Volunteer in Portugal

Engaging youth in community service and environmental protection
Carnaxide, Lisbon       July 1 - July 12, 2017

Volunteer project: The volunteer project will take place in a socioeconomically disadvantaged area of Carnaxide, a suburb of Lisbon, and will focus on children and young people living there.
Due to the apparent state of abandonment that seems to exist in terms of cleaning and care of common spaces, this project aims to promote citizenship activities, environmental respect and awareness actions for the care and cleanliness of the neighborhoods. The project also tries to promote integration and sharing the rules of the society among young people.

The activities of the project include: cleaning the neighborhood, workshops on the recycling and reuse of materials, a theater workshop on the subject and with recycled materials, recreational activities, intercultural activities, cultural activities.

Language: English

Free time activities: Visits to the beach, to Lisboa and Cascais, traditional party, night game, gastronomic show and workshop, music night, stargazing and farewell party.

Accommodation: In a youth hostel.

Location: The project will be located approximately 10km from Lisbon and near the beach.

Terminal: Lisbon

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Restoration of traditional dovecotes
Uva, Braganca       July 3 - July 14, 2017

Volunteer project: Uva lies in the surroundings of the International Douro Nature Park, with an impressive set of dovecotes. They take on various shapes and have an unquestionably unique heritage and architectural value. Furthermore, they are situated in an agriculturally and historically rich rural area which integrates the Special Protection Area of the International Douro Nature Park. This is where the dovecotes restoration works will take place.

The main goals of this project are to preserve the architectural heritage and pass down traditional construction techniques; to enable the discovery of the Miranda Plateau, a unique rural region, rich in natural beauty, biodiversity, culture and traditions; and to bring together volunteers and local community, thus promoting intercultural and intergenerational encounters and exchanges. The tasks planned for the dovecotes restoration include cleaning on the inside, as well as the surroundings; removing the walls’ original coating; restoring rooftops; preparing new limestone coating and whitewashing the outer walls.

Language: English

Free time activities: There are several activities planned for the participants to get to know the beautiful landscapes, the rich cultural traditions and the local community: helping villagers in their everyday tasks (watering the vegetable gardens, taking cattle to pasture, knitting, baking bread, etc.), trekking and hiking, bird watching, visiting the Miranda Donkey Centre, visiting the Algoso castle, visiting Vimioso, cinema nights.

Accommodation: Basic house equipped with bunk beds and a barbecue area. Please, bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Uva, in the municipality of Vimioso

Terminal: Airport: Lisbon or Porto

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Renovation of a community center in Beja
Beja       July 3 - July 14, 2017

Volunteer project: The volunteers in this project will help in the rehabilitation of an inter-associative space belonging to the Municipality of Beja and which hosts several non-profit entities that develop significant work in the community. The work to be done involves painting, carpentry, cleaning and maintenance. All participants will have individual protection and safety equipment and will be monitored and guided by expert technicians.

During the project we aim to transfer knowledge, ideas and good practices among the volunteers, promoting intercultural dialogue and valuing the active contribution of all participants. The project will also provide and stimulate a direct contact with the different aspects of Portuguese culture through a program of visits in the region and the experience of local customs and daily life such as gastronomy, nightlife, the beach trips so common for the young Portuguese in the summer time. The international volunteers will have direct contact with the community through different activities open to the population including intercultural evening.

Language: English

Free time activities: Historical visits, trip to the Vicentina coast, theater, concerts, contacts with local and regional culture and adventures.

Accommodation: Participants will be accommodated in double tents (by gender) at the municipal camping site in the city of Beja. Free Wi-Fi is available.

Location: Beja is an interior city in the heart of the Alentejo in the south of Portugal, known for its friendly and nice people.

Terminal: Lisbon

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Creating a gathering place for youth in Braga
Vila Nova de Famalicao, Braga       July 3 - July 14, 2017

Volunteer project: For this project, we are looking for volunteers with motivation to contribute to the creation of a volunteer spot in the city - a space that young people will use for free in order to develop competences, generate new ideas and projects, share knowledge and experiences with other youngsters. The volunteers’ tasks are: indoor and outdoor painting, carpentry finishes, furniture refurbishment and construction of storage facilities through the re-use of pallets, decoration of the space with reused materials, gardening.

