion bands practise for their performances of music throughout the year. Carnaval Balls are extreme, surreal and erotic events. There is various stages of undress, extravagant body painting, stickered tattoos, fishnets and spandex involved! Hypnotic music, grinding movements and beautiful ladies of the night vying for the camera’s attention are included in the price of the ticket. Some of these beautiful ladies are less ‘lady’ than they may appear…

Street Carnaval is all about the dancing in the streets, marching bands pump out their theme tune and other rhythms as the drag queens and party crazed people bop along behind. The samba parades are perhaps a highlight of carnaval. As the Lonely Planet so nicely puts it, the Brazilians harness sweat, noise and confusion and turn it into art. The best Samba schools in the country prepare all year for their moment of glory. This procession is a competition of the art. There are many aspects to samba including percussion, song, dance, choreography, costumes, story line, floats and decorations. The winner of the samba parades earns admiration and the pride of Rio and all of Brazil.


Read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country.


Care for Children in a Creche on a Volunteering Placement, in Brazil

What is the best thing about your placement so far? The best thing is having had the opportunity to live and work for one month. It is completely a responsible way to travel as there is time to see some of the splendours of the country ad enables me to make a difference no matter how small. It has also led to others asking me about the Travellers organisation and how they can get involved.

Secondly, meeting the lovely people all over Rio especially at the crèche.

Care for Children in a Creche on a Volunteering Placement, in Brazil

My typical day ... When I arrive, the children are generally already being read a story or sat in a circle singing songs. They then either play until 11am or have a learning activity - such as painTing, drawing or making something. They the wash hands and eat lunch, fruit and drink water. Followed by a 2hr nap, they play outside (or inside - weather dependent), have an afternoon snack and play or watch an interactive DVD until 4.15 when they then start to go home.

I help wash hands, toilet duties, hand out plates and food, tidy up, sit on the floor in the circle with them during story time.

Care for Children in a Creche in Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil

Everyday I arrive at the creche around 9:30 am. At that time the kids are doing something on their tables, either painting or playing with "masinhia" (I don't know if you write it like that, and I am also not sure how you say that in English). They keep doing that till 10 am then its our time to go outside.

The kids love to play outside with the cars, the footballs or just running around. While a Tia ['Aunt'] is outside with the kids, the other Tia cleans everything inside and puts the tables away. At 10:30 we go back inside and the kids have to take their clothes off so they can take a shower. One Tia goes to the bathroom where the shower is and the other one stays in the room. In the room we usually watch a movie till all the kids have taken a shower.

At that point we have a "relax time" while waiting to have lunch. Around 11:30 they have lunch, which usually is rice and beans with chicken or some vegetables. They are really hungry by that time, so they would eat everything most of the time. When they are finished they brush their teeth and go back to the room to take their siesta. Then the Tias have a break till 14:00.

At that time the children have to wake up and 15 minutes later they take their second bath and put on clean clothes they have in their backpacks. After that they have around half an hour to play inside the room before having "early dinner", a soup, rice or pasta made with the leftovers from lunch.

When everyone is finished its 16:20, they get picked up by the parents or the bus at 16:30. In those 10 minutes that are left we put some music on and dance with the kids.

(1) Teaching Disadvantaged Children
(2) Care for Children in a Creche on a Volunteering Placement, in Brazil

Sorry for not writing earlier. It's been crazy since I got back home. I still haven't got over my Brazilian experience. :) Just wanted to thank you. It's been exactly as you told me it would be, mind blowing!

As I tell everybody that asks, I just can't explain. You have to do it, to feel it in order to know what I'm talking about. As you have done it, I'm sure you know what I mean. Thank you, Travellers.

(1) Teaching Disadvantaged Children
(2) Care for Children in a Creche on a Volunteering Placement, in Brazil

I have been here coming up to 2 months. It is a fairly small city set out in blocks and is nearly always incredibly hot, hitting 42C on some days and never dropping below 20C even at night. However, in winter I have been told that temperatures drop to about 23C in the day and 15C at night.

There is always something to do here at night and nearly every type of taste in food is catered for.

The placement has incredible job satisfaction, unrivalled by that of teaching teenagers or older students, as a bond develops between us and the children. As many come from broken homes and/or are stricken by poverty, they look to us like father figures. For instance in a week we are taking them to the local zoo, somewhere where they may never be able to go.

