TEFL jobs in Guatemala
The main demand for English lessons in Guatemala comes from students just out of secondary school who need to show language proficiency in order to enter university or to improve their career options. Other Guatemalan people are simply interested in learning English because they like American culture and want to improve their English understanding, or perhaps to enable them to thrive in the tourist industry. While most tourists stick to Guatemala City, off the beaten track locations are gaining popularity and so local people want to capitalize on new tourism opportunities.
Where to find work in Guatemala
Check out regional expat magazines such as Que Pasa and La Cuadra for local news and job opportunities, as well as this website for opportunities in Xela. Most jobs can be found in Guatemala City, but there are also jobs to be found from time to time in Xela and also in the smaller villages. The best time to get hired is during the spring months for the term commencing in the autumn. If you don’t want to commit to a long contract, find a short-term voluntary position or look for summer camp work. It’s possible to work on a tourist visa, though not strictly allowed, and organisations will get around this by classing your salary as a ‘living allowance’ of a voluntary position. Visas are for 90 days, and can be renewed once for the same period before you need to leave the country to renew again. As Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua have formed an alliance with Guatemala, you’ll have to go to a country beyond these ones to renew your visa.
Employers in Guatemala
The American School of Guatemala lists hiring opportunities on its website. To apply, you need to provide three professional references as well as your teaching certification, university certificates and other documents. Candidates with Masters´ degrees and at least two years of experience are preferred.
Amigos de Santa Cruz looks for both long term and short term (2-4 weeks) volunteers for their outreach program, which offers medical care to remote villages as well as a free education program. There’s also a job opening section on their website, but these positions are unlikely to be for paid TEFL teachers, but for project managers.
Bilingual Education for Central America looks for volunteer teachers for their summer school programs as well as long-term positions. Some positions are paid but most are voluntary. You need a BA degree. Volunteer teachers receive free accommodation and food, and second year teachers also receive a modest monthly stipend.
Colegio Decroly Americano provides lessons in English and Spanish. Employment opportunities are listed on their website.
Cofradia Bilingual School offers free accommodation to volunteer teachers. Positions are available from August to June. Those available for 10 months are great candidates, but they have short term positions too. School meals and groceries for other meals are provided. For more information check out their volunteer’s blog on the website.
El Nahual is a grassroots NGO Spanish school and community centre which looks for volunteer TEFL teachers.
Helping Honduras Kids is a charity looking for skilled volunteers to help out on various programs. Accommodation isn’t provided, although they can help you find host families or hostels to stay in cheaply. An example program is working as a teaching assistant. Spanish speakers preferred.
La Union organises volunteer work in various fields, including teaching, which you are free to participate in if enrolled in their Spanish classes. For those not enrolled, as cost of around $25 is charged to organise your placement.
If you have experience teaching IELTS, apply to the Oxford Language Centre.
Safe Passage is a charity in Guatemala City. Volunteers with Spanish ability preferred. Placements are for a minimum of 5 weeks. Short term volunteers can be teaching assistants, whereas those who can commit to 6 months or more can work as an English teacher (intermediate Spanish required).