If you ask us, there are at least 1,000 reasons to teach English in Guatemala, but we know you don’t have all day!
Of all the places to teach English in Central America, Guatemala is perhaps the most beautiful. It’s a land of volcanoes, friendly people, and gorgeous lakes. It’s also one of the easiest and most affordable countries in which to learn Spanish. But it’s so much more than what appears on the surface.
If you need a little convincing that Guatemala should be on your list of potential adventure locations to teach English abroad, this list is for you.
10. Guatemala is a Central American gem
The culture in Guatemala is one reason to teach English there, from its heavy Mayan influence, to its delicious food, to its kind hospitality, to its Latin roots within the Central American region—a place where countries are often fighting for your attention (I mean, who doesn’t want to go to Costa Rica?!). Guatemala is a special place, and we know you’ll feel that, too, once you’ve arrived.
9. You can learn Spanish…quick!
One of the perks of choosing to teach English in Guatemala is the ability to fully immerse yourself in the culture by learning or picking up a ton of Spanish. Guatemala speaks much slower in comparison to say, Mexico, or even Panama. Taking Spanish lessons in Guatemala is super affordable (around $200 USD/week for a private tutor), and learning from a Guatemalan teacher is painless. Because of their friendly nature and pride in their culture, they’ll be excited that you want to learn. Even if you already know a lot of Spanish and are simply looking for opportunities to practice or improve, Guatemala is the ideal place for that, too.
8. The scenery is gorgeous
Let’s be real—if you’re looking to teach English abroad, you likely also want it to be pretty to look at, right? Well Guatemala is stunning! From lakes to beaches to volcano views to rolling green hills to dense jungle and unreal sunsets—this country has it all! Exploring Guatemala and its landscapes will be a true love affair once you get started. Bring a good camera because you’ll want to look back on all of the amazing views after you leave!
7. Adventure awaits
Speaking of scenery and landscapes, there’s definitely a sense of adventure awaiting you in Guatemala. While the tourism industry is growing and experiencing upgrades, there are still parts of the country that feel rustic (and charming!); you’ll just have to be open to those experiences. After you’ve settled in and gotten a lay of the land, you’ll see just how easy it is to seek adventure in this foreign land. Trust us—you will have an unforgettable time!
6. The students are eager to learn
English is booming in Guatemala because of tourism, business opportunities, higher education, and more. This combination of factors creates a keen willingness in students to learn English. Whether you teach youngsters or business professionals, you will often be met with eager, friendly, and smart students who want to know more about you and your culture, so come prepared to share.
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5. Great access
If you’re looking for a great springboard country to teach English abroad in that allows you to travel throughout its region, Guatemala is a great example. Flights to and out of Guatemala City aren’t astronomical (you can still get back to the States for as cheap as $400), and flying to other Central American countries can be found at reasonable prices. During your teaching breaks, plan where you want to go and make it happen!
4. Affordable cost of living (and accommodations)
While the capital of Guatemala City has higher price tags, Antigua has a super affordable cost of living, and food is much cheaper than in the city. Most teaching opportunities are found between these two places, and both are in great locations to access the rest of the country. While you travel the country, too, accommodations are affordable. While hostels and tiny posadas dot the country with shared living spaces and kitchens, private accommodations can be found easily.
3. Shorter contract lengths
This is perfect for the teacher who wants a grand adventure, but doesn’t want to hang out in one place for longer than a year. Or maybe you’re just not sure if you’ll like it there? Either way, most teaching contracts only last 6 months to 1 year. Just be sure to take full advantage of that period of time while you’re there so you don’t leave with any regrets (aka, use your weekends and time off wisely).
2. Only a tourist visa is required to teach
Good news on this aspect of teaching English in Guatemala—you won’t need to apply for a work visa! One reason for this is because the typical contract lengths aren’t more than a year, but also because visas are a little less strict in comparison to other parts of the world.
1. A degree is NOT required!
We left this piece of good news for last because we know how competitive the TEFL jobs market is getting across the globe. We know there are so many of you on the hunt for a teaching (or training opportunity) but feel left out when you read the requirement list to find that a BA or BS is required in order to apply. But not in Guatemala! While yes, degrees are preferred, it’s the perfect option for those without one looking to teach in Latin America, and more specifically in the Central American region.
Well there you have it—10 reasons why choosing to teach English in Guatemala will serve you well! We only hope you’ll keep it at the top of your list of Latin American countries because we know it’s an impossible decision to regret. Guatemala is waiting for you! Explore our Guatemala TEFL Program today!
Words by Jayla Rae Ardelean.