Teach English in Guatemala

a world of opportunities

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Kirsten Colquhoun
July 18, 2023

Contents

Introduction
Teaching Opportunities
Teaching Requirements
Start Your TEFL Journey

Why Teach English in Guatemala

Guatemala is a small country situated in Central America, bordering Mexico, Honduras, Belize and El Salvador. A mixture of beautiful scenery and ancient history, it has a cultural heritage that is a blend of Spanish and native Mayan influences. Add to that a mild climate and its location as a gateway between Mexico and Central America, and you have a recipe for a relaxed but vibrant tourist destination.

Guatemala is a country of immense natural beauty which is surprisingly varied for such a small country. You can visit Lake Atitlan, a lake region surrounded by mountains, beautiful villages and volcanoes or the World Heritage Site of Antigua Guatemala. To explore a river cave or take a hike, go to Semuc Champey or spend a few days exploring the ancient Mayan ruins in the jungle of the Tikal National Park. But to top it all off, visit the Rio Dulce – the Sweet River. Here, you hike in the jungle, visit the Hot Springs Waterfalls, do water sports or take a tour through a canyon.

You could definitely say that Guatemala is the land of volcanoes, with more than 30 in total in the whole country. Of these formidable forces of nature, the most notable volcano is Tajumulco. At an amazing 4,202 metres, Tajumulco is the highest point of Central America. There are three active volcanoes – Fuego, Pacaya and Santiaguito.

A more mysterious side of Guatemalan culture is the fact that some people worship a Saint by the name of Maximón. As the legend goes, when local men would head off to work, Maximón would sleep with all of their wives. As a result Maximón’s arms and legs were broken in a fit of anger. This is the reason that most models of him come without arms.

Coffee is a very big deal in Guatemala, and hence why it is the country’s biggest export. So big in fact that by 1880 coffee made up 90% of Guatemala’s export. Still to this day, it is one of the most important economic goods in the country. There is a really distinctive flavour to the coffee, usually full-bodied with rich chocolate and cocoa flavours.

Teaching Opportunities In Guatemala

Spanish is the official language of Guatemala and there are over 20 indigenous languages. Guatemala is more a destination to learn Spanish than teach English but there are still opportunities available.

As the tourism industry is growing, so too is the demand for English teaching and there are opportunities in language schools, English institutes and bilingual public schools. Most teaching opportunities in Guatemala are in Guatemala City (which unfortunately is not very pretty), Antigua and Quetzaltenango.

Salaries have never been high in Guatemala and recently the cost of living has risen dramatically, so don’t expect to save, but you can expect to live a comfortable lifestyle. There are many opportunities for teaching in return for Spanish lessons if you can afford not to have a salary or would like to brush up on your Spanish in your free time.

Teaching Requirements In Guatemala

A BA/BS degree is required as a standard qualification for English teaching positions, ensuring a solid foundation of knowledge and expertise. The typical contract length ranges from six to twelve months, providing a substantial commitment to both teachers and students.

Peak hiring seasons occur in February and July, creating favorable opportunities for teachers to secure positions. To work legally in Guatemala, teachers typically obtain a work permit.

The average monthly cost of living in Guatemala ranges from 3,800 – 5,700 GTQ, offering a reasonable standard of living in this tropical paradise. Additionally, English teachers can anticipate an average monthly salary ranging from 2,600 – 4,600 GTQ.

Start Your TEFL Journey With The TEFL Academy

Great! You’re in the right place. The TEFL Academy provides the very best in accredited TEFL courses, meaning your qualification is recognised throughout the world. The TEFL Academy is the world’s leading TEFL course provider. We can help you acquire the skills needed to teach English as a foreign language. Check out our TEFL internships, volunteer placements and the thousands of jobs on our exclusive TEFL jobs board.

Contents

Why Teach English in Guatemala

Guatemala is a small country situated in Central America, bordering Mexico, Honduras, Belize and El Salvador. A mixture of beautiful scenery and ancient history, it has a cultural heritage that is a blend of Spanish and native Mayan influences. Add to that a mild climate and its location as a gateway between Mexico and Central America, and you have a recipe for a relaxed but vibrant tourist destination.

Guatemala is a country of immense natural beauty which is surprisingly varied for such a small country. You can visit Lake Atitlan, a lake region surrounded by mountains, beautiful villages and volcanoes or the World Heritage Site of Antigua Guatemala. To explore a river cave or take a hike, go to Semuc Champey or spend a few days exploring the ancient Mayan ruins in the jungle of the Tikal National Park. But to top it all off, visit the Rio Dulce – the Sweet River. Here, you hike in the jungle, visit the Hot Springs Waterfalls, do water sports or take a tour through a canyon.

You could definitely say that Guatemala is the land of volcanoes, with more than 30 in total in the whole country. Of these formidable forces of nature, the most notable volcano is Tajumulco. At an amazing 4,202 metres, Tajumulco is the highest point of Central America. There are three active volcanoes – Fuego, Pacaya and Santiaguito.

A more mysterious side of Guatemalan culture is the fact that some people worship a Saint by the name of Maximón. As the legend goes, when local men would head off to work, Maximón would sleep with all of their wives. As a result Maximón’s arms and legs were broken in a fit of anger. This is the reason that most models of him come without arms.

Coffee is a very big deal in Guatemala, and hence why it is the country’s biggest export. So big in fact that by 1880 coffee made up 90% of Guatemala’s export. Still to this day, it is one of the most important economic goods in the country. There is a really distinctive flavour to the coffee, usually full-bodied with rich chocolate and cocoa flavours.

Teaching Opportunities In Guatemala

Spanish is the official language of Guatemala and there are over 20 indigenous languages. Guatemala is more a destination to learn Spanish than teach English but there are still opportunities available.

As the tourism industry is growing, so too is the demand for English teaching and there are opportunities in language schools, English institutes and bilingual public schools. Most teaching opportunities in Guatemala are in Guatemala City (which unfortunately is not very pretty), Antigua and Quetzaltenango.

Salaries have never been high in Guatemala and recently the cost of living has risen dramatically, so don’t expect to save, but you can expect to live a comfortable lifestyle. There are many opportunities for teaching in return for Spanish lessons if you can afford not to have a salary or would like to brush up on your Spanish in your free time.

Teaching Requirements In Guatemala

A BA/BS degree is required as a standard qualification for English teaching positions, ensuring a solid foundation of knowledge and expertise. The typical contract length ranges from six to twelve months, providing a substