GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS
CAN'T CHOOSE? Call our
Brazil Project Consultant, Karen Herring,
project and hostel, Travellers Worldwide have done an excellent
job. My time here was effortless and I feel I got the most out
of everything I wanted to do. Having talked with the other
volunteers, I know they feel the same way about their respective
Brazil's colourful diversity and geographical abundance seem to embody everything that is best in South America. The Amazon flows through its heart! There is a dazzling string of great cities along its coast - the pulse-pounding resort of Rio de Janeiro; sprawling, metropolitan Sao Paulo; and, further north, the entrancing canals and bustling piers of Recife.
We have programmes in the dazzling city of Rio de Janeiro and the island resort of Florianopolis (known as Floripa for short). we've also given information on the buzzing tourist resort of Foz do Iguaçu, because of the famous Iguacu Fall, which are a must-see! Brazil has an incredible amount of diversity in vegetation and climate and a fascinating cultural mix of immigrants who have brought with them their customs and cuisines. A vibrant, pulsating country!
OUR TEAM IN BRAZIL
“Fabio, you are fabulous ... Thanks, Rio, thanks Travellers for arranging all this but mostly thanks to the children and the people who have made us so welcome here .... Tops Fabio, Keila [Fabio’s wife] and Cayo (and members of his family too numerous to mention). It says a lot that I am fighting back the tears as I say cheerio for now folks, love you all, please stay safe” – A tearful final message from Vera Tyler, Rio volunteer
“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, which he teaches” Lizzie Faithfull
Brazil has the sixth largest population in the world (about 169 million people) which has doubled in the past 30 years. Because of its size, there are only 15 people per sq. km, concentrated mainly along the coast and in the major cities, where two-thirds of the people now live: over 19 million in greater Sao Paulo and 11 million in greater Rio.
In Brazil work is secondary to leisure and Brazilians know how to enjoy life. It is impossible not to absorb this infectious passion for life, enthusiasm for fun and appreciation of the little things in each day. Of course, a consistently hot summer and beaches such as the Copacabana and the infamous local tipple of Caipirinha all help secure that lively, happy vibe!
Caipirinha is the traditional Brazilian cocktail and is fittingly delicious. Refreshing and powerfully alcoholic, a Caipirinha is prepared with a Brazilian sugarcane liquor, Cachaça, lime juice (fresh from the fruit), sugar and lots of ice. This is an appetiser to be enjoyed before eating when socialising with friends – something you will do much of in Brazil.
Brazilians know how to party, in the cities, in the country, on the beaches and, in fact, wherever they go, and the biggest party of all time occurs each year throughout the country. Carnaval is spectacular!! It takes place in February all across Brazil but particularly in Rio. The streets are packed and pumping with incessant samba beats and pure hedonism for 5 days with a period of building excitement for some time before. Any excuse for a party! The year begins after Carnaval and, as with all things Brazilian, somewhat later than planned. Well, after all… what’s the rush….?
Around the same size as the USA, Brazil is by far the largest South American country. It borders every country in South America but Ecuador and Chile. Brazil’s population is clustered along the East coast of the Atlantic whilst much of the rest of this tropical land remains scarcely populated and difficult to access. Brazilians are most commonly of African, European or Indian descent and of Roman Catholic faith. The official language, unlike anywhere else in South America, is Portuguese. This diverse ethnic background is often cited as the explanation for the welcoming nature of the average Brazilian, who, as some say, ‘have a little of the entire world in their blood’.
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.
PLACES TO VISIT
Foz do Iguaçu and Iguaçu Falls: Sometimes described as being one of the 7 natural Wonders of the World! The falls have 275 separate cascading waterfalls, above which you'll see a glistening rainbow coloured mist. Simply spectacular! For more information about Foz do Iguaçu, where some of our projects are located, please click hereRio de Janeiro: Rio is infamous, for its sun, sea and surf. As a city, it's friendly, chaotic, laid back and exciting! On top of the beach scene, Rio's the cultural and educational heart of Brazil, with many art galleries, museums, theatres, and dance halls where you can learn to Samba like the locals! For more information about Rio, where some of our projects are located, please click here
Recife: Located on the north eastern coast of Brazil, Recife is well known for the cannals and connecting bridges that criss-cross the city - a picturesque city and a famous tourist destination. There are many great beaches in this region and the cuisine is entirely different from that of the south of Brazil, making it well worth a visit.Florianópolis: With 42 beaches and a thriving surf, sun and water sport culture it's no surprise that Veja magazine, a Brazilian publication, named Florianopolis "the best place to live in Brazil."
The Pantanal: Considered one of the world's great wildlife reserves with the best fishing in South America. Visitors come to these wetlands for the bird watching - this region is teeming with birds and other wildlife.Salvador: Formerly Brazil's colonial capital city and once the slave center of Brazil. Salvador's enchanting cobblestone streets give it the charm of a Roman city, yet with an African soul. A must see for the ornate churches and lively, vibrant atmosphere.
Sao Paulo: Sao Paulo is HUGE!! Not only is this the most populous city in Brazil, but it is also the commercial center, home to many big businesses and skyscrapers. Italian and Japanese immigrants have settled in the city, leaving a cosmopolitan atmosphere with some of the trendiest nightlife in the whole of Brazil.