Volunteering Cape Verde! Go Volunteer Africa, the leading and largest volunteer travel organization welcomes you to Cape Verde (Cabo Verde). Cape Verde is a set of stunning and 10 unique islands of the West coast of Africa.
VOLUNTEERING CAPE VERDE PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
- Coach sports and games
- Take up a medical care job
- Work with our arts and music project
- Teach Portuguese, English and other languages
- Help support economic empowerment program
- Make a real difference, this island country is poor
- Help support skills development project for youth & women
- Get involved in our wildlife & environment conservation project
Cape Verde is made up of 10 islands and is located in the Atlantic Ocean off the West Coast of Africa. Not many people can point the country out on a map but it’s very easy to get to and there are pristine beaches which will leave a lasting impression. Plan a dream volunteering holiday to Cape Verde with Go Volunteer Africa.
Go Volunteer Africa offers meaningful and extremely affordable volunteer opportunities in Cape Verde from teaching, turtle conservation, sports development and medical work. Become completely immersed with the local culture and engage with the local community on this beautiful island.
Go Volunteer Africa works in partnership with local partners in protecting and conserving nesting loggerheads turtles and you apply to volunteer with us and help protect these stunning creatures from poachers. Cape Verde is the third most important nesting area for loggerheads in the world and these creatures are facing so many problems especially from hunters who try to steal their eggs.
CAPE VERDE FAST FACTS
Cape Verde or Cabo Verde, officially the Republic of Cabo Verde, is an archipelago and island country in the central Atlantic Ocean, consisting of ten volcanic islands with a combined land area of about 4,033 square kilometers (1,557 sq mi). These islands lie between 600 to 850 kilometers (320 to 460 nautical miles) west of Cap-Vert, the westernmost point of continental Africa.
The Cape Verde archipelago was uninhabited until the 15th century, when Portuguese explorers discovered and colonized the islands, thus establishing the first European settlement in the tropics. Because the Cape Verde islands were located in a convenient location to play a role in the Atlantic slave trade, Cape Verde became economically prosperous during the 16th and 17th centuries, attracting merchants, privateers, and pirates.
Since the early 1990s, Cape Verde has been a stable representative democracy, and has remained one of the most developed and democratic countries in Africa. Lacking natural resources, its developing economy is mostly service-oriented, with a growing focus on tourism and foreign investment.
Its population of around 483,628 (as of the 2021 Census) is mostly of mixed African and European heritage, and predominantly Roman Catholic, reflecting the legacy of Portuguese rule. A sizeable Cape Verdean diaspora community exists across the world, especially in the United States and Portugal, considerably outnumbering the inhabitants on the islands. Cape Verde is a member state of the African Union.
Cape Verde’s official language is Portuguese. It is the language of instruction and government. It is also used in newspapers, television, and radio. The recognized national language is Cape Verdean Creole, which is spoken by the vast majority of the population.
- CAPITAL: Praia
- DAILING CODE: +238
- COUNTRY SIZE: 4,033 sq km
- LANGUAGE: Portuguese, Kriolu
- POPULATION: 483,628 (approx)
- MONEY: Cape Verdean escudo (CVE)
- OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Cabo Verde
PEOPLE & CULTURE
The islands are named for the Cap Vert peninsula in West Africa, the nearest land formation. Cape Verdeans identify strongly with the culture of their individual islands. Cape Verdean culture is a unique mixture of European and African elements. National identity is rather fragmented, mainly as a result of the geographical division of the islands. The northern, or barlavento islands, tend to identify more with the Portuguese colonizers, whereas the southern, or sotavento islands (Santiago in particular) have a closer cultural affinity with Africa. Cape Verdeans have a strong sense of pride in the specific culture of their own island.
GEOGRAPHY & NATURE
Cape Verde is a group of arid Atlantic islands which are home to distinct communities of plants, birds, and reptiles. The islands constitute the unique Cape Verde Islands dry forests ecoregion, according to the World Wildlife Fund. The Cape Verde Islands are located in the mid-Atlantic Ocean some 450 km (280 mi) off the west coast of the continent of Africa. The landscape varies from dry plains to high active volcanoes with cliffs rising steeply from the ocean. The climate is arid. The total size is 4,033 km2 (1,557 sq mi).
