Volunteering at Casa do Caminho is certainly an unforgettable experience. Our organization has been functioning since 1982, and that time has provided us many stories and friendships. Through our history, we’ve already had more than 500 volunteers, from every corner of the world. You could be the next one!
WHAT DO WE OFFER?
Our Volunteering Program is completely free. Volunteers receive food, housing and an introductory briefing when they arrive. Volunteering at Casa do Caminho is a unique cultural experience. You will work in a team composed of Brazilians and Internationals, and, depending on the case, you’ll have an opportunity to create your own projects.
WHO ARE WE LOOKING FOR?
We search for volunteers who are full of enthusiasm, and who enjoy working with and for children and teenagers. The minimum age to participate is 21. Candidates must speak either Portuguese or Spanish, in order to adapt themselves quickly and to be able to interact with local people. We need people who possess the willingness to commit themselves to a long-term project, prepared for day-to-day challenges. Also important: our lifestyle is simple; we don’t have any luxuries here, beside the luxury of being in the middle of a beautiful natural landscape, and working for a meaningful cause.
We accept either Brazilian or International volunteers, assuming they can get a Visa to work as volunteers in Brazil (more information below). We offer food and housing at the headquarters of our organization, for those who come here to commit full-time to the project. We also accept local volunteers who can dedicate some hours every week to help us, but in this case they must arrange their own transport to the headquarters (see our location map here).
Persons with different professions, studies and skills are welcome. We need people to help teach at the rural schools, to help with house maintenance and at collective construction and cleaning works, to help at our orchard, we need social assistants, psychologists, educators, specialists in IT, drivers, etc. In summary: anyone with goodwill and a good disposition to help and work can be a candidate.
Persons with bad intentions are not welcome. Sexual abuse and violence are not tolerated. We also do not tolerate consumption of drugs of any kind or alcoholic beverages within the dependencies of Casa do Caminho.
DOES PARTICIPATING IN THE VOLUNTEERING PROGRAM COST ANYTHING?
We don’t charge any money to volunteers, neither for applying, nor for the housing or food we give. The only costs you’ll have to bear are: the airplane tickets to get here, the cost of the Visa (in case of International Volunteers), and your own personal expenses. Also, we strongly recommend you to buy a bicycle in Xerém when you get here, or bring your own, since it’s the best way of moving around here. Our headquarters are located in a remote area where there is no public transport, and the schools where we teach are located 5 – 10 kilometers away.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO APPLY AS A CANDIDATE?
-Being at least 21 years old.
-Speaking Basic Portuguese, or, otherwise, speaking Spanish at an advanced level.
-Be willing to commit for a minimum period of 6 months. Candidates who can commit for a full year will be preferred.
-In the case of International Volunteers, obtaining a valid Visa to work as a volunteer in Brazil.
-Send the following documents: Your CV, copy of your ID or passport, copy of certificate or diploma of tertiary education, and certificate indicating a clean criminal record (issued by governmental authority or local police).
The Federal Police in Brazil demands persons performing volunteer work for any Brazilian NGO to obtain a temporary residence permit. Therefore, it is necessary that foreign volunteers ask for a visa at the embassy or consulate of their country or origin, before coming to Brazil.
For citizens of countries associated to the MERCOSUR agreement (Argentina, Chile, Perú, Colombia, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador), it is easy and simple to obtain a visa that allows residence in Brazil for up to two years, and no special documents are needed. Therefore, people belonging to the countries mentioned above should solicit this type of visa.
For international volunteers belonging to other countries, it is possible to solicit a special Volunteer Visa. In order to obtain it, Casa do Caminho must send an invitation letter, and other original documents by mail, and the future volunteer must present them at the Brazilian consulate in their home country. It is important to know that, in this case, the whole paperwork to obtain the visa could take months, so it will be necessary to plan the trip in advance. We also recommend you to call the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate in your home country, to obtain more information.
Youngs of a Escola Técnica Agropecuária de Camboriú - SC that made their practices in our organic plantation in a Comunidade Rural Casa do Caminho - CRCC in january of 2019
What is the Day-to-day like at Casa do Caminho?
The daily tasks that a volunteer at Casa do Caminho performs vary according to his or her skills and preferences. We are flexible to accept proposals from volunteers on how their weekly and daily schedule will be. Generally, volunteers dedicate one or two per week to teaching at the rural schools, another day to carry out maintenance work in the house, or helping at the orchard, and every Saturday, all volunteers participate together in the activities that we do with the children of our neighborhood, who come to the house to play and learn.
Furthermore, all volunteers help with some basic domestic activities inside the house, such as cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen, and taking care of the space we share.
CRCC also owns two houses in the town of Xerém, which are rented in order to generate income to finance our projects (these houses where in the past the residence of orphans that our institution used to take in). Sporadically, we form groups with the volunteers to clean and perform maintenance work on these houses as well.
The consumption of alcohol or drugs of any type within the house is strictly forbidden. We want to be a good example for others, and we work in an environment where we have seen many people suffer because of substance abuse.