The main objectives of the project are:
- promoting youth mobility and sense of belonging;
- exchange of traditions and life experiences among youngsters from different countries;
- personal and social development of young people in an intercultural atmosphere;
- encouraging the active participation of young people, promoting their empowerment and independence, and supporting initiatives and projects, solidarity and youth volunteering

Language: English

Free time activities: The volunteers will have the opportunity to enjoy free time activities like swimming pool, cinema, beach and workshops such as: stencil, didgeridoo and participatory video. The group will visit Vila Nova de Famalicão, Oporto and Vila do Conde.

Accommodation: Accommodation will be in the local school.

Location: Vila Nova de Famalicao is a town in the district of Braga, in the north of Portugal.

Terminal: Vila Nova de Famalicao

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Creating community spaces in Faro
São Bartolomeu de Messines, Faro       July 3 - July 14, 2017

Volunteer project: The volunteers in São Bartolomeu de Messines will help transform two vacant sites into pleasant community spaces for leisure activities. They will help with the rehabilitation of a community space in the village of Cortes, so that it can be used again by the entire population of the village. Another task will be to create a picnic area (non-existent in the village), through the rehabilitation of a green space which is now abandoned. The hope is that the impact of the international volunteers in this project will inspire local young people for future participation in community initiatives.

The volunteers will be divided into two work groups, one for the village of Cortes and the other for the picnic area. They will perform the following tasks:
- Placing of traditional sidewalk;
- Construction of a stone wall;
- Construction of a ramp and access steps;
- Painting a water well;
- Gardening (planting trees, shrubs and flowers);
- Placing a porch and setting up picnic tables, paper baskets and signs.
- Setting up a lavatory and a barbecue.
All tasks will be developed according to the current health and safety standards in place. The volunteers will be accompanied by two professionals who will provide instructions about the tasks step by step and in the beginning of each new task there will always be an explanation and demonstration of how tasks should be performed and what health and safety measures need to apply.

Language: English

Free time activities: Sports and cultural activities (traditional games and football); Tourist activities (visiting the town of São Bartolomeu de Messines, the town of Silves, including the Castle and the Museum, the towns of Armação de Pêra, Alte, Albufeira and Tavira); Trips to the beach, the swimming pools, water park and zoo.

Accommodation: In a community centre; rooms with single beds are available. The volunteers will have access to free Wi-Fi.

Location: São Bartolomeu de Messines in the Region of Algarve, Faro District

Terminal: Faro

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Social inclusion program in Amarante
Amarante, Porto       July 4 - July 15, 2017

Volunteer project: This volunteer project in Amarante aims to raise awareness among the international participants and the local population on social inclusion, mainly of young people with disabilities, as well as on fair trade, organic farming and environmental preservation.

The volunteers will take part in various activities: group dynamics; presentation of the city and the region; discussions on the project theme (objectives, tasks division); visit to the most important sites of the city; training on theatre performance and workshop on how to deal with differences; direct contact and work with a local NGO responsible for activities with local young people with disabilities; organize an event (theatre performance) involving both groups (project participants and local handicapped young people) to be presented to the local community (street performance, more than 500 people expected to attend).

Language: English

Free time activities: Visits to some of the main cities and spots in the North of Portugal (Guimarães, Porto, Parque Natural do Alvão).

Accommodation: Participants will be accommodated in shared rooms (4 participants each) of Casa da Juventude de Amarante. Participants should bring their sleeping bag. Healthy food with organic and vegetarian ingredients will be provided. Laundry available (self-service). The youth centre has free Wi-Fi.

Location: Amarante is a small town in the North of Portugal, part of Porto district (60 km far from Porto, to the interior) with 12.000 inhabitants. It is quite a famous city for tourism, culture and wine production. Indeed it is quite near (18 km) to the Oporto wine region. It is crossed by Tâmega River (one of the rivers ending at Douro River that crosses Porto till the Atlantic ocean) and is in the valley of one of the most important Portuguese mountains, Marão (1450 m). Amarante is well located (nearby passes highway A4 connecting to Oporto and highway A11 connecting to Guimarães) and has a good public transport system. The city is 40 min away from the nearest airport (Oporto) by car.

Terminal: Porto

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Habitat restoration and conservation program
Montemor-o-Novo, Evora       July 10 - July 21, 2017

Volunteer project: The main aim of the project is to highlight the importance of volunteering and cooperative work in the conservation of nature. The project seeks the habitat restoration of a creek and a public cycling and walking way through the control of invasive flora and work in a native plant nursery.

The activities will include all the regular activities of a native plants nursery, from seed collecting and cleaning, compost making, seed potting and seedling re-potting. We will also expand the plant production area with soil cover. Our program includes also habitat restoration with the control of invasive species that threaten local biodiversity, by cutting and other non-chemical eco-friendly methods, and introduction of information signs on the cycling way.

