The volunteer house and office is located very close to the riverfront, in the Passagem neighborhood of Itacaré (Bairro Passagem). The volunteer house is about a 13 minute walk to historic downtown and about a 20 minute walk to the closest ocean beach (Praia da Concha). As it is tucked back a little ways from the center of town, this offers many benefits including a bit more serenity, shade and a cool breeze that comes directly off the riverfront. While the rest of Itacaré is often sweltering hot in the summertime, Passagem and especially our volunteer house usually stays quite cool in comparison to the rest of town.
ETIV provides housing to volunteers at our Volunteer House, which is definitely the most social place to live and the option that most volunteers choose. However, please note that our ETIV office is also located in the volunteer house, so for those who would prefer a clear separation between work and home life, this may not be the best option. The volunteer house is quite large with 7 bedrooms, 2 shared bathrooms, a large kitchen and living room area and 3 balconies with beautiful views of the river, the garden and the neighborhood.
We have several hammocks around the volunteer house where volunteers can lounge, and we have a fantastic garden that is filled with fruit trees including 3 big coconut trees, a mango, lime and cacao tree and several flowers and plants that attract many caterpillars, butterflies, reptiles & birds including at least 2 different species of hummingbirds. The riverfront is less than 100 feet from our house (even closer during high tide!) and has a beach with many fishing boats on it and nice views of the beautiful peninsula that separates the river from the ocean.
The volunteer house does have a washing machine, although we do ask for a R$20 contribution for each wash, as washing machines are considered quite a luxury here in Bahia and our washing machine is very large and uses a great deal of water and electricity. However, volunteers also have the option of bringing their wash into town, where it will be washed and dried for about $R60 for the same sized load. We also have a small dog and a cat that lives in the volunteer house, so anyone with allergies or a dislike of animals should choose one of our other housing options.
Please keep in mind that we are on the edge of the Atlantic rainforest and we often encounter bugs including ants and even cockroaches, especially when volunteers start to get messy and leave more food and crumbs around the house. Finally, here in Bahia we sometimes have power cuts and water shortages, while we often have problems with the internet either cutting out or working too slowly to get work done efficiently.
Passagem is one of the poorer neighborhoods in Itacaré, making it ideal for meaningful community development work. However, volunteers must take sensible precautions, such as not walking alone at night and not displaying valuable merchandise or large sums of money. We recommend that volunteers staying longer than one month consider buying a cheap used bicycle, as this makes getting around Itacaré and to all of the beaches fast and easy.