Central America’s infamous Mayan pyramids, wonderful nature, and temples are just a few reasons why it is a great place to travel. If you are a passionate ESL teacher considering teaching abroad, why not consider teaching English in Central America?
Some of the countries in Central America are Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Belize, El Salvador, and Guatemala. If you teach English in Central America, you will be able to easily travel to neighbouring countries as well as places in South America like Brazil and Colombia.
What else is waiting for you in Central America? Jungles, ocean, welcoming local people, and the demand for ESL teachers! Continue reading to learn about the job opportunities in Central America for teaching English.
Teaching English in Central America
In total, there are seven countries in Central America. All of the countries are amazing on their own. However, this article will focus on the ones that are the most popular destinations for English teachers. The most spoken language in these countries is Spanish. Teaching English in Central America is a great chance to learn Spanish, which is one of the best languages to learn.
Teaching ESL in Costa Rica
Central America doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to safety. However, Costa Rica is a safe country to travel to. Perhaps, it is the safest place in Central America for travelers. In addition to the safety, it is a beautiful country to visit. Incredible national parks, astonishing scenery, adventurous places, and a relaxed lifestyle are a few reasons that make Costa Rica special.
Teaching English in Panama
With its endless beaches and fantastic rainforests, Panama is one of the best tropical countries in the world. Along with booming tourism, many other industries are starting to strive in Panama. This means the demand for English teachers is also increasing. Most of the industrial and business jobs are centralized in the major cities. Therefore, it is a good idea to teach English in Panama City.
The average monthly salary for ESL teachers in Panama is approximately between 900 to 1,500 USD. If you have decent start-up cash, your monthly salary will be enough to cover the basic costs of living.
Teaching English in Guatemala
Guatemala is one of the countries that highly rely on volunteer teachers. The unequal distribution of education services is creating learning barriers for children in underprivileged areas of the country. Therefore, if you are a passionate teacher who wants to give back to the community, it is a good place to volunteer as an ESL teacher.
Although volunteering jobs won’t provide a salary, the cost of living in Guatemala is quite low. Furthermore, you won’t necessarily need a TEFL certificate for teaching English in Guatemala. However, you will need some experience in dealing with children of proof of prior teaching experience.
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Teaching English in Honduras
Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Central America. However, there are growing job opportunities for paid teachers. You can search for ESL teaching positions from April to August. Generally, the contract will be between 6 to 12 months. Furthermore, in most cases, schools will hire teachers who are already in the country. However, it is possible to have an interview via Skype or another type of video communication.
The average salary for ESL teachers in Honduras is between 500 – 800 USD per month. It certainly isn’t much and you won’t be able to save a chunk of cash. Fortunately, the cost of living in Honduras is quite low. Therefore, you will be able to cover the expenses for necessities.
Teaching English in Belize
Teachers in Belize have access to the world’s best dive sites at the Great Blue Hole. In addition to this, Belize is full of adventurous places like jungles, rainforests, and waterfalls. Interestingly, the main language in Belize is English. However, for most people, the primary language in Belize is Spanish or Creole. So, there is a great demand for ESL teachers.
The downside is that Belize isn’t the best country to work and save money. The minimum wage in Belize is 1.65 USD. The average salary of an ESL teacher is approximately around 500 – 800 USD per month.
Requirements for Teaching English in Central America
The specific requirements differ depending on the job type. Generally speaking, most of the ESL teaching jobs in Central America will only require a TEFL certificate from native English speakers. However, if you are looking for a job at an international school, you will also need a bachelor’s degree. These types of schools might also require a longer work term. If you are planning to stay for a shorter time, international schools might not be the best option.
English Teaching Jobs in Central America
The following two aren’t the only teaching options in Central America. You can choose to find a job through TEFL programs. However, in this article, we will focus on volunteering teaching and international schools.
English subject is a required course in many schools across Central America. However, education isn’t given equally in all areas. Thus, there is high demand for teachers willing to volunteer at the underfunded schools.
By volunteering as an English teacher in Central America, you are providing the chance for the younger generation to find a better job. Furthermore, volunteering is a great way to build your ESL teaching experience.
You can easily find international schools or foreign schools in the major cities of Central American countries. These schools generally look for teachers who are willing to stay for a longer period as opposed to volunteering jobs.