Language: English

Free time activities: Leisure activities will include an artistic activity of clay pot making in partnership with a local cultural organization, as well as flora and fauna observation activities. We will also have a mushroom production workshop. Some other cultural activities as debates and free air cinema will also be organized.

Accommodation: Shared bedrooms (4 people) in a youth center.

Location: Montemor-o-Novo, in the District of Evora

Terminal: Lisbon

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Restoration of a chapel on the historic Douro-Varosa Trail
Lamego, Viseu       July 13 - July 24, 2017

Volunteer project: The historic Douro-Varosa Trail passes through the Douro and Varosa Valley. The restoration of the Chapel of Santo André, one of the historic buildings on the route, has been carried out by volunteers throughout the year, with the main objective of safeguarding, promoting and revealing the historical heritage with its inclusion in the Douro-Varosa Trail.

The project intends to continue the process of restoration of the Chapel through painting of the building and cleaning the surrounding space, creating support structures, maintenance and cleaning of Cistercian monuments and cleaning, marking and installation of information signs along the trail. The volunteers will have the opportunity to learn about the culture and the history of the region.

Language: English

Free time activities: Recreational and cultural exchanges with local residents, intercultural learning, cultural enrichment through visits in the region (Porto, Lamego, Régua, Pinhão and Douro valley) and leisure and environmental improvement activities. There will be also a traditional party, night game, gastronomic show and workshop, musical night, stars observation, farewell party.

Accommodation: In a building equipped with bunk beds.

Location: The project is located approximately 5km from Lamego and near the Douro region. Várzea de Abrunhais, where the chapel is located, beside Vila Pouca de Salzedas and next to Varosa river, is a rural village known for its great natural beauty.

Terminal: Porto or Lisbon

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Avanca Film Festival
Avanca, Aveiro       July 20 - July 31, 2017

Volunteer project: The International Meeting of Cinema, Television, Video and Multimedia in Avanca has been organized since 1997. Volunteers in this project will be involved in various levels of the organization and providing support for the success of this festival.
AVANCA 2017 being an idea sharing favored space, creative fusion and cultural interchange between professionals, students, cinema and multimedia lovers, the volunteers will naturally participate and dive in this international, cultural and creative atmosphere.

The volunteers will have variety of tasks before, during and after the festival.
During the preparation and setting phase:
• Setting up the different spaces in AVANCA 2017;
• Poster distribution and hanging;
• Exposition set up and organization;
• Turning the school classrooms into workshop spaces;
• Installation and testing of workshop related video and computer equipment;
• Cleaning and preparation of the Auditorium of Avanca for competitive Cinema and Video sessions;
• Arranging the school’s multipurpose hall for the Television competitive sessions;
• Airport reception and welcoming of the AVANCA international guests, directors, actors, producers, technicians, etc.

During the festival:
• Check-in support for the AVANCA 2017 participants and guests;
• Organization of the available camping for the workshop participants;
• Maintenance of the workshop rooms;
• Kitchen support;
• AVANCA 2017 promotion support (there will be several articles related to the festival);
• AVANCA 2017 Secretariat support;
• AVANCA 2017 Press Cabinet Support;
• Film Projection support during competitive sessions;
• Cleaning and maintenance of the AVANCA 2017 related installations;
• Help in the Gastronomy Festival held during AVANCA 2017 weekend;

After the festival:
• Collecting and verifying workshop equipment;
• Returning the used spaces to their initial configuration and cleaning of those spaces;
• Collecting the material of the expositions and wrapping up the exposed works;
• Collecting AVANCA 2017 posters and hanging posters in Avanca and in Aveiro region.

Language: English

Accommodation: In tents in the school in Avanca. Please, bring a sleeping bag.

Location: Avanca is a civil parish in the municipality of Estarreja, in the central subregion of Baixo Vouga.

Terminal: Porto, Lisbon; Avanca Train station.

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Archaeological excavations in Castelo Branco
Proença-a-Nova, Castelo Branco       August 1 - August 12, 2017

Volunteer project: This Archaeological International Field Camp will take place in Cabeço da Anta (Moitas) - a large walled site whose topographic location and construction techniques used in its walls suggest a date from the beginning of the first millennium BC (Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age). It could be interpreted as a temporary refuge settlement or a “deceit site”, associated with a period of regional instability and conflict following the establishment of the Phoenician colonies in the coast of the Iberian Peninsula. However, other interpretations are still viable and we intend to continue the research started in 2015.