The archipelago consists of ten islands and five islets, divided into the windward (Barlavento) and leeward (Sotavento) groups. The six islands in the Barlavento group are Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau, Sal, and Boa Vista. The islands in the Sotavento group are Maio, Santiago, Fogo, and Brava. All but Santa Luzia are inhabited.
Three islands – Sal, Boa Vista, and Maio – generally are level and lack natural water supplies. Mountains higher than 1,280 metres (4,199 ft) are found on Santiago, Fogo, Santo Antão, and São Nicolau. Sand carried by strong winds has caused erosion on all islands, especially the windward ones. Sheer, jagged cliffs rise from the sea on several of the mountainous islands. The lack of natural vegetation in the uplands and coast also contributes to soil erosion. The interior valleys support denser natural vegetation.
Why Volunteer in Cape Verde?
Cape Verde is mired in absolute poverty, with 30% of its citizens below the poverty line. The World Bank estimates that 14% of the population is living in extreme poverty. With a crisis of this magnitude, the government of Cape Verde is dependent on the receipt of international aid to maintain relative stability.
Poverty in Cape Verde is precipitated by a number of factors, but the main inhibitors of economic growth are a gross lack of a natural resources and a limited economic base. Due to repeated droughts, Cape Verde is beleaguered by water shortages and poor soil. Due to a lack of domestic agriculture, over 82% of the country’s food supply is imported. The nation’s narrow economic base stems from over dependence on tourism as the sole source of economic revenue.
Go Volunteer Africa has opened up a working relationship with a number local community organizations in Cape Verde on various islands to provide the much needed skills, knowledge and financial support to alleviate the poor conditions there. Go Volunteer Africa focuses on programs in the areas of education, healthcare, Arts, Music and sports development for the young people.
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES IN CAPE VERDE
You can join our volunteering Cape Verde team contributing to a more positive future, take the opportunity to experience this stunning country and make a genuine contribution to wildlife and the people in need. You will get to work in a spectacular setting, with some of the best white sandy beaches in the world. You will work in teams with people from all around the world, all Nationalities are eligible to apply. We highly recommend you learn basic Portuguese phrases too so you can communicate with local people and enjoy.
Volunteering Cape – Turtle Conservation Project: The main turtle nesting season runs from June to November and you can apply to join a Go Volunteer Africa Turtle Conservation Project. Volunteer roles and duties will include beach patrols, looking out for poachers, locating nesting turtles and eggs, tagging selected animals, cleaning up rubbish, educating local people and school children, taking part in community events, monitoring and researching marine life and putting together sustainable plans for future programs.
Volunteering Cape Verde – Medical & Healthcare Project: Volunteers with a background in medical care are in great demand in Cape Verde. Volunteers will help assist doctors with several health-related activities, opportunities are available all year around.
Volunteering Cape Verde – Teaching & Education Project: Go Volunteer Africa is supporting educational programs and schools that are proving education to hundreds of children from poor communities in Cape Verde. Volunteers can teach English, French and health lessons to children. The schools provide not only needed education but opportunities for sports activities, health talks and meeting places for the communities. Teaching experience is not required.
Volunteering Cape Verde – Community Outreach Project: You will have the opportunity to try different roles and projects, dependent on your interests and skills. These volunteer opportunities in Cape Verde do not require specialized skills (although these would be an advantage), and we accept volunteers for both short and long-term placements, all the year round.
PROJECT LOCATION & SAFETY
Volunteer work in Cape Verde is based in the communities of Tarrafal, a city in the northern part of the island of Santiago and Santa Maria a town on the southern tip of Sal Island.
Tarrafal is a fishing port situated on the northwestern coast. It constitutes the seat of the Tarrafal Municipality. The city is situated by the Baía de Tarrafal, at the foot of 643 m high Monte Graciosa. Tarrafal is at the northern end of two main roads to Praia in the south, one leading through Assomada and São Domingos (EN1-ST01), the other along the east coast through Calheta de São Miguel and Pedra Badejo (EN1-ST02).
Santa Maria is known for its long, wide beaches backed by resorts. The town is dotted with pastel-colored buildings, al fresco restaurants and live-music bars. The old harbor’s Weigh House recalls Sal’s salt-trading history. The area’s clear waters are home to rays and sea turtles. Nearby, exposed Kite Beach is a popular kitesurfing destination.