International schools tend to look for teachers who have a bachelor’s degree (or higher) and teaching experience. In addition, these schools might also require a TEFL certificate (or equivalent).
Salary for ESL Jobs in Central America
The average salary of ESL teachers in Central America is around 250 – 1,400 USD per month. It might not seem like a lot, but it is enough to cover the cost of living. Foods and necessities are comparably cheap in most Central American countries.
Of course, you won’t receive regular pay for volunteering. However, there are many volunteer programs that provide a benefits package of housing, some coverage of food, and an initial starting stipend. So, it is possible to save money while teaching as an ESL teacher in Central America.
Things to Consider When Teaching in Central America
It isn’t easy for foreigners to obtain a work visa in countries in Central America without the help of an employer. However, because ESL teachers working abroad do not stay for a long period. Therefore, it is hard for teachers will have some difficulty if they wish to get a working visa. You will have less of a problem if you get a volunteering English teaching job.
FAQ About Teaching English in Central America
Here is a quick guide to some commonly asked questions about being an English teacher in Central America.
How much do teachers make in Guatemala?
On average, ESL teachers in Guatemala make 500 – 600 USD per month. In order to become an English teacher in Guatemala, you will need a TEFL certificate. Even if it is not required, it can be useful when looking for a teaching job.
How much do teachers make in Latin America?
The average monthly salary in Latin America for English teachers is 650 -850 USD. However, the specific numbers can vary depending on the city and type of institution.
Can I teach English in Central America?
If you have a TEFL certificate, that is pretty much all you need in order to teach abroad in Central America. However, some schools will require teachers to have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Do I need a visa to teach in Costa Rica?
Most English teachers in Costa Rica work with a tourist visa. It is illegal in other countries, but technically it is legally alright to work with a tourist visa in Costa Rica. A valid passport will be enough to find a job.
Should I Teach English in Central America?
Deciding whether to teach English in Central America is a personal choice that depends on various factors. Here are some points to consider:
- Demand for English Teachers: English language learning is becoming increasingly important in Central America, with a growing demand for English teachers in schools, language institutes, and private tutoring. However, the demand may vary across countries and regions within Central America.
- Qualifications and Experience: Evaluate your qualifications and experience as an English teacher. Some institutions may require specific certifications, such as a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification. Determine how your qualifications align with the requirements of potential employers in Central America.
- Cultural Experience: Teaching in Central America provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich and diverse cultures of the region. You can learn about the local customs, traditions, and way of life, as well as gain insights into the history and unique characteristics of each country.
- Language Environment: English is not widely spoken as a first language in Central America, with Spanish being the predominant language. While English learning is growing, be prepared to work with students who may have varying levels of English proficiency.
- Cost of Living: Consider the cost of living in the specific country or cities within Central America where you plan to teach. Research the average cost of accommodation, transportation, food, and other daily expenses to ensure that it aligns with your budget and expectations.
- Safety and Security: Research the safety situation in the specific country or cities where you plan to teach. Stay informed about travel advisories and safety precautions recommended for foreigners. Understand the local laws and regulations and adhere to them to ensure your safety and well-being.
- Work Permits and Legal Requirements: Ensure that you understand the legal requirements for teaching English in Central America, including work permits and visa regulations. Familiarize yourself with the necessary documentation and procedures to work legally in the country of your choice.
- Job Opportunities and Salary: Research the job market and job opportunities for English teachers in Central America. Explore the availability of teaching positions, the requirements, and the salary levels. Keep in mind that salaries for teaching positions in Central America may vary and may not be as high as in other regions.
- Networking and Professional Development: Consider the opportunities for networking and professional development in Central America. Engage with local teachers’ associations, attend workshops or conferences, and connect with other English teachers to enhance your teaching skills and expand your professional network.
- Travel and Exploration: Central America is known for its natural beauty, historical sites, and diverse landscapes. If you have a passion for travel and exploring new places, teaching in Central America can offer you the opportunity to experience different countries and their attractions.
- Personal Preferences: Consider your personal preferences and comfort level with living in a different cultural and linguistic environment. Reflect on your adaptability, openness to new experiences, and ability to handle potential challenges that may arise.
Teach English in Central America: Join the Conversation
What are your thoughts on teaching English in Central America? Is it the right place for you, or are you looking for another destination? If that’s the case, consider teaching English in South America, countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
Last update on 2022-07-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API