About Community Development in Brazil
World Endeavors community development volunteers in Brazil work to build stronger communities through education and compassion. Community development volunteers partner with local government agencies and nonprofits to share their skills with community members in need. Volunteers in Brazil can contribute to a program that provides job skills training for unemployed and disadvantaged adults in the community. They may work on computer skills training courses, English classes, cooking classes, or other initiatives. Community development volunteers in Brazil can also share their time and energy with those in need by volunteering at a local soup kitchen, preparing nutritious meals and serving as a positive presence in the lives of local community members. The work done by World Endeavors community development volunteers helps to address some of the most pressing needs of the community, all while immersing the volunteer in Brazilian culture.
A Typical Day in the Life of a Volunteer in Brazil
World Endeavors volunteers in Brazil can expect their days to be a combination of meaningful volunteer work, cultural experiences, and free time for relaxation and reflection. The sample schedule below represents a typical day for a volunteer in Brazil. Keep in mind that when volunteering abroad, a typical day can be anything but typical!
7:00 – 8:00 am: Breakfast with your host family. Breakfast in northeast Brazil often consists of fresh tropical fruit, cheese buns, homemade cake, and coffee.
8:30 – 8:45: Travel by city bus or walk to your language classes.
9:00 am – 12:30 pm: Portuguese classes, with a short mid-morning coffee break.
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Break to eat lunch. Cuisine in Salvador is mostly Afro-Bahian, with influences from African, Amerindian, and traditional Portuguese dishes. Because Salvador is a coastal city, many of the dishes contain seafood. Typical dishes include Feijoada (beef and pork stew with beans), Comida Baiana (fish and shellfish, hot peppers, coconut milk, and coriander), acaraje (deep-fried balls of dough) topped with hot peppers, shrimp, and Vatapa (a creamy sauce made from shrimp, coconut milk, and nuts). For most Brazilians, lunch is the largest meal of the day.
2:00-5:00 pm: Work at volunteer placement
5:00 – 7:00: Free time to explore the city, watch a soccer game or people doing Capoeira in the park, explore the cobblestone streets of the Pelourinho district, stroll along Boa Viagem Beach and Forte Monte Serrat, or visit some of the city’s many museums and shops.
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Dinners in Brazil are not typically hot meals, and usually consist of salads, soups, or sandwiches.
9:00 pm – 11:00 pm: Relax at home, watch a movie, practice Portuguese with your host family, read a book, prepare for the next day’s volunteering, or plan a weekend trip to Rio de Janeiro to take in the sights, the nearby beautiful beaches and islands to relax or go snorkeling, or further inland to Bahia’s beautiful countryside to explore or go hiking.
Project and class schedules, meals, and free time activities may vary depending on the details of your placement.
Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older. Successful volunteers are hardworking, flexible, and open to truly immersing themselves in Brazilian culture.
I enjoyed seeing the looks of joy on the faces of the families we helped. I also loved getting to know the local neighborhood kids.
-Russell, Community Development Volunteer in Brazil
Richard is an investment banker in New York. He taught English in Brazil while on the World Endeavors Teaching volunteer program.