In Central and South America, Destinations by EditorLeave a Comment


Brazil is the land of revelry. Though the vast parades of Carnaval spin and dance through the streets of Brazil only once a year this celebration sets the tone for national passion. Every step in this country moves to a heart racing beat, whether you’re dancing till dawn in Rio de Janeiro or waking with the sun rise for an Amazonian adventure.

Brazil is wide and wild, the largest South American country, it spills over with experiences. The landscape is utterly diverse, white sandy beaches give way to the dewy mist of viridian jungles that mask the rapacious tumble of sparkling waterfalls. Each adventure yielding a multitude of brilliantine flora and fauna, appearing in bedazzling hues that are native only to Brazil. Trek, kayak, surf, swim, climb, sunbathe, dance, whatever thrill you seek it can be found in Brazil.

As packed as Brazil is with bright adventure there is also a darker underbelly that sees a huge portion of the population living below the poverty line and in shanty towns across the nation. A history of civil unrest (now in a considerable lull) saw the nation damaged by hyperinflation and political corruption that is slowly being repealed by the current more stable government. Though the populace is known for its lust for life the enduring high crime rates have taken a toll on the nation.

Why volunteer in Brazil

Brazil is a very popular volunteer location so expect to have a team of people to work with, live with and band together with to make a difference to the community. Like most volunteer programs in South America, volunteers are commonly given the weekends to explore the local surrounds, so even though there’s work to do fun will be on the cards.

There is a lot of work to be done in the favelas (shanty towns) where you can interact with the locals preparing and teaching English lessons that will increase your students job prospects. If you prefer to be outdoors in the favelas sports workshops can help at risk youth or get around the community with development projects.

The beautiful Brazilian environment is also under threat and conservation volunteer work abounds. You can help protect turtle eggs from poachers or preserve disappearing plants across the nation.

Getting there

Brazil is currently ranked by Smart Traveller as a nation to approach with a high degree of caution, this is mostly due to the high instances of crime.
Obtain your visa before leaving, if you get there without one they won’t let you into the country and you can’t just apply on arrival either. Exposure to yellow fever is also a danger in Brazil, it is important that you get a vaccination and certificate before departing Australia. Other mosquito borne viruses such as malaria and dengue fever commonly occur in brazil too so stock up on repellent before you get there. If you intend to visit São Paulo be aware they are currently experiencing a drought and have a tainted water supply. While there drink only bottled or boiled water.
Australia has an embassy and two consulates in Brazil for details visit the embassy website.

Image: Sunset over Iguazu by SF Brit 2010

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