Prospects Country by Country Guide - Latin America

Latin America

The continent of South America, together with Central America, offers a wide range and variety of teaching opportunities. The cultural diversity and Latin charm combine to make this region an attractive destination for EFL teachers. On the whole salaries are low but this is compensated for by the low cost of living. Most schools in the region cannot afford to advertise vacancies internationally, so most hiring is done 'on the spot'.

Capital City Buenos Aires
Language Spanish
Currency Peso
Typical TEFL teacher salary 35 pesos per hour
major TEFL location Buenos Aires

Argentina TEFL job prospects

Argentina has always had a substantial English speaking population and as a result EFL jobs were never easy to come by. Recent economic and political problems can only serve to decrease demand for native speakers. Some opportunities may still exist teaching business English on a freelance basis but there are many more promising destinations for the EFL teacher than Argentina.

Capital City La Paz
Language Spanish
Currency Boliviano
Typical TEFL teacher salary $4 per hour
major TEFL location La Paz

Bolivia TEFL job prospects

As with most countries in the region, jobs are quite easy to find but salaries are very low. Most jobs seem to be in La Paz but there are certainly opportunities elsewhere in the country for those prepared to accept a local wage. The cost of living is low which means that despite the low salaries teachers can enjoy a reasonable standard of living.

Capital City Brasilia
Language Portoguese
Currency Real
Typical TEFL teacher salary $1200 per month
major TEFL location Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro +++

Brazil TEFL job prospects

Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world and there are good job prospects in all of the larger cities (as well as some smaller ones). Qualified teachers in Brazil can usually find work easily. Trying to arrange employment from outside Brazil can be considerably more 'hit or miss'. Salaries usually afford teachers a comfortable lifestyle.

Capital City Santiago
Language Spanish
Currency Peso
Typical TEFL teacher salary 500,000 pesos per month
major TEFL location Santiago, Punta Arenas

Chile TEFL job prospects

Chile has one of the stronger economies in Latin America and the growth in demand for the English language has matched the economic growth. There is a booming market for business English and an increasing demand for teachers of children. There are many private language schools, particularly in the capital, and certified EFL teachers should have little problem in finding suitable employment.

Capital City Bogota
Language Spanish
Currency Peso
Typical TEFL teacher salary 16,000 pesos per hour
major TEFL location Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla

Colombia TEFL job prospects

Despite the increasing demand, Colombian language schools find it difficult to attract native speaker teachers due to Colombia's reputation for crime and violence. In reality EFL teachers are unlikely to find themselves victims and for any teacher willing to work for the low salaries on offer the prospects are good.

Capital City Quito
Language Spanish
Currency US Dollar
Typical TEFL teacher salary $8 per hour
major TEFL location Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca

Ecuador TEFL job prospects

Ecuador is one of the most attractive and most stable countries in the region. Salaries are low but so is the cost of living and teachers can afford a reasonably comfortable lifestyle. Jobs are plentiful in the major cities and there is a particular demand for American English. Voluntary work is also possible.

Capital City Mexico City
Language Spanish
Currency Peso
Typical TEFL teacher salary $10 per hour
major TEFL location All large cities

Mexico TEFL job prospects

Due to its close proximity to the USA there is a huge demand for the English language in Mexico. The demand for native speaker teachers is enormous almost everywhere and any qualified EFL teachers should be able to find work in the location of their choice. There is also significant demand for business English in the major cities.

Capital City Lima
Language Spanish
Currency New Sol
Typical TEFL teacher salary $9 per hour
major TEFL location Lima

Peru job prospects

There is an enormous demand for English and native speaker teachers. However, the low salaries, difficulty in obtaining working papers and bad reputation of the country in safety terms generally mean that it is often ignored by English teachers. Yet the range of opportunities in Lima is enormous for those willing to overlook the downside.

Capital City Caracas
Language Spanish
Currency Bolivar Fuerte
Typical TEFL teacher salary $650 per month
major TEFL location Caracas, Merida, Puerto La Cruz

Venezuela TEFL job prospects

The current political and economic situation is rather turbulent and as a result Venezuela (once an appealing TEFL location) is perhaps best avoided. Hopefully this situation will change in the near future.

Countries Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras etc
Language Various
Currency Various
Typical TEFL teacher salary Various
Major TEFL locations Capital cities

Others TEFL job prospects

If you happened to be in the area, it would probably be fairly simple to arrange work in Central America. However, with the exception of Costa Rica salaries are likely to be impossibly low. Very few positions are ever advertised and you would probably need the refer to the yellow pages and present yourself to language schools listed there. Costa Rica is somewhat more promising and there is a reasonably high demand for native speaker teachers at reasonable salary levels.