Cape Verde is a relatively safe place to visit as the country has remained a relatively peaceful and safe place with an almost non-existent incidence of crime. Theft is one of the minor crimes that has increased, but that seems only due to the increase in tourism to the country lately.
ARRIVAL & AIRPORT PICKUP
After you have applied, booked and confirmed your placement, please book your flights to arrive at Amilcar Cabral International Airport (also known as Sal International Airport) in Espargos on Sal Island. This is the main gateway to Cape Verde and the busiest airport in the archipelago. In addition to a number of domestic connections to other islands, the airport welcomes flights from a number of major European and North American cities.
You can also book connecting flights to Praia International Airport on the island of Santiago. The one terminal facility has direct flights and connections regularly to a variety of destinations, but mainly to the other Cape Verde islands. The airport acts as a major departure hub for Africa, notably to Senegal and Angola.
Due to the remote location of Cape Verde you will need to book flights in advance to get the best deals, there are special offers on throughout the year so keep an eye out for this. Most international flights arrive into Sal and Santiago and from these places you can easily travel to destinations around the country by boat services.
Orientation and Placement will be done the next day. Generally, your volunteer orientation is an overview of the project’s mission, expectations and introduction to the local community and project site. Following your arrival in Cape Verde you will be given a presentation by the co-coordinating project team to prepare you for the work you will be doing.
Cape Verde was colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century. You can expect local people to be very friendly especially if you learn some basic Portuguese phrases. Top Reasons to visit Cape Verde include: Warm climate, Beautiful beaches, Exotic wildlife and Incredible resorts
GROUP VOLUNTEER TRIPS
Get some friends together or organize a group from your school and embark on this incredible adventure! Discounts are offered on any group of 5+ participants on Cape Verde volunteering program.
LONGTERM VOLUNTEER WORK
Please contact us for more information about our long-term volunteer work in Cape Verde. We will guide you on the best times of the year, what to pack, and what extra health precautions to keep in mind and all logistics.
Volunteers are provided accommodation in guest houses managed by the local coordinating teams. Three meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) are provided to the participants from Monday – Sunday. The accommodations are neat and clean. Accommodation is shared amongst volunteers on the ‘same gender sharing’ basis rooms. Wifi internet, warm water is not guaranteed.
The facilities are close to useful amenities like banks, ATM’s, currency exchanges, restaurants, cafes and shopping places. All placements are around 10 – 30 minutes from the accommodation. At some point volunteers might be on the move and hence we suggest also bringing a sleeping mat and sleeping bag/pillow for travel and weekends away on adventures. Bathrooms are usually shared. There is a lounge area for relaxing, reading, or watching movies.
Our program is for anyone eighteen years and above who loves service above self and social experiences with people from all over the world. We also accepts volunteers of 16+ years of age if they are in a group with a guardian or supervisor above 25years. Volunteers under 16 years old are only considered when accompanied by a parent/guardian. There isn’t a maximum age limit, though a reasonable fitness level is necessary. Families are encouraged to apply and are welcome!
Visitors to Cape Verde must obtain a visa to enter, unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries, which are mostly in Africa, Europe and the Americas. Visas may be obtained in advance from a Cape Verde embassy or consulate, or in person upon arrival at any of the international airports. Citizens of countries and territories that can visit Cape Verde without a visa must register online, preferably five days prior to arrival and also pay the airport security fee either online or on arrival.
INSURANCE & HEALTH
You’ll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the program. You won’t be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you’re covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave your home to the day you return.
Volunteers in Cape Verde should be sure to receive the proper vaccinations, which include: hepatitis A and B, typhoid, yellow fever, and rabies. Bringing a mosquito net to sleep under is also encouraged. Please Note: Many of the health risks experienced by travelers cannot be prevented by vaccines and other measures need to be taken.
WEEKENDS AND FREE-TIME
Over the weekends or evenings, participants are free to eat out and explore the different delights that Cape Verde has to offer. No matter what your interests, there is always something for everyone to enjoy!
HOW TO APPLY
To start the process fill Volunteer application form and submit it for consideration and book your placement. For more information on how to get enrolled for the volunteering experience of a lifetime contact us. Or Give us a call | WhatsApp | Telegram | Viber | Imo at +254-796-786292 to talk to a Program Specialist.