FAQ Brazil

When should I apply for the volunteer/internship programs in Brazil?

New Hope Volunteers has been running volunteer/internship programs in Brazil for more than three years. We are able to offer placements on the first and third Monday of each month year round. Because of the increasing volume of applications, participants are requested to apply at least two- three months in advance, but if you want to expedite your application within less than three months of time, please contact our office for more information.

Are there any necessary requirements to participate in the Brazil-based volunteer programs?

It is NOT necessary to speak Portuguese before you arrive in Brazil, although it is always helpful. Our country coordinator is there to help you with anything and everything you need. But volunteers must be prepared to work in hands-on project, enjoy working with kids and you must also always respect Brazilian culture and history.

Who manages the volunteer projects in Brazil?

New Hope Volunteers’ In-Country Coordinator in Brazil is responsible for researching appropriate volunteer projects as per the qualifications and skills of the applicants.

What are the daily schedules of the projects?

Project schedules vary for each project in Brazil. Most projects are from Monday to Friday for 2-4 hours a day. Most volunteers have the weekends off to sight-see or explore Brazil on their own.

Where are the projects located?

The project in Brazil is located the city of Rio de Janeiro and in the favelas. Our teaching project is located in Rocinha, while the hostel for volunteers is located in Santa Teresa, very close from Lapa. The favela projects are located in the favelas of Rio. They are in safe neighborhoods.

Which airport should I book my flight into?

Rio de Janeiro Galeao Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (GIG). Upon the receipt of your flight information, our in-country coordinator or other project staff will greet you in the airport and take you to your project site. The address and telephone number of the local contact will be given before departure just in case volunteers miss our representative in the airport. Please make sure to e-mail your flight information to both the USA office and the local in-country coordinator's office.

What about Airport Drop?

Rarely, a few do request an escort back to the airport; this is an extra expense of about $50. Most volunteers are very familiar and comfortable with their stay and have great ease taking their own taxi or bus back to the airport.

What about internal transportation?

New Hope will manage one-way transportation to project. Volunteers will be responsible for their own personal and return travel. We do not cover daily transportation from the hostel or home-stay to the volunteer project. Our program is designed to save you, the volunteer, as much as possible.

What about program start dates?

Our volunteer program in Brazil starts on 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month. Volunteers are requested to arrive on Sunday so they can start their program from the next day.

How safe is Brazil and Rio in particular?

In the past, Brazil and Rio has been known for violent crime, criminal gangs and drugs. Recently, the police have worked hard to tackle this head on and the results have been very impressive. Rio is also hosting Soccer World Cup in 2014 and Olympic Games in 2016 and this has led them to clean the city and get rid of gangs and violent activities. It is not much safer to live in Rio. Other than Rocinha, volunteers are not advised to visit the favelas (scanty towns) on their own.

How long can I volunteer?

Our volunteer programs are 1 to 12 weeks long and start on Monday. We general ask the volunteers to apply well in advance to volunteer (at least a month ahead) but we can also organize the program within a week.

How old do I have to be a volunteer?

You must be at least 18 to volunteer alone. There is no upper age limit.

What things do I need to bring when volunteering?

Rio is a modern city and almost everything is available here. However, most volunteers bring things like:

  • Camera
  • Cell phone that is unlocked and can be used with local sim card
  • Sunscreen, SPFs
  • Books and maps about Rio and Brazil (you can purchase them locally also)
  • Toilet paper
  • Toothbrush/paste
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Sunglasses
  • Shoes/boots (for work and travel)
  • Towel
  • Hot weather clothing, but conservative
  • Jeans, pants or skirts
  • Swimsuit
  • Long-sleeve shirt and jacket for cooler areas
  • Jeans or pants or skirts for Panama City
  • Raingear, especially during the rainy season

Do I need to bring extra money?

In Brazil, your program fee covers accommodation and breakfast during the program. You will need to eat the rest of the meals outside. Food in Rio is about 30% cheaper than in New York City. You will also need to buy mineral water, travel to see other places in Rio like Ipanema and Copacabana and even buy souvenirs to take back home.

How will contact my family?

You can either use the internet, or buy a local cell phone to make and receive calls from anywhere in the world.

Vaccinations and medication?

We use the Center for Disease Control traveler's health recommendations (www.cdc.gov). Your travel doctor will be knowledgeable about current epidemics and should be consulted.

Recommended Vaccinations and Preventive Medications

The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to Brazil and Tropical South America. Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.

  • Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG
  • Hepatitis B
  • Malaria
  • Rabies
  • Typhoid vaccine
  • As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria and measles

Visa?

If you are from Australia, the US or Canada, you will need a visa to enter Brazil. Please apply for tourist visa. For volunteers from European countries please check with your local Brazilian embassy or consulate.

What should I do in case of emergency?

You have three parties available to you 24/7 in case of emergency, health-related or otherwise: New Hope Volunteer staffers, your hostel staff, and your program supervisor. Make sure to have contact information for all three parties before you arrive. If you cannot find our representative at airport or if your flight details change, please call our coordinator immediately and you will be told what to do.

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