Volunteer Abroad Brazil: Forest Conservation
Join forces with dedicated conservationists, passionate specialists, and a team of like-minded international volunteers to help restore and protect the incredible biodiversity of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. Not only will you be aiding reforestation efforts, but you will also be engaging with the local community through sustainable development projects related to youth environmental education and the support of local farmers. Join the legacy of over 20 years of work and countless volunteers who have contributed to the project and left with the fire in them to pursue environmental conservation at home and abroad.
- Learn all about agroforestry, forest monitoring, reforestation, and medicinal plants in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest
- Exchange skills and knowledge among volunteers and professionals while working towards an impactful cause
- Live and work in one of the most biodiverse regions of the world
- Immerse yourself in educational and cultural exchange while engaging with the local community
- Join the ranks of passionate conservationists who are working towards the goal of salvaging and regenerating the once-thriving rainforest
Plan your trip
Included in the programme fee
- Placement in the programme
- Assistance with travel arrangements
- Assistance with selecting travel insurance
- Assistance with booking flights
- Risk coverage certificate
Meghan, your travel expert for Brazil
Don't hesitate to contact me if you would like to learn more about this journey! I answer all of your questions and assist you before, during and after your adventure abroad.
Volunteering in Brazil
As a volunteer at the nature conservation project in Brazil, you will work towards the goal of planting 1 million trees by 2030 in the once-wiped-out region of the Atlantic Rainforest while contributing to species and ecosystem research and community outreach projects.
Arrival and orientation in Brazil
You will be met upon arrival by research centre staff, introduced to the project and team, and shown around while you learn about the tasks ahead. Depending on the time of day that you arrive, you will settle in and join your fellow volunteers and researchers for a hot meal, get to know your surroundings and rest a bit, or jump right into an activity if you’re up for it.
Typical activities in reforestation as a volunteer
There is never a shortage of jobs and activities to be done at the research centre! You will be best matched to activities that fit your skills and interests. Some examples of tasks include: taking water samples to measure how reforestation impacts water quality; using a Geographic Information System (GIS) for seedling selection and mapping planting areas; working in the nursery to prepare and care for seedlings; planting trees; maintaining forest trails; and visiting schools or teaching visiting school groups about environmental education. There is even an experimental coffee plantation on site that you may be working on as you learn about agroforestry.
Accommodation in the project
You will be staying either in the Centre house or in one of the four cabins on the property. The Centre is over 75 years old and has four bedrooms for two people each. There is also a library, a living room, and two bathrooms to share among the maximum eight volunteers in the house. The four cabins each have two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a common living room area. All volunteer accommodations have hot water, electricity, and Wi-Fi at all times.
Near the accommodation, there is a multi-purpose space used as an office, classroom, study area, and multimedia projection space with capacity for 50 people, and another house nearby used as a classroom and exhibition space. A laboratory on site is well-equipped with glassware, stereoscopes, camera traps used for monitoring fauna, and benches, tables and sinks.
Leisure time as a volunteer
In your free time, particularly on the weekends, you are invited to explore the beauty of the region. For those who love to hike, you are in the right place! Just at your doorstep are four stunning peaks beckoning you to summit—including the nearby Graminha Peak, whose summit reaches 1.501 meters, and the country’s third highest mountain, Bandeira Peak (2.892 meters), which is a 3-hour drive away and makes for a great weekend adventure. If you are really ambitious and like to start your day with a bang, you can make the 3-hour trek up a 1.350-meter-high mountain top near the research centre for a stunning view of the forest below, ideal at sunrise!
Within walking distance, you will find four beautiful waterfalls and swimming holes, several self-guided trails, and the closest town of Rosário da Limeira can be reached by a 2.5-hour walk, or a 25-minute taxi ride. Most weekends, there are bonfires at the centre, offering volunteers a chance to hang out and share stories over a delicious Caipirinha or two. Given our partner’s close-knit ties with the community, you can join in local festivities and events when they take place. Our partners can also recommend where to find the most delicious homemade honey, pastries, cheese, and beautiful artwork made by community members.
How to get there
Arriving at your home away from home in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest
A typical volunteer day
It's time to make the return journey to Rio de Janeiro and beyond!
FAQ – Learn more about this trip
“The highlight of the project for me was seeing the baby turtles making their way out to the ocean and getting pulled in by the waves.”
“But not only did I adapt, I even learned to love it. I fell in love with the forest, the animals, and the green and for the first time I had the feeling that my work was contributing something valuable to the world. [...] I recommend this project to anyone who is looking for a special challenge, beautiful nature or professional prospects.”
“The everyday meals and the games, were always the highlight of the day for me, because you could exchange experiences with everyone.”
“We really liked the fact that we were able to give something back to nature and Mother Earth. Working in such beautiful landscapes was absolutely amazing.”
“The location of the project is unique. To be able to live away from civilisation and see how little you really need was a great experience.”
“I found it particularly great to have the opportunity to gain an insight into each team’s work.”
1. Rosário da Limeira
Rosário da Limeira liegt in einer landschaftlich reizvollen Gegend mit Hügeln und viel Grün, was typisch für die Region Minas Gerais ist. Die Stadt liegt etwa 330 Kilometer von der Hauptstadt des Bundesstaates, Belo Horizonte, entfernt.
In Rosário da Limeira gibt es auch einige Sehenswürdigkeiten wie den Wasserfall "Cachoeira do Rosário", der in der Region sehr bekannt ist und viele Besucher anzieht. Außerdem ist die Stadt für ihre traditionellen Feste bekannt, insbesondere für das jährliche Fest des Schutzheiligen der Stadt, Nossa Senhora do Rosário.
Background of the reforestation project in Brazil
Once the Atlantic Forest of Brazil thrived, as is covered over 133,5 million hectares (330 million acres) of land. Today, only seven percent remains as a result of deforestation through logging and conversion of the land to support crops and cattle pastures. Although the forest has been cut down to a fraction of its original size, it is still home to an incredible array of endemic and endangered species that can only be found in this region of the world. Our partner organization works to protect and reforest this land, research the biodiversity within, and work with neighbouring landowners to promote sustainable agro-farming practices.
The idea for this project began over thirty years ago when two passionate conservationists settled on a small patch of land in Minas Gerais and began to develop a sustainable forest farm. Since then, they slowly began to clear pastures and replant native trees across the land. They helped establish the neighbouring community as a state-recognized county and witnessed and supported the bordering Serra do Brigadeiro to become a state park in 1996, protecting 15.000 hectares (37.000 acres) of forest land and becoming a part of the UN Biosphere Reserve.
In 1999, the research centre opened as a recognized non-profit NGO, welcoming the first wave of Brazilian and international volunteers to support reforestation, building and maintaining forest trails, community mapping, and outreach projects. Since then, a nursery was built, cabins were erected to accommodate 28 volunteers and researchers, and research and international attention continue to grow and develop, allowing the project to acquire more land under their protection, and the dream of recovering the Atlantic Forest to thrive.
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