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Placement Details

Community in Action’s ultimate goal is to place social entrepreneurs and volunteers interested in International Development in diverse public and non-profit entities throughout Rio’s favelas. After you complete our online application, a Community in Action team member will contact you via email. You do not need to pay the program fee until your application is received and confirmed. All payments go directly to the NGO and our outreach partners.

We will work with you at every step along the way place you in a volunteer project in Rio’s favelas! Please visit our Pricing page for more information about the services provided; and read our FAQs below.  If you have additional questions, send an email to: info@communityinaction.org


What lodging options are available for volunteers?

Community in Action has established partnerships with numerous hostels. These hostels are located near some of the best parts of Rio and allow for convenient access to the metro station, which is the best way to reach the favela. If you would like us to make a reservation and arrange an airport transfer, please let us know during the registration process.

  • CabanaCopa Hostel (near the beach, 5 min walk to metro, air condition rooms)
  • Rio Backpacker Hostel (near beach, 5 min walk to metro, air condition rooms, smaller boutique hostel)
  • Pura Vida Hostel (near beach at the entrance of a favela, 10 min walk to metro, no air condition rooms, large hostel)
  • El Misti Leme Hostel (near beach at the entrance of a favela, 15 min walk to metro, air condition rooms)
  • Bamboo Rio Hostel (near beach, 5 min walk to metro, air condition rooms)
Why should I pay to volunteer?

We hear this question often: “why do I need to pay to volunteer my time.” Community in Action is a grassroots non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO), completely sustained by volunteer donations.  Your donation to Community in Action allows us to provide you with administrative and logistics support before you arrive in Brazil and during your entire stay.  In addition, fees are used to purchase materials, support community programs, and deliver resources to residents and community partners in different favelas across Rio.  100% of the funds received is re-invested in the NGO to support our long-term sustainability.  Our work would not be possible without this support from volunteer donations.

Why should I volunteer with Community in Action?

We have been working in Rio’s favelas since 2004 and we have a lot of experience with social outreach programs.  During this time, we have established amazing partnerships and personal connections, making your volunteer experience authentic.  We are not a placement agency that connects you to another organization, as many other volunteer agencies do.  When you sign up with Community in Action, you’ll be with our team and our partners in Rio, learning about the true lifestyle and culture of the favela!  We offer the most well-rounded volunteer experience, with opportunities to work in five (5) different favelas and participate in nine (9) different projects. Furthermore, you don’t need to volunteer with only one project–you can partake in numerous projects during your time in Rio.  In the end, many leave with a life changing experience and life-long friends.

Does Community in Action accept groups?

Yes!  We enjoy working with groups and have worked with many large and small groups over the years. Depending on the group size and goals, we tailor specific volunteer projects, offering diverse opportunities to partake in numerous activities. We offer one-day group volunteer experiences, up to two-weeks.  For more information, please contact us at: info@communityinaction.org 

How do I volunteer with Community in Action?

Volunteering with Community in Action is easy!  Fill out the registration form and we will contact you within a few business days.

Can children under the age of 18 volunteer with Community in Action?

Community in Action does not accept volunteers under the age of 18, unless a parent or legal guardian is present.

Do I need specific skills or qualifications to volunteer?

No.  Everyone is welcome to volunteer with us.  We simply ask that volunteers come with an open mind and a flexible attitude!  Becoming involved with Community in Action is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in International Development, Non-Profit Management, Sustainable Enterprise, and Social Change.

Do I need to speak Portuguese?

Speaking Portuguese is not a requirement to volunteer with Community in Action.  For a few of our projects–such as Tutoring and Computer Training–Portuguese is needed.   Overall, learning basic Portuguese will expand your experience in Rio and help you connect more closely with the people you are working with.  If you speak Spanish, this is a plus.

How much time per week will I be volunteering?

Volunteers at Community in Action can expect to work approximately 20-25 hours per week, volunteering 6 to 8 hours per day, three times per week.

What can I do when I’m not volunteering?

One of the great advantages of volunteering with Community in Action is that our program design allows flexibility to explore Rio and the surrounding areas. Whether it is spending a day at one of Rio’s world famous beaches, going on a day hike, taking a weekend trip, or attending a local samba party, Community in Action strives to ensure that all our volunteers have a well rounded, in-depth, cultural experience.  We have many suggestions to share while you’re in Rio!

What are my expenses once I arrive?

When you arrive in Rio, you will be responsible for all your daily expenses, which includes, lodging, food, transportation, and daily spending money.  We can arrange your lodging and airport transportation.  If you’d like us to take care of this, please let us know during the application process.   For more information about cost of living expenses in Rio, click here: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Rio-De-Janeiro

Will I be working with other volunteers?

Yes. Community in Action works with volunteers throughout the year, from around the world.  Some months are busier than others, but there is often overlap with other volunteers working on the same project. If there is not overlap, you will be working with members from the Community in Action team and our local partners. During the registration process, we can provide more details about the volume of volunteers during your time in Rio.

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