Embarking on your teaching journey in Latin America doesn’t only have to be about pursuing your career goals. It’s also an opportunity to immerse yourself in new cultures and maybe even learn a language along the way if you haven’t already started studying. 

Before your adventure can begin though, you’ll need to undertake some necessary steps, not including narrowing down where to explore first, so let’s break those down. 

Get TEFL Qualified 

Latin America generally has a relaxed approach to qualification requirements, with the bare minimum to land an English teaching job being a TEFL qualification. The industry standard for this is 120 hours and you can undertake a course either in person if you have a training center nearby or online. 

Not only is the course flexible and self-paced but you’ll also get the opportunity to study under the guidance of experienced tutors who themselves are seasoned ESL teachers. Throughout your studies, you’ll cover a range of modules that will teach you about teaching methodologies and grammar.

Don’t worry if you’re new to teaching – you’ll get to observe fellow teachers to pick up some tips so that you’re more than ready when it comes to your first day on the job. And if in doubt, there are always advanced courses you could choose to take to specialize further. 

Landing A Job

If you want to teach English in Latin America, then you’ll need to know where to look to find a job. There are plenty of opportunities both in Central and South America, though positions can vary. As a rule of thumb, cities are the places to go if you want to explore your options. 

Public school positions are typically filled through volunteering programs, so this is a great choice for those who want to ease into teaching or simply dip their toe in the field to understand if it’s right for them. 

Private language schools, meanwhile, are usually in big cities and will consider applications from teachers new to the industry but may give preference to native speakers. Expectations get even higher if you’d like a spot in an International School, as many will want applicants to also have relevant higher education qualifications. 

What Are Your Options? 

Latin America

There are 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, which means you have the tough job of choosing just one to begin with. With that in mind, these are a few possible options to get you started, along with some extra ones suggested by dreamandtravel.com


Its cultural heritage and biodiversity are but a few of the pulls to put Peru at the top of your list. Not only does it boast mountains, jungles, and the sea, but you can walk back through time by taking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. You’ll need to set aside 4-5 days to complete the 42km trek, or you can take the train from Ollantaytambo and be there in around 2 hours. 

If you’re a bigger fan of local art than potentially rainy outdoor adventures, then head to the coastal capital city of Lima. Check out the Barranco neighborhood for boutique shops and art galleries, where you’ll have ample choice of exhibitions to visit. 

Post-sightseeing, the more adventurous traveler could then opt to try their hand at sandboarding in the Inca desert. Only a 4-hour drive from Lima by car or bus, you’ll be met with year-round sun.  


Rich in both culture and nature, Guatemala is known for the hospitality of the locals as well as the countless microclimates across the country. Dress for warm and humid weather, preferably breathable material, and pack a jumper for cooler days. 

Bear in mind that it’s better to cover up out of respect as people tend to be religious. This is especially the case if you visit churches or sacred Mayan ritual sites, and you should cover your arms and shoulders. 

Beyond discovering the wonders of Guatemala’s archaeological sites, you can spend your time off work paragliding over Lago de Atitlán, experiencing a cacao ceremony in San Marcos La Laguna, or simply shopping in the Chichicastenango market. 


From rainforests to metropolises, it is hard to run out of things to do in Brazil. But first and foremost, on your job hunt look to its biggest cities, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Remember, you’ll also need to dust off your Portuguese, as it’s the official language.

In your downtime, you can hit up popular tourist spots and visit the 710-meter-high Christ the Redeemer statue and then finish your day with a trip to a Cachaça distillery. This popular spirit is also called “pinga” and is made from fermented sugarcane.  

For art lovers, check out the street art in São Paulo and then explore the underground bar scene in the evening. Praia do Rosa, meanwhile, is the perfect surf spot for an active day outdoors or something more relaxing like whale watching. 


In the huge country that is Argentina, you’ll find the perfect mix of lively cities, wilderness, and culture. For a big city experience, head to the capital, Buenos Aires, where you’ll have your pick of eateries from steakhouses to international cuisine. 

Don’t get too swept up in the city life, though, and make time to venture out to the Mendoza province to get your fill of Argentine wine on a guided winery tour when you’re not busy lesson planning. Argentina is the world’s 5th biggest wine producer and produces reds, whites, and rosés, so there should be something for everyone. 

In the southwest of the country, adventure seekers can hike or climb in Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. The best time of the year for these kinds of excursions is from December to February when the weather is more likely to hold so expect crowds.

So, What Next? 

Once you’re qualified, Latin America is very much your oyster where you can teach English and eat ceviche until your heart is content. All that’s left for you to decide is the where, the when, and how much time you need to explore everything you want to see. 

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Barsha Bhattacharya

Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.

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