Compared to the dreadful ‘sue culture’ coming about in England, it is refreshing to be able to see kids play properly, when they hurt themselves playing football, they pick themselves up and learn not to do it again. For me, working with children gives incredible job satisfaction. The coordinator is incredibly helpful and approachable.

At night for things to do, there is a cinema which shows films in English and 2 bowling alleys, about 4 night clubs playing both commercial and non-commercial dance through to Samba and rock music. There is also a multitude of bars to have a social drink at.

Can you describe a typical day?
My placement is at a children’s crèche for underprivileged children, about two minutes from the hotel. It is run by three nuns, but they do not teach the classes. The crèche has children aged from 3 to 6 year olds; they are split into groups and looked after by “Tias” literally meaning “auntie”.

Another volunteer and I teach 38 five year olds from 9am to 10am and 40 four year olds from 10am – 11am. Though these timings are not strict as we generally dictate how long the lessons last, and usually end up spend time playing afterwards. We then teach the 6 year olds in the afternoon 2.30 – 4-30, they are split into two groups of 16, and we have a coffee break in between each class. All the children call us “Tio”, or “uncle” in English..

(1) Teaching Disadvantaged Children
(2) Care for Children in a Creche on a Volunteering Placement, in Brazil
(3) Portuguese Language Course

I would definitely recommend Travellers Volunteering to anybody that wants a challenge and is ready to get stuck in! Or if you’re interested in spending time to get to know a place and its people. In addition anyone seeking to gain experience, whether it’s teaching or something else, you are given responsibility and a chance to prove yourself that might not be open to you in this country, so I say, Go for it!

I taught English to children of mixed ages and abilities in two different institutions. Before I left I attended a two-day intensive TEFL TIME course organised by Travellers but other than that I had no previous experience of teaching.

The most important thing is to be flexible, resourceful and creative and just throw yourself into it. Lessons and classes can vary some were half an hour, some two hours – which sounds a lot but time flies when you’re in the classroom! We were given guidance on what level the children were at and what topics they had covered before. This was helpful when planning lessons so as not to repeat what they had already learned or in some cases to repeat it if necessary.

The main focus for us was conversation and getting the children to communicate with one another in English so it involved finding fun ways to encourage them, this can be fun for you too!

I was also placed in an inner-city Crèche and was immediately made to feel very welcome by both children and staff. I admired the whole ethos of the Crèche, parents that could afford it paid for their children to attend but those that couldn’t pay were equally as welcomed.

Many of the children lived with social and learning difficulties as a result of impoverished living conditions and disrupted family lives. It was important to be mindful of this and be considerate and attentive to each child’s needs.

Although we were there to try to teach English to the children, this was in a very relaxed environment where playing with, caring for and loving the children was seen as equally if not more important. I absolutely loved my time with the kids and I found it difficult to leave.

On my last day the kids made me a poster and I was presented with a watermelon with a candle on top (this was not some weird Brazilian tradition they merely had no time to bake a cake!). I was also delighted and a little speechless when they took me on a surprise trip to a nearby Samba school and I was treated to seeing the kids samba moves!

I signed up for a few Portuguese lessons a week alongside my project. After buying some ‘teach yourself Brazilian Portuguese’ tapes and failing to pick much up before I left, I thought the lessons would help me get the most out of my project. I was right, in that although it’s not essential to speak the language it can allow you to feel more independent and also to become more involved in the projects.

They organised the lessons to fit around my teaching and my language teachers were very accommodating when I would arrive rushed from school/crèche without having done my homework due to a late running lesson or bad traffic!

My lessons were one-to-one which was fantastic as I could move at my own pace - in my case this was pretty slow! We covered practical topics such as purchasing goods, food and drink, transport and helpful classroom phrases. I also got useful tips from my friendly teacher on where was best to shop and go out in Rio! And every lesson I was offered Coffee (which I learned to drink short and black with lots of sugar) and sometimes homemade cakes!

I can't speak highly enough of my local co-ordinator, Fabio, he was great! Always available and constantly checking in with us to make sure we were happy with everything. He introduced us to the schools and the children but also to the City. He took us out to sample local food, music and dancing, we also saw him in action practicing Capoeira (he teaches it). Anything I needed to ask about my projects or Rio, he had an answer for and I’m very grateful to him for ensuring I had such a good time.

