International Volunteer Program

The Fundação Terra International Volunteer Program is one of the oldest programs of the institution. Since its legal existence (almost 35 years ago!), the Fundação Terra receives volunteers from around the world.

The program provides opportunity for people who identify with the Fundação Terra mission, and are willing to travel to Brazil in order to experience another culture while working for the poorest. During the last years, many volunteers have enrolled in the international program, and lives have been transformed, including each volunteer life.

Due to the large scope of the Fundação Terra activities, volunteers can perform activities in the áreas of health, education, social and resource mobilization. All of this in one of the poorest region of Brazil, but surprisingly beautiful: the semi-arid region of Pernambuco.

Sign up for the Fundação Terra International Volunteer Program and join us in this effort to make a better world. Be sure that this decision can change lifes, including your own life. And after a few days of your return home, you will realize that you are not the same anymore. You will always remember that, in a faraway place in South America, there are people who are happier than they were before meeting you.

You can choose to volunteer for a short-term (7 days), medium-term (3 months), or long-term (12 months), in accordance with your availability. Besides the social life, you will have the opportunity to:
–   Have an experience with the Brazilian culture.
–   Support families with diverse needs; youth and children at social risk; people with physical, intellectual and visual impairments, and also the Fundação Terra staff.
–   Make new friends.
–   See one of the poorest and most exotic regions of Brazil, the semi-arid region of Pernambuco.
–   Experience a very different reality that may very well enrich your life (or even change it)!

Short-term Volunteering (1 week)
Day 1: Welcome and let's hit the road! The Fundação Terra team will pick you up at the airport in Recife, and drive you direct to Arcoverde.
Day 2: In Arcoverde, you will be welcomed by the Fundação Terra  team. You will be accommodated and introduced to the local history and regional culture, and also to the projects developed by the institution.
Day 3: Planning of the activities to be performed during the following days.
Days 4-5: Let's do it! Execution of the activities!
Day 6: Trip to the Vale do Catimbau (2nd largest archaeological site. Among its natural attractions there are beautiful canyons, over 2,000 caves, and 28 registered areas with pre-historical cave paintings). It is a good place to spend the afternoon while seeing a beautiful scenery, bathing in tanks with mined water, and enjoy a beautiful sunset.
Day 7: Return to Recife and City Tour.
Day 8: See you soon! Return to your home country or continuity of your visit to Brazil.

If you are interested
Please contact


Teresa Luisa Silveira Frossard

61 years, veterinary from Germany
“I learned about the Earth Foundation through a niece of Father Airton who lives in Germany. I am lucky in my life; I have the support from my daughters and my husband, and I would like to retribute all the good that God has given me. I have done some volunteer work and I know how good it is to do it. You go through great experiences and you do not want to stop ever. It is wonderful the work that the Fundação Terra does for the local community of Arcoverde. It is simply amazing and deserves to be supported!”

Saskia Falkenberg & Nanou Sophie Hüls

21 years & 20 years, nurses from Germany
“Four months ago we started to know the fascinating projects of the Fundação Terra. We are two pediatric nurses that wanted to get training while living new experiences. During our first month, we worked in the Home for the Elderly, helping in their care, performing activities such as bathing or feeding. Sometimes, we also helped in the kitchen or laundry activities. The work pleased us and we had to distance ourselves from the German work ethic. Here, the bureaucracy has a secondary role, different from the role it has in Germany. Here the people have priority and in our view this is correct way! At the same time, we learned Portuguese with the support of Jorge and Marcelo. Quickly we managed to have a good relationship with colleagues, residents and people nearby, what anyway is always easy to achieve in Brazil. We were welcomed with "open arms", and this impressed us greatly. The warmth and willingness to take the extra time and effort to help us to adapt was great, making the transition easy. The rest of the time we spent at the kindergarten, which was also a remarkable experience for us. It was visible the strong connection existing between the children and teachers, something before unknown to us. The teachers also take care of the personal hygiene of the children, which for us as nurses, is very interesting! We had many challenges to overcome, whether poverty, language or mentality. And today we can say it was all worth it. We had a comprehensive view of people's lives here in Rubbish Street. We know the people and culture, and learned to value our own lifestyle. It is amazing for us to see that the Fundação Terra managed to help and support many people. It is also amazing to see how these people are satisfied with the little that they have. Especially in Home for the Elderly, as they feel good in their little oasis.”

Charlotte Sophie Wirtel

25 years, attorney from Germany
“I learned about the Fundação Terra through my church in my home town and it enthused me from the beginning. It is amazing to see the work that was done by the Fundação Terra, starting from scratch until now where diverse projects are performed in order to help the young and old. The affection between people moves me and I am very grateful to be able to help the Fundação Terra. It is a great experience for me and I will take back to Germany all my experiences, so that what I have learned can disseminate over there, and help to grow this project.”