Professional Brits volunteering abroad during their gap year are most likely to go to Brazil, according to research by Projects Abroad.
The volunteering and travel organisation revealed that the South American country is the most popular destination for older backpackers or travelers on a career break - despite beating the UK in the financial stakes recently by being named the 6th biggest economy in the world.
Dr Slowe, managing director of Projects Abroad and a former economic policy advisor to Tony Blair, suggested that this rapid economic growth is threatening Brazil’s natural habitat, which in turn draws British volunteers to the country.
He said: “The cost of exploiting this mineral wealth is the loss of the habitat and the traditions of indigenous tribes who have lived the same way since the Stone Age. Many of our professional volunteers specifically devote their attention to managing Brazil’s development ecologically.”
In many areas Brazil is still an emerging nation and the majority of the population has a standard of living way behind what is enjoyed in Britain. Brazil struggled to develop under a variety of dictatorships throughout most of the last century and only became a truly democratic state in the mid-eighties – meaning that there is still plenty of volunteer opportunities in the country for travelers to get involved in.
It was also suggested that Brazil was a popular destination because of its current political situation. Dr Slowe commented: “Brazil is politically stable and unlikely to undergo prolonged civil unrest which is likely to occur at some time in China.”
Emerging countries have always been popular amongst British professionals volunteering abroad because their skills can prove invaluable in the development of local economies but they also have the opportunity to learn from a rapidly changing environment.
Other destinations to make Project Abroad’s ‘top five’ included the U.S., China, Japan, Germany and France.
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