Off the coast of Brazil’s Santa Catarina lies a tropical island-city that aches to be discovered. Florianopolis, or Floripa as the locals say, is split in two with the industrial zone on the mainland and the historic center and rainforest across the bay. The tropical weather and endless beaches contrast a cosmopolitan city scape in the west, and every corner of the island is picturesque. Dive deep into the jungle or hover around its edges as a volunteer abroad in Florianopolis where you’ll leave your mark in paradise!
Popular Ways on How to Volunteer Abroad in Florianopolis
Florianopolis is known as the “vacation” spot of Brazil. Brazilians invest in holiday homes and tourists flock from around the world in the summers. Despite the luxury and wealth that exists throughout the island, there are still many ways to get involved in the community by volunteering abroad in Florianopolis. From the depths of the rainforest to the crystal blue oceans, from the picturesque bay area to the lively city streets, there are endless places to achieve social, economic, or environmental change to make a difference in Floripa.
Popular causes in Florianopolis. Volunteers who venture away from Florianopolis’ busy city streets on the edges of the island will discover that much of Floripa is undeveloped. Lush green rainforest extends from the center of the island, out to untouched beaches. Nature lovers can dive into environmental and wildlife conservation, trekking through jungles to study monkey behavior, or feeding and caring for injured birds, alligators, or otters at rehabilitation centers. While poverty is not as present on the island, the outskirts of the mainland’s city are a bit rougher, and volunteers can find placements in community development or teaching English.
Summer and short-term volunteer programs in Florianopolis. Long-term volunteering in Florianopolis makes the biggest impact on the community, but that doesn’t mean it turns down short-term volunteers. While short-termers are more limited in placement options, placements of a week or two can be found in community development and conservation throughout the island. Spend a week planting trees, or a summer researching wildlife if you’re short on time!
Long-term volunteer stints in Florianopolis. The most popular placements in Floripa typically last about three months. This allows enough time for volunteers to settle into the community, adjust to the easygoing Brazilian lifestyle, and make a lasting impact. Long-term placements are popular in all areas, from teaching English in a local family to preserving great Amazonian flora and fauna. Wanting more out of your volunteer experience? Consider pairing it with an internship, too!
Life Abroad in Florianopolis, Brazil for International Volunteers
Florianopolis is paradise for every volunteer, whether you want to spend your free time chilling on white sand beaches like a local or exploring undeveloped jungle. Sun lovers can discover over 60 beaches (locals won’t even see them all!), so you can get your adrenaline fix kayaking, snorkeling, or surfing off the coasts. For a cultural experience, visit Floripa’s fishing villages on the island’s outskirts to meet locals and feast on the best seafood in Brazil.
City-goers should stick to the historic center, El Centro, while volunteering in Florianopolis. Here, you can wander through the commercial core and shop in chic districts like Beira-Mar Norte. Take a moonlit walk across the pedestrian-only Pente Hercilio for iconic views of Floripa’s skyline, or check out the thriving nightlife where you’ll find everything from beach bars to VIP clubs.
While Brazil is typically a cheap destination for volunteers, the affordability greatly depends on where you are. Because of the luxurious areas of Florianopolis, the island can be a bit more expensive than other areas of the country. To save money, stay away from the city center and stick to the smaller villages, avoid buying manufactured goods, and live with a host family where you’ll learn the culture.
GoAbroad’s Inside Scoop for Volunteers in Florianopolis
Florianopolis is paradise in more ways than one. The developed areas of the island scream luxury, while the undeveloped parts are wildly raw. Most importantly, Floripa is paradise because of the security of the island. While Brazil’s big cities, like Rio de Janiero and Sao Paulo, are full of crime and barbed wire, Florianopolis is one of the safest cities in Brazil, with military checkpoints enforcing safety throughout the city.
While there is much to see in Florianopolis, volunteers should be prepared for the lack of public transportation on the island. The island is small, but the villages are spread out with untouched land and forest in between. Most volunteers will settle into the village where they are doing their volunteer placement and explore the close surrounding areas in their free time. To see more of the island, consider renting a car for a weekend road trip with new friends.
Every volunteer will want to call Florianopolis home. Whether you hope to save the environment, surround yourself with wildlife, or share language skills in the gritty city, there are endless placements available throughout the island. While some may find it strange to volunteer in a top vacation destination, you will undoubtedly make a significant contribution to the locals. Leave your mark on the community as you make friends, enhance your personal growth, and experience island life in Floripa!
Let’s samba! Don’t forget to read our comprehensive guide on volunteering abroad in Brazil.