Finding a job in South America.

Latin America has a new and exciting job market open to foreigners. If you are fluent in English with a TESL or EFL qualification, and willing to work hard with a sense for adventure, then you can apply for one of teaching jobs in Latin America. There are also jobs in the telecommunication and information technology sectors.

The continent has seen a steady growth of foreign investment in the past decade. This together with its free market policies and stabilizing economies, have created new jobs in Latin America. The unemployment rate of the youth is till high, but they lack English teachers. There are even teaching positions for English teachers without TEFL qualifications. It is an excellent springboard to the foreign teaching market.

Teaching in Mexico
Mexico has the most jobs to offer in private language schools. Teachers with TEFL qualification can also apply to universities. Housing is supplied by most of the schools but the applicant must pay his own airfare.

Other teaching jobs in Latin America
Jobs are available in Central America, but the working conditions and salaries are poor. All the countries have positions available, although you will not find any in Paraguay and Uruguay. Regulations, requirements and conditions vary according to the country. Costa Rica is one of the best places to work. Most of the teachers work in Peru, Columbia, and Chile where the salaries are low, but the living costs are fairly reasonable.

Conditions on the continent
The poverty level is more than 37% and there is a wide gap between rich and poor. The infrastructure is terrible and you may find yourself traveling with chickens on local busses in the countryside. The cities are well developed and offer great entertainment.

Working in the cities
The greatest demand in the cities is for teachers in the business community. They are looking conversational tutoring because of their strong trade ties with North America. The salaries are as low as an hour.

Minimum requirements
The basic requirement for many of the teaching jobs in Latin America is a good command of the English language. TESL qualification is a definite advantage for teaching jobs at the universities. The state schools normally employ teachers on a contract basis, making it the ideal place to find temporary employment. Many of the schools provide their own teacher training.

Visa and passport requirements
You will need a working visa that entails a lot of paperwork, including police clearance, statements, copies of all your qualifications, and a permanent position. Most of the teachers work on tourist visas and just renew them.

How to find employment
You can either make use of one of the volunteering exchange programs if you are still a student, or visit the countries and apply in person. Finding jobs in Latin America entails personal contact. The English newspapers in the cities are a good source. You can also make use of the telephone directories to find schools and apply directly. The best time to submit an application is during the summer vacation periods. The academic year ends at the start of December and starts again in February.