Copacabana Beach in Rio, Brazil

Brazil Best Gap Year Destination

Copacabana Beach in Rio, Brazil
When volunteering perhaps the sight of Rio's Copacabana Beach won't be a daily occurrance?

Bored of work and want a change? Brazil has become the most popular destination for professional Brits volunteering abroad.

There’s an increasing number of people taking time out on academic and work-related breaks, and with many developing countries in need of self-funded volunteers, organised volunteer programmes have started to mushroom around the world – with Brazil leading the charge.

Projects Abroad is a leading commercial volunteer serviceorganisation with volunteers aged from 16 to 75. Volunteers can still teach English in eastern Europe, but now they can also do many other types of work in many other places, including a country famous for

beaches and bikinis.

“Brazil, unlike China, is a democracy which is much more attractive to investors and volunteers alike,” said Dr Peter Slowe, managing director and founder of Projects Abroad.

Emerging countries have always been popular amongst British professionals volunteering abroad because their skills can prove invaluable in the development of local economies but they also have the opportunity to learn from a rapidly changing environment.

“Brazil is politically stable and unlikely to undergo prolonged civil unrest which is likely to occur at some time in China,” said Dr Slowe.

Brazil deposed Britain as the world’s sixth largest economy in the annual world economic league table published by the Centre for Economic and Business Research.

Dr Slowe, who was a former economic policy advisor to Tony Blair and sits on Labour’s Finance and Industry Group, continued: “The punching power of Brazil as a whole has overtaken Britain because of the huge economic potential of people who live there.

“Brazil has a variety of natural resources to rely on including gold and silver as well as oil off-shore and minerals in the Amazon. By contrast the UK economy is affected by the problems of the eurozone,” he said.

However, in many areas Brazil is still an emerging nation and the majority of the population has a standard of living way behind what is enjoyed in Britain. Brazil struggled to develop under a variety of dictatorships throughout most of the last century and only became a truly democratic state in the mid-eighties.

“Many of our professional volunteers specifically devote their attention to managing Brazil’s development ecologically,” explained Dr Slowe.

Projects Abroad today is still a family run business with 20 people now in their Sussex head office and over 500 trained staff in their international destinations offering over 100 generic placements and a wide choice within these placements They also have recruitment staff working around the world, including offices all over Europe and further afield, from Tokyo to Toronto and from Adelaide to New York.

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