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One of the most popular and well known destinations in Brazil is Rio de Janeiro – the Enchanting City, with its stunningly beautiful scenery and home of the greatest popular party in the world: carnival.
The former capital of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city of Brazil and offers plenty to see and to do. In addition to its famous samba carnival in February, Rio is known for its beautiful nature, samba, beaches such as Copacabana and Ipanema, and for the city's famous landmark; Christ the Redeemer, standing atop the “sugar loaf” mountain. Rio's modern buildings contrast with old colonial architecture and the tropical rainforest that extends down to the sea.
Rio has a tropical savanna climate and the city’s weather is hot and pleasant throughout the year. This means the city can be visited during any season, although there are periods of rain from December to March.
Founded in the 17th century as a gold-mining camp, Curitiba is today one of the most prosperous cities in Brazil. It is also a world-wide example in urbanism solutions, education and environment. Curitiba is located in southern Brazil about 100km from the coast and 500km from São Paulo.
It has a humid subtropical climate with warm summers and relatively cold winter months (July-August). Curitiba's 1.6 million people represent several cultures of immigrants that arrived in the city during the 19th century and early 20th century. This can also be noticed in the city's architecture, gastronomy and religion.
The natural beauties of Florianópolis attract thousands of visitors every year. Composed of one main island, the Island of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis offers several beaches and it is a paradise for surf, windsurf, sailing and fishing enthusiasts. Built by settlers from the Azores, some neighbourhoods of Florianópolis have preserved their rural village identity, and their heritage can still be seen in the way they speak, in their handicrafts, and in the traditional festivities.
Florianópolis has a humid subtropical climate and the seasons of the year are very distinct. Especially summer and winter are well-defined, although temperatures rarely fall below zero. There is no dry season, but increased rainfall occurs during the summer from January to March.
During their stay in Brazil, volunteers are accommodated in a host family and experience the Brazilian way of life. They provide a warm, welcoming environment for the volunteers, and help in the adjustment to local customs and habits. They also provide a safety net, helping volunteers know what to do and not to do, where it is safe to go and what to eat when they explore the city.
All host families are carefully vetted and inspected before any placement is considered. Accommodation may be in single or shared rooms and is on a half-board basis (breakfast and dinner). Volunteers are expected to provide their own lunch. All host families receive an orientation about their obligations to the volunteer, the volunteer's obligations to the family and the relationship between the local Travel2help.org partner, the volunteer, and the family.
Volunteers in the Curitiba environmental project (VTBRENV2) are accommodated on location at a lodge in the project, in shared rooms with private bathrooms. Volunteers here receive 3 meals a day and are expected to provide own bed linen.