Written by:Peter Carvell
Date posted:May 11, 2007
Posted in:Home / Locations / Brazil / Maceio / Making a difference in Maceio, Brazil

Making a difference in Maceio, Brazil

In June last year, a photographer called Steven Loos attended a 16 week Portuguese course in Maceio.

Although he originally went only to study and improve his language skills, he took part in a couple of volunteer projects, helping in a boy’s orphanage and a girl’s orphanage.

Originally asked by other volunteers to simply go and take some pictures, he had so much fun in the few hours he was with the children that he had to go back! “They’re too fun” he enthusiastically writes…

I took a 16 week study vacation in Maceio, Brazil last year. The most fun I had during this time was working at Lar da Menina (Girl’s Home). Although I hadn’t signed up to do any volunteer work, I was still welcome to go along with the people that did. The age of the 40 or so girls that live there ranges from 5-17 years old. The activities you do there really depend on what you want to do. You can: teach small groups English, play games or simply converse with them, which I found was the most favoured amongst the girls. I strongly recommend working at Lar da Menina for anybody who wishes to improve their Portuguese. With 40 girls asking you non-stop questions, it’s hard not to pick up the language. The hardest thing about working here was saying goodbye.

Steven’s friend, Russ Poore, has also written about his experience in Casa de Semanha, a boy’s orphanage…

Casa de Semanha was a great and valuable experience for me. Up to fifteen hyper charged boys aged 7-11 who love to play physical with the boys and listen to stories read by girls.  Don’t expect a minute to think while you are there while their minds understand broken Portuguese better than a lot of adults.


If you would like to contact Steven about his experience or photographs, please let us know and we will happily put you in touch with him.



  1. Maria

    Oh I so love your pictures!
    Yes , children are the best thing in the world!And volunteering with children is the greatest experience I’ve ever had!I recommend it to everyone.
    Best wishes!

    Posted September 19, 2007 at 10:42 am
  2. Gemma

    That looks like so much fun! What a great thing to do with your time, and what special memories you will have to cherish. I’ve never done this kind of volunteering before but it looks like such a rewarding experience.

    Posted September 21, 2007 at 10:00 am
  3. Sanne

    That is such a wonderful story. It looks like both the children and you had so much fun!

    Posted October 3, 2007 at 9:41 am
  4. Mulato

    Ohhh that looks really interesting…I’ve always wanted to visit Brazil and i think the time has come for me to book a course now.Defenetely need to experience Lar da menina!

    Posted October 16, 2007 at 9:28 am
  5. Karim

    That’s it! I just made my decision! Brazil will be my next destination! Volunteering sounds amazing!!!I can’t wait!
    Karim (Spain)

    Posted November 16, 2007 at 9:47 am
  6. Sofia

    Hey everyone!

    Karim, you’ll see it’s going to be the best experience ever. Brazil are the most friendly people you’ll ever find. Besides that the landscape is stunning!

    Posted November 22, 2007 at 9:48 am
  7. Michelle

    I absolutely agree with Gemma. I think it´s great to spend your free time like this. You´ll learn the language, culture and spending time with the children is rewarding for both you and them!
    The only thing I can think about that would be negative is saying goodbye…
    I might consider doing something similar after graduation.

    Posted November 23, 2007 at 10:12 am

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