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The picturesque islands of Cape Verde were initially uninhabited until the Portuguese discovered it during the 15th century. Portuguese is still the official language of the tropical African country.
They named the city of Tarrafal after the indigenous plant of the area. This municipality is on the northern part of the island of Santiago. There is a bustling fishing port along the northwestern coast, as the location is perfect for the resupplying of ships.
Work in a local kindergarten or primary school and enhance the lives of the children who need more attention within the busy community. These children sometimes lack parental caretaking due to fathers working abroad, many other siblings in the household, and single, working moms. Sometimes, these children even live with neighbors or grandparents and end up receiving little attention in their daily lives. Volunteers are highly appreciated, and your presence will brighten their day. The aim is not to intervene with the local school system, yet to provide free educational enrichment.
As a volunteer, you will provide help, such as playing games and teaching physical education for health, giving basic introductions to numbers and the alphabet in English, reading popular poems and short stories, and lesson planning for the next school day. Get creative with the kids and help introduce colors, shapes, and other cognitive exercises.
Volunteers will also introduce students to the natural environment and man-made environment, helping them grasp a better understanding of their surroundings. Help the children learn actions and motions in English as you play on the nearby playground.
Important note: This program is closed during Christmas and Easter holidays, but the Construction and Renovation program will be available. During summer break, we will hold a summer camp at a local school instead of the normal program.
Internet: Wi-Fi is available in public areas.
Laundry: There are laundry facilities nearby that volunteers may use for a small fee.
Accommodations: Volunteers will stay in shared, single-gender, dorm-style rooms. Bathrooms are shared and Western-style toilets are available. There will be 4 to 8 volunteers per room, with clean bed linens and fans. There is no air conditioning within the facility and volunteers must bring their own towels with them for showering. Couples must upgrade to a private room for an additional fee.
Food: During the week, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided. Expect the meals to contain a mix of local cuisine and Western food. On weekends, two meals (breakfast and dinner) will be provided. There is plenty of clean drinking water and other beverages available.
During your free time, take the time to explore the local culture and Portuguese influence. Partake in church activities or attend local football games to foster interaction between the locals for entertainment.
Take a day to relax on the beautiful Tarrafel Beach and in the cobalt blue sea. Plan a trip to Praia does Tarrafel with soft sand and beautiful mountain views or relax on a bay with white sand beaches and snacks. Take a tour of the vibrant island of Santiago. If you are looking for a little more adventure, then consider exploring the various outdoor activities, nature hikes and parks.
We highly recommend enhancing your Cape Verde experience by adding our Cape Verde Culture Week (see additional options below). This is a fun week that includes food, accommodation, local tours and Creole language classes.