Alternative Travel in Brazil: Visiting Communities in Need and How You Can Help

Brazil is a hotbed full of natural and cultural wonders, from its northern borders in the Amazon to its southern tip where you can find the Iguazu Falls. But while the country is truly blessed, there are still many areas in the country that need help. Because of this, there are travelers who spend their time in the country visiting vulnerable communities and integrating with the local population.

Read on and learn more about some of the places you can visit for an alternative travel experience.

Among Brazil’s states, Ceará is one of the poorest and is, in fact, the worst in terms of income inequality in the country. Based on the latest available data, the income of the richest families in the state is 29 times higher than that of the poorest.

In addition, the region is often plagued with natural disasters. Although full of beautiful beaches and falls, the northeastern part of Brazil where Ceará sits is especially prone to heavy rains and droughts. Save the Children reveals that these often cause floods as well as mudslides. Along with economic mismanagement, the inevitable natural phenomena exacerbate the poor conditions in the state.

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(Source: Pixabay)

Thankfully, there are efforts to alleviate the situation. For instance, a project called Productive and Capacity Development in the State of Ceará by the International Fund for Agricultural Development is financing development initiatives to support local farmers. The campaign is mainly about empowering farmers through training and seminars on how to improve production and/or find other means of livelihood. You can get in touch with the United Nations for volunteering opportunities.

Because healthcare is also an issue in Ceara, volunteers who have medical experience can share their expertise with communities in need. The city of Aquiraz accepts healthcare volunteers in many of its public clinics. You can start by visiting the Community Center at Presidio Beach.

In the semi-arid state of Bahia, meanwhile, volunteers can lend a hand to organizations such as AEC-TEA based in Capim Grosso. The group has been organizing educational projects and creating educational and cultural spaces to improve the quality of life in the community. Volunteers can teach language, photography, music, and other learning areas. Those who want to get the full experience can also apply for an internship for a semester or a full year.

As for the southern part of Brazil, visitors looking for unique volunteering experiences can head to Santa Catarina. In Florianópolis, the state capital, the Brazil Otter Sanctuary is in need of volunteers who can assist in day-to-day conservation tasks, taking care of the otters, and helping in research and data collection.

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(Source: Pixabay)

Finally, eco-warriors and birdwatchers can also volunteer as Assistant Bird Guides, Nature Guides, or Assistant Gardeners for Rio state-based Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu (REGUA) in the Atlantic Forest. REGUA has been committed to taking care of the Atlantic Forest and its biodiversity in the Guapiaçu watershed. Volunteers will be accommodated in the Visitors Lodge, which have stunning views of the reserve. They will also have great birding and nighttime birding opportunities in the habitats off the reserve. Considered among South America’s most biodiverse biomes, the Atlantic Forest is the perfect place to be at one with nature and a great destination for voluntourists.

Of course, the support you can give doesn’t end with your trip. Even when you are back home, you can still continue to help through sending money/donations to non-profit organizations in the country or even directly to the poor families that you have come to know while in Brazil. Ria Money Transfer has been a steady supporter of international humanitarian efforts, as evident by our donation assistance efforts in the Palu, Indonesia tsunami disaster. You, too, can extend your help to the Brazilian people who are in need by using Ria’s reliable and secure money international transfer service. Learn more about Ria money transfer service here.