The Art Hostel where I stayed was amazing, it is in a great location, a very safe, vibrant and interesting area of the city and I felt really welcomed and thrown into Brazilian culture during my stay, they also pushed me to speak Portuguese which was great!

I had an unforgettable time in Rio de Janeiro and although I didn’t visit at Carnival time, there was still a vibrant party atmosphere. I’m not a big football fan but Futebol is an entirely different ball game and seeing Fluminense Vs Boca Juniors game at the huge Maracanã was a highlight of my trip.

With a volunteer placement I was able to see sides of the city that most tourists brush past or don’t see at all.

Care for Disadvantaged Children in Creches

We have been doing a lot with Padre Miguel, including making pasta for the local Mother’s Day Festival which was held on the grounds of the school. This gave us a fantastic opportunity to meet our students families.

I have gained experience in dealing with people from different backgrounds and cultures; as well as developing my improvisation (where I have been given an extra class to teach without preparation).

The kids are fantastic and will kiss and cuddle you at every opportunity. They are also trying to teach me Portuguese which is great fun. It is also good staying with Padre Miguel as he is getting us involved with the local community by attending football matches and preparing pasta for local feasts.

This project would not suit anyone who is sensitive or judgmental. The kids really are from poor backgrounds and some attend class in ripped clothes that are dirty. In order to obtain the most of this anyone on the placement should be able to treat the kids as kids regardless of their cleanliness or wealth.

I think in order to gain the most from the project volunteers should learn some Portuguese in order to be able to communicate with the local people from day one!

(1) Teaching Disadvantaged Children in Foz do Iguassu
(2) Care for Children in a Creche on a Volunteering Placement, in Brazil

For me, the best things about being here are the children, the country, the weather and the company of other volunteers. I get along with my roommate really well and we spend a lot of time together.

The kids at the crèche are often very sweet and love your attention, working with older kids is also rewarding as you can communicate more easily with them and build a relationship.

I’ve been to see the Iguaçu Falls which are beautiful and have also taken trips to Argentina and Paraguay as they are both a close bus ride away. The temperature is in the 30s most days as it's Brazilian summertime.

The accommodation hotel is in a great location, with many restaurants and shops nearby. Some of my workplaces are also in walking distance. The hotel is clean, the staff are friendly and we have air conditioning, TV and bathroom in our bedroom which is really convenient.

Fabio and Ana are really friendly, approachable and always looking out for us.


The Challenges
The crèche that we work with is situated in a favela and the majority of families that send their children here are from the lower classes and cannot afford to pay fees for the children. The crèche fully funds the children’s care and they also provide nutritional food for the children that they may not get at home.

The maximum children that they can support is 50 and this is due to lack of space and funds to take on additional children. This is a big challenge, because the crèche is so well thought of that there is always a waiting list and we don't want to turn any needy child away!

The crèche struggles to provide the equipment and food necessary to support the children and relies heavily upon donations from the local community and also with the help of the church.

Another challenge is that due to costs, the crèche survives on a minimum staff.

Project Goals
The maximum children that they can support is 50 and, with a long waiting list, the main goal is to be able to build more rooms for accommodate more children.

With the help of volunteers, we aim to enable small group teaching so that the children receive more individual attention. This in turn will have a very beneficial impact on the children that will be ongoing and will have a ripple effect on their later education as well.

Our Achievements
Travellers Volunteers help here enormously, not only by providing extra manpower, but they bring in different learning methods. Also, the children are exposed to people from different cultures speaking languages they don’t understand, but they enjoy to learn a few ‘foreign words’.

Your volunteers like to ‘muck in’ and happily help the cook chop up vegetables and do a little cleaning to free up more time for the cook to concentrate on making tasty meals!

Travellers also regularly supplies shampoo and shower gel because the crèche gets through so much of it because the children are bathed twice a day.

Travellers and their volunteers also make donations of clothes and nappies – all vital supplies that help the crèche enormously.

BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN BRAZIL Travellers Team Karen and Romulo (left and right) with volunteer Lucretia van Wyk from Namibia in the middle BACK TO TOP