Long-term Volunteering: Fortaleza, Brazil

Status: available

Length and approximative date: from 4 weeks-onwards, long-term volunteering also possible (up to 7 months)

Dates to be determined with the NGO

Location of the school
Brazil – Fortaleza dos Nogueiras (State of Maranhão)

Population: 3´000 people

Currency: Brazilian Real

Official Language: Portuguese

Project «Mauern fürs Leben» (Walls for Life)

The NGO «Mauern fürs Leben» is established in Eastern Switzerland (www.mauernfuersleben.com) and works in collaboration with the local Brasilian child care „Vida Nova“ to provide academic/scholarly courses for the inhabitants of the village Fortaleza dos Nogueiras. This village is located away from Brazil’s touristic side, in the outback of state Maranhão. Twice a year, course leaders give twelve men and women classes in order to help them develop their skills as construction workers or electricians, all of which is funded by Swiss donations.

You as a Volunteer

We are on the lookout for a highly motivated and well-organized person who has a great deal of initiative in contributing to our project. In addition to the course leader option, there is also the possibility to cooperate with the local charity comprising 750 children (by teaching English, helping in the kitchen, tutoring). Experience in video-making and photography is also welcome.

The volunteer should either already have a solid basis in the Portuguese language or is willing to learn it before their journey. The project is located a domestic flight, an overnight stay and an 8-hour-long bus ride from São Paulo oder Rio de Janeiro; the volunteer should thus be flexible and able to adapt to different scenarios.

This is truly a thrilling project with great potential – you will work with perpetually thankful children, experience a unique «back to the roots» experience in the nature, and have the chance to  encounter exotic animals and go sightseeing.

For your personal development: you will have the chance to apply effectively your intercultural and organizational skills as well as actively contribute to sustainable development. You will have the opportunity to completely submerge yourself into another culture and improve your Portuguese skills tremendously, given that practically no local within the community speaks German or English.

Food & Accommodation

A host family will provide you with food and accommodation. A warm meal is offered on the project site at lunch time. The living conditions and hygiene standards are not high.

In the remote village where you will be living, you will find, above all, extremely hearty people and beautiful nature. Motorcycling and waterfalls are a must.

Teaching times

You will teach children five days a week (week-ends are off). Note that there are no classes in January, as well as from June to August.

Medicine and Vaccination

There is a small hospital within the village that provides basic medical care, however a doctor is not always available. The closest hospital is located in Balsas (good first care) Imperatriz or São Luis. Vaccinations are to be discussed and clarified in good time with the house or tropical doctor.

Contact person

Yves Störi, Founder of «Mauern fürs Leben» –  mauernfuersleben@thepieces.ch