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aerial view of venezuela

For those who live in North America, visiting the beautiful and culturally rich South America is often reserved for short-term vacations or nomadic exploration. But what if you could take a career you’re already passionate about and live your dream on one of the world’s most exquisite and interesting continents? Well, the truth is, you can. You just have to know exactly where to go and what each country has to offer educators who wish to take their skillset south of the border.

The upsides involved in choosing South America to teach abroad are plenty. Getting to live and explore while you fulfill your dreams of educating the leaders of tomorrow is just one great thing about choosing the continent to call your next home. Demand for teachers is high in South America, making it much easier to land a job you truly want in a place that feels like heaven.

We have already brought you one piece dedicated to teaching abroad in South America. However, fitting all the good places in one piece was impossible, so here is part two.

So, what are some more of the best countries to live in Central and South America and teach abroad?

  • Belize
  • Curacao
  • Ecuador
  • Panama
  • Venezuela

We get to the bottom of what makes each country great for prospective teachers looking to expand their skillset while growing their cultural prowess.

Live and Teach in Belize

aerial view of the coastline of caye caulker in belize
Caye Caulker, Belize

Belize is a small oasis located off the waters of the Caribbean. It has a little bit of everything, from tropical jungles for the outdoorsy types and ancient Mayan ruins for those who can’t get enough of almost-forgotten historical relics.

English is the official language of Belize, making it one of the most effortless transitions for teachers looking to share their skills with students in the country. Between classes, you can explore the country’s best landmarks or lay back and relax on one of the many beautiful sandy beaches. There’s so much to explore in such a little place, and the near-perfect year-round weather doesn’t hurt.

Regarding affordability, teaching in Belize doesn’t offer the big bucks. The average educator’s salary sits at only $500-$800/month. The compensation, however low, is offset by the level of affordability Belize has to offer. You won’t make much, but you won’t need to spend much, either. It’s a win-win.

The only thing you’ll have to consider as a possible no-go is the crime level in Belize. While it’s not the most dangerous place in the world, it does have a lot of crime to contend with in specific areas, including the south side of Belize City and regions along the border. If you can get past that, Belize may be the place for you.  

Live and Teach in Curaçao

aerial view of willemstad, curacao
Willemstad, Curaçao

Curaçao is a Dutch Caribbean island located near South America off the coast of Venezuela, but not considered to be part of it.

The island, heavily influenced by Dutch culture, has grown to be a multicultural hub with people from all over the world settling down to enjoy the leisurely way of life offered. From sprawling beaches to historical architecture, Curaçao has it all. It’s also great for native English speakers because many on the island are fluent.  

When it comes to teaching in Curaçao, you’ll have to match the already-existent passion for learning that homegrown educators in the country have adopted. Teachers in the country are positive toward learning, and students are instilled with that mentality throughout their educational careers.

Like other South American countries, the pay is lower than you could find elsewhere in the world. But it is offset with some of the best paradise-like experiences you can have when you’re off the clock. If you’ve ever dreamed of waking up before class to surf or spending your afternoons grading papers while the ocean roars in front of you, Curaçao may be the place for you. It is also one of the safest countries on the continent, providing peace of mind if you decide to call Curaçao your home away from home

Live and Teach in Ecuador

Cuenca, Ecuador

Ecuador is another South American country that offers beauty and serenity. The lifestyle in Ecuador is bustling, with a wide array of fun activities to partake in, such as gyms, bars, cafes, museums, and churches. People who want to explore the natural elegance of Ecuador can get lost in their many outdoor pastimes, including hiking, biking, or simply walking around and taking it all in.

Affordability can be a bit of an issue in Ecuador, as teachers aren’t paid as much as elsewhere in the world (especially in the United States). Because of that, you can expect to live a simple life without the lavish luxuries thrown at you in Western countries.  If you want to improve your language skills while you teach others English, living in Ecuador is a great place to get acquainted with the most commonly spoken romance language, Spanish.

Like other areas in South America, Ecuador has a bit of crime. Still, it’s not so high that you should constantly worry about your safety. Dangers typically follow tourists, so as a resident, you may be able to skip the crime threats.

While the country is fun and full of life, that doesn’t take away from its slow pace—like a snail slow. Sticking to rigid schedules and tight deadlines isn’t something Ecuadorians subscribe to. They like to live life in the slow lane, so if you’re looking to catch your breath, Ecuador may be the right place for you.

Live and Teach in Panama

aerial view of panama city
Panama City, Panama

Panama is another excellent option for teaching abroad in Central America. The tourist industry is booming in the country, and many retired North Americans call it their home away from home for good reason. There is so much to see and do in Panama, and its laid-back vibe is great for those who want to get away from the lightning-fast and instant-gratification ways of the Western world.

The popularity of Panama rose when people started to notice just how much the country has to offer. With unique and delectable cuisine to the perfect climate to enjoy the beaches and rainforests, there’s not much in Panama that’s not worth trying.

Affordability is a touch better than in other places in Central America simply because teachers make more per month. On average, an educator can expect to earn between $900-$1500 per month teaching in Panama. The demand for teachers is also high in the country, making it easier to land that dream job you’ve always wanted in the tropical paradise everyone strives to live in.

One of the most stand-out things about Panama, compared to others on the list, is its level of safety. Much like Curacao, it isn’t home to the same high crime rates you can find in Belize or Ecuador.

Live and Teach in Venezuela

aerial view of La Guaira, Venezuela
La Guaira, Venezuela

Venezuela may be one of the more exciting places to go to teach abroad, and it isn’t because the country has natural beauty as far as the eye can see. There is civil unrest due to political corruption and other economic issues. While many would shy away from these conditions, others may want to run toward the mess and make a difference by joining the cause during their off hours.

If you aren’t one to jump into the political fire, teaching abroad in Venezuela is still a good option because plenty of openings are available, and education is of the utmost importance in the country. That said, the salary for educators is relatively low, at only $400-$600/month. However, the cost of living is much lower, too, so it balances out.

Aside from its rocky political state, Venezuela is a gorgeous place to call home, with breathtaking views, natural attractions, and culture.   

Apply for teaching jobs in Central and South America

Teaching anywhere in South America can be a great learning experience for you, and it can help you grow into an even better educator if you let it. The only question left to ask yourself is where you will decide to go.

Need to get certified first? Be eligible for more teaching jobs with a teacher certification to teach K-12 or TEFL certification to teach English as a second or additional language.

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