The volunteer activities include archaeological excavation by using a range of digging equipment; learning how to record sites using drawings, detailed notes and photography; and other fieldwork (3D recording, geophysical and archaeological surveying).

Participants will be part of the archaeological team that makes this site available for future generations through its recording, interpretation and study.

Language: English

Free time activities: The study trips in the region and lectures will include a visit to other field camps (like Cerca do Castelo) and learning more about archaeological studies; sightseeing in Proença-a-Nova and its natural environment (Almourão valley, vulture watching, swimming inland river beaches), cultural activities (museums and Centre of Living Sciences) and local gastronomy (“maranho” and “tigelada”).

Accommodation: In a building in the village of Proença-a-Nova, with sleeping rooms divided by gender.

Location: In the village of Proença-a-Nova in the district of Castelo Branco

Terminal: Lisboa

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Preserving the historic heritage of the medieval walled town of Obidos
Obidos, Leiria       August 2 - August 13, 2017

Volunteer project: This volunteer project is in cooperation with the Speleology club of Obidos. The aim is to contribute to the preservation and maintenance of the historic heritage of the region, to develop intercultural learning through the interaction of volunteers from different countries, and to promote cultural enrichment through visits to the region’s most prominent places (the Castle of Obidos, one of the seven wonders of Portugal, monasteries, forts, the natural reserve of the Island of Berlenga, rich in sea bird species and wonderful landscapes, among others).

The volunteers will take part in the preservation and maintenance of the local historic heritage and will learn and utilize the whitewash painting technique on Obidos village infrastructures (walls, buildings, water fountains, etc.). The volunteers will also learn some speleology techniques for vertical ascend and descend.

Language: English

Free time activities: In their spare times, the volunteers will have the opportunity to enjoy variety of activities that the coastal zone is known for, like Surf and Bodyboard at Baleal Island and other outdoor experiences.

Accommodation: In the school gym. Mattresses, shower, washing machine, kitchen, area for social gatherings, and free Internet access available. Sleeping bag is needed.

Location: Óbidos is one of the most picturesque and well preserved medieval towns in Portugal.

Terminal: Lisbon airport

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Building with earth
Montemor-o-Novo, Evora       August 28 - September 8, 2017

Volunteer project: This project aims to awaken youth for the traditional building techniques and the surrounding built heritage. It is a Hands-on-Approach in ancient building techniques, especially raw earth (adobe, rammed earth, CSEB (Compressed Stabilised Earth Blocks), earth plasters), fired earth as well as lime mortars and plasters. During the project we will act in public spaces built structures repairing and maintaining. Cooperation, communication, self-esteem, problem solving, risk evaluation, leadership and decision making are competences that we need in order to work together while building for and with the local community. The working environment is relaxed, in the heart of an artistic city.

Volunteer activities: Learn about and repair traditional lime plasters and paintings; Learn about and experience traditional handmade fired and raw earth brick production, clay preparation and application; Repair traditional terracotta brick structures (removing vegetation, cleaning and applying natural waterproof coatings); Learn about and repair rammed earth structures; Act to preserve raw earth plasters; Cleaning and organizing working areas and tools used during the activities; Take part in social activities in the neighbourhood and prepare public spaces for future interventions.

Language: English

Free time activities: Group games, Opinion round tables, Yoga, Tai-chi, Open Air Cinema, Landscape walks (learning about the Montado landscape and visiting the Ecopista), Ceramics - making your own clay project.

Accommodation: Shared rooms in an old convent

Location: Montemor-o-Novo

Terminal: Montemor-o-Novo

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Protecting and improving biodiversity in Mata de Vilar forest
Lousada, Porto       September 1 - September 12, 2017

Volunteer project: Mata de Vilar is a beautiful and rich forest which covers an area of 14 hectares with a network of hiking trails. It is the Municipality's intention to convert this forest area into a biological park. Volunteers will help make the forest more suitable for environmental education and tourism activities.

The general objectives of this project are: Promotion of sustainability and environmental sensitivity; Development of actions to improve biodiversity; Exchange of experience and good environmental practices; Promotion of the intercultural relationships; Promotion of specific expertise in the field of nature protection and biodiversity.

The volunteers will learn about nature conservation and engage in conservation and training activities in Mata de Vilar. Their specific tasks include:
- Removal and control of invasive alien species
- Building a pond for biodiversity
- Mounting and placement of nest boxes for birds and bats
- Construction of an insect hotel
- Removal of debris
- Improvement of trails and restoration of traditional stone walls
- Preparing pits for trees plantation.

Language: English

Free time activities: Volunteers can visit the Museum of Animation and the Museum of the Romanesque. There will be also birdwatching, trekking, bats observation, environmental movie night, sports.

Accommodation: Participants will sleep in Lousada Sports’ Center, in shared bedrooms (4, 5 or 9 beds)

Location: Lousada, Porto district, in northern Portugal

Terminal: Lisbon or Porto

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Archeological research project in the Douro Valley
Miranda do Douro, Bragança       September 4 - September 15, 2017

Volunteer project: Even though the São João das Arribas Hillfort was declared National Monument in 1910, little is known about its occupation – oral tradition and some superficial findings point to the presence of Iron Age people and the Roman Empire, but they are far from ensuring a scientific take. Thus, for the second time, an archaeological survey will be conducted on site.

Volunteers will perform the following tasks: clearing the excavation area; archaeological survey on the area surrounding the São João das Arribas Hillfort; excavation, earth removal and gathering of archaeological remains; washing of archaeological remains; introduction and raising awareness about the notion of archaeological remains.

Throughout the entire project, informal educational activities will be developed, as well as activities that will bring volunteers and local community together.

Language: English

Free time activities: The group will have a unique chance to get to know the region by visiting the Miranda Donkey Breed Centre in Atenor; visiting the Centro de Interpretação dos Pombais Tradicionais in Uva; hiking and birdwatching; visiting Fraga do Puio and the Terra Mater ecomuseum; visiting Miranda do Douro and its Terra de Miranda Museum, among others.

Accommodation: Volunteers will be split between indoor (bedroom equipped with bunk beds) and outdoor (spacious tents) accommodation.

Location: In the municipality of Miranda do Douro

Terminal: Porto

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Restoration and improvements in a beautiful schist village
Lousã, Coimbra       September 11 - September 22, 2017

Volunteer project: The Aldeias do Xisto are ancient schist villages in the mountain of Serra da Lousã around the town of Lousa. They are called schist villages because this is the stone used in the construction of the houses. The volunteers will help in one of these exciting villages – Talasnal.

The aims of the volunteer project are to improve the conditions for cultural and ethnographic activities in Talasnal village; to ensure the safety of hikers that hike the rails of the Lousã mountain range; to promote intercultural relations between the international volunteers and the local community and to promote the region.

The participants will work 6 hours per day on mountain trails and will help the building of a community oven in the village of Talasnal. The volunteers’ tasks involve:
- Cleaning the Talasnal river and water mill
- Cleaning the mountain trails that connect Lousã to Talasnal
- Building a community oven in the village primary school
- Building wooden furniture (benches and tables) for the school

Language: English

Free time activities: In the free time, the group will have the opportunity to get to know Coimbra and the old University, the river beaches in Lousã and at the evenings participate in some cultural activities with the local community.

Accommodation: The participants will be lodged in a house with good access to the town of Lousã.

Location: Lousã is located 30 km from the city of Coimbra, in the central part of Portugal.

Terminal: Lisbon or Porto

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Promote Fair Trade and organic farming in Amarante
Amarante, Porto       September 19 - September 30, 2017

Volunteer project: This volunteer project in Amarante is intended to raise awareness among the international participants and the local population on organic farms, organic food and fair trade. The volunteers will develop skills related to agriculture work in organic farms and environment preservation.

The volunteers will be helping on organic farms in the region of Amarante. They will be in direct contact with local organic producers and will work with them The volunteers will also get a training on fair trade and sustainable development (e.g. workshop on Fair Trade and healthy food). The group will run different activities and presentations in order to increase the level of commitment at local level (Amarante) for organic and fair trade products.

Language: English

Free time activities: Visits to some of the main cities and spots in the North of Portugal (Guimarães, Porto, Parque Natural do Alvão).

Accommodation: Participants will be accommodated in shared rooms (4 participants each) in the Youth Center of Amarante. Sleeping bag is needed.

Location: Amarante is a small town in the North of Portugal, part of Porto district (60 km far from Porto, to the interior) with 12.000 inhabitants. It is quite a famous city for tourism, culture and wine production. Indeed it is very close (18 km) to the Oporto wine region. It is crossed by Tâmega River (one of the rivers ending at Douro River that crosses Porto till the Atlantic ocean) and is in the valley of one of the most important Portuguese mountains, Marão (1450 m). Amarante is well located (nearby passes highway A4 connecting to Oporto and highway A11 connecting to Guimarães) and has a good public transport system (bus station). The city is 40 min away from the nearest airport (Oporto) by car.

Terminal: Porto

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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