TEFL Program Worldwide

CELTA and TEFL Teaching Job Market in Latin America

Our graduates have taught in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela.

There are always plenty of jobs in Mexico, where the Ministry of Education recognizes the RSA/Cambridge CELTA. Most jobs are in language schools, in just about every town in the country. Teachers with the CELTA can also obtain teaching positions with independent universities. Many jobs can be arranged in advance, and most provide housing. However, only a few pay airfare, and significant savings are definitely not possible.

There are lots of jobs in Central America, but most offer very poor working conditions and do not pay airfare. Costa Rica is perhaps the best country, in terms of working and living conditions for EFL teachers.

TEFL Job Tip: Latin America

A lot of TEFL jobs in Latin America offer really bad working conditions. Unless you are very tough and adventurous, only go to a school which is part of a reputable organization or which you know other teachers have recently found to be acceptable.

All other Latin American countries (except Uruguay) have lots of TEFL jobs, although conditions vary enormously from country to country, and school to school. Most jobs can be arranged in advance, but teachers usually pay their own airfare. Salaries allow a comfortable lifestyle but rarely allow significant savings. Remember that schools in South America will usually be closed (for their summer) in December and January.

At present, most teachers probably go to Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, Chile and (if they are not concerned with improving their Spanish) Brazil.

"Buenos Aires is big, louder than anywhere I've ever been, polluted, and quite crowded. People are quite awed by meeting Americans, which is quite an advantage for meeting people. It's a great place to be if you like big cities. I have a decent lifestyle: I live in a beautiful house in a tranquil area, I've made a few good friends, I really like my students and teaching, and I'm learning Spanish. My concepts about teaching have changed, but my core ideas have remained constant. These include much of what I learned in the EI course: student-centered learning, eliciting, and lesson planning."

Danny Krieger, Argentina

"I am now working in Quito, for Lingua Franca (where Jordan Leaver, another EI grad, works). It's been fun so far, although I am definitely already a little rusty! Ecuador is a great country. Very cheap. Incredible natural beauty and a lot of indigenous people. I went on a trip into some remote villages in the Andes last week and hiked into a volcanic crater."

Caroline Curran, Ecuador

"Here I am in Cuenca. I really love it. The city is small, surrounded by the Andes, and split by a river. The weather is temperate: we get all four seasons in one day. The people are friendly and warm, and patient with Americans. This school is an ideal pla ce for a first time teaching job. The school encourages creativity, and it has been super helpful having had the course. It's not a place for those looking to build their bank accounts or climb out of debts, but it is for those wanting to practice Spanish, and live and eat without expense in a South American country."

Melanie Pappadis, Ecuador

"I'm in the third month of my contract here in Taegu, and things are going well. The first two months were crazy, but things have settled. Thanks for giving me the preparation to survive it all. I promise to write a full description of life here. But, overall, it's exactly as advertised, and if you can place any teachers here, you should. Right now there are spots for September."

Bud Theisen, Korea

"I really feel I lucked out in coming here. The school is in a beautiful neighborhood. San Luis is far more modern (though it has a historic center) and far more prosperous than I would have guessed. Also cooler, though it gets very hot during the day. The advantage of working here is that the school is new and constantly growing, so you get a chance to do just about everything: teach all levels, try any new ideas you have, even wash dishes when it's your turn! The main disadvantage is that the money is adequate, but you're not going to save any. If you can live with that, San Luis is a good place to gain experience and enjoy Mexico. We are short of teachers, so please let your graduates know about us"

Jim Douglas, Mexico

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