Visitors who enter the country as tourists are not legally allowed to take jobs. It’s not unusual for foreigners to find English-teaching work in language schools, though. It’s always helpful to speak some Portuguese, although some schools insist that only English be spoken in class. Private language tutoring may pay a little more, but you’ll have to do some legwork to get students.
RíoVoluntário, headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, supports several hundred volunteer organizations involved in social work, the environment and health care. It’s an excellent resource for finding volunteer work.
One notable organization you can get involved with is Rio-based Iko Poran, which links the diverse talents of volunteers with needy organizations. Previous volunteers have worked as dance, music, art and language instructors, among other things. Iko Poran also provides housing for volunteers.
Elsewhere in Rio state, Regua accepts volunteers from all over the world for reforestation and other conservation work.
The UK-based Task Brasil is another organization that places volunteers in Rio. Here, you’ll have to make arrangements in advance and pay a fee that will go toward Task Brasil projects and your expenses as a volunteer.
The best website for browsing volunteer opportunities is Action Without Borders.
A little doorknocking can help you find volunteer work in Brazil. There’s plenty of need, and many local welfare organizations will gladly find you some rewarding work. Ask around at churches and community centers.
International NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) work in all sorts of fields in Brazil, including environmental, medical and social-welfare projects. If you have some particular interest or skill, try contacting relevant organizations to volunteer your services.
If you’ve ever thought about living and working in Brazil, then why not teach English as a foreign language (TEFL)? It could be the key to funding your travels and experiencing new cultures in a totally new way. You don’t need teaching experience or even the ability to speak the local language – although you might learn it while you’re out there.