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Teach English in Latin America: Best Places & Jobs

Teach English in Latin America: Central & South America

There are several reasons why teaching English in Latin America can be a rewarding experience:

  • Opportunity to learn about and experience a new culture: Latin America is home to a rich and diverse cultural heritage, and teaching English in Latin America allows you to immerse yourself in this culture and learn about local traditions and customs.

  • Career development opportunities: Teaching English in Latin America can be a great way to gain international experience and broaden your professional horizons.

  • Personal growth and development: Living and working in a foreign country can be a challenging but ultimately rewarding experience. It can help you become more independent, adaptable, and open-minded.

  • Make a positive impact: As an English teacher, you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of your students by helping them to develop their English skills and expand their horizons.

  • Competitive salary and benefits: Many countries in Latin America offer competitive salaries and benefits to foreign English teachers, including housing and airfare.

  • Exciting travel opportunities: Teaching English in Latin America can provide you with the opportunity to explore and travel to new and exciting destinations.

  • High demand for English teachers: Many countries in Latin America have a high demand for English teachers, particularly in countries where English is not the primary language.

  • Affordable cost of living: Latin America is known for its relatively low cost of living compared to some other regions, which can make it an attractive destination for English teachers.

Reasons why English is Taught in Latin America

There are several reasons why English is taught in Latin America:

  • Economic and business opportunities: English is the dominant language of international business and trade, so learning English can give individuals in Latin America a competitive advantage in the job market and help them access economic and business opportunities.

  • Education: Many Latin American universities and educational institutions require English proficiency for admission or for certain programs.

  • Tourism: Latin America is a popular tourist destination, and many tourists speak English, so being able to speak English can be beneficial for those working in the tourism industry.

  • Cultural exchange: Learning English can also facilitate cultural exchange and communication with people from other countries.

  • Personal and professional development: Learning a second language can also have personal and professional development benefits, such as improving communication skills and cognitive abilities.

The best places to Teach English in Latin America

There are many great places to teach English in Latin America, and the best place for you will depend on your personal preferences and goals. Some popular options include:


Colombia has become a highly sought-after destination for ESL teachers in recent years due to its warm and welcoming people, stunning natural beauty, and rapidly growing economy. The demand for English teachers is high, particularly in major cities like Bogotá, Medellín, and Cartagena. Teachers can find work in language institutes, private schools, and through private tutoring. The cost of living in Colombia is relatively low, and while salaries may not be as high as in other regions, the overall quality of life and cultural experiences more than make up for it.

In Colombia, ESL teachers have the opportunity to experience local customs such as salsa dancing and traditional festivals like Carnival of Barranquilla. Colombia's diverse landscapes, from the Andes mountains to the Amazon rainforest, provide ample opportunities for outdoor adventures and weekend getaways. Moreover, Colombia's rich history and pre-Columbian heritage are on display in sites such as the Lost City and the San Agustín Archaeological Park, offering a unique cultural experience.

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Mexico offers a rich cultural heritage, vibrant cities, and world-famous cuisine that attracts ESL teachers from around the globe. The demand for English teachers is strong, with opportunities in language schools, private and public schools, and universities. Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey are popular destinations for teachers, offering a wide range of job options and cultural experiences. While the cost of living can vary depending on location, it is generally quite affordable, allowing teachers to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.

Living and working in Mexico allows ESL teachers to immerse themselves in the country's ancient history, with visits to world-famous archaeological sites like Chichen Itza and Teotihuacan. Mexico's rich artistic traditions, including muralism and folk art, provide teachers with a vibrant and colourful cultural experience. Furthermore, teachers can engage with Mexico's warm and welcoming people through community events, local markets, and regional celebrations, creating a strong sense of belonging.

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Costa Rica

Costa Rica, known for its lush rainforests, stunning beaches, and commitment to environmental sustainability, is an attractive destination for ESL teachers seeking a tropical paradise. The demand for English teachers is high, particularly in the Central Valley, where cities like San José, Heredia, and Alajuela are located. Teachers can find work in language institutes, private schools, and through private tutoring. The cost of living in Costa Rica is higher than in some other Latin American countries, but the natural beauty and relaxed pace of life make it a popular choice for many teachers.

Costa Rica's abundant and exotic wildlife, including sloths, monkeys, and vibrant bird species, make it a unique destination for ESL teachers with a passion for nature. The country's commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices, such as renewable energy and ecotourism, provides an inspiring environment for those interested in green living. Additionally, the "pura vida" philosophy, which emphasises a relaxed and happy lifestyle, can positively impact teachers' overall well-being and work-life balance.

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Argentina is a diverse and fascinating country that offers a mix of European and Latin American influences. ESL teachers can find work in bustling cities like Buenos Aires, Córdoba, and Mendoza, where there is a strong demand for English instruction in language schools, private institutions, and through private tutoring. Salaries in Argentina can vary, and the cost of living in larger cities can be high, but the rich cultural experiences, delicious cuisine, and passionate people make it a rewarding destination for teaching English.

Argentina offers ESL teachers the chance to delve into the country's passionate tango culture, with lessons and performances available in cities like Buenos Aires and Rosario. The country's gastronomic delights, including world-famous steaks and delicious empanadas, provide a mouthwatering introduction to Argentine cuisine. Furthermore, Argentina's stunning natural wonders, such as Iguazú Falls and the Perito Moreno Glacier, offer breathtaking experiences and opportunities for exploration.

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Brazil, the largest country in South America, is known for its vibrant culture, world-famous festivals, and stunning natural beauty. The demand for English teachers is significant, especially in major cities like São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Brasília. Teachers can find work in language schools, private institutions, and through private tutoring. The cost of living in Brazil can be high, particularly in larger cities, but the colourful culture and opportunity to experience life in this unique country make it an appealing choice for ESL teachers.

Brazil's world-famous festivals, such as Rio Carnival and São Paulo's Virada Cultural, provide ESL teachers with unforgettable experiences and a unique insight into the country's vibrant culture. Music is an integral part of Brazilian life, with genres like samba, bossa nova, and forró offering a soundtrack to daily living. Additionally, Brazil's natural beauty, from the Amazon rainforest to the stunning beaches of Rio de Janeiro, provides ample opportunities for relaxation and adventure during teachers' time off.

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Other options to consider include Chile, Peru, and Uruguay. It's important to do your own research and consider factors such as cost of living, safety, and cultural opportunities when deciding where to teach English in Latin America.

How to Find an English Teaching Job in Latin America

There are several ways to find English teaching jobs in Latin America:

Online job search platforms: There are many websites that list English teaching jobs in Latin America, such as Indeed, LinkedIn, and Teast.

Language schools: Many language schools in Latin America hire English teachers, and they often advertise openings on their own websites or through job search platforms.

Teaching agencies: There are also agencies that specialize in placing English teachers in Latin America. These agencies often provide support with visas, housing, and other logistics.

Networking: Networking and getting in touch with other English teachers or schools directly can also be a good way to find teaching opportunities.

On-site job search: It is also possible to find English teaching jobs by traveling to Latin America and searching for opportunities in person. This can be a good option for those who are flexible and open to exploring different options.

When looking for an English teaching job in Latin America, it's important to do your research and be prepared to meet the requirements of the job, such as having a bachelor's degree and a teaching certification. It can also be helpful to have some familiarity with the culture and language of the country where you will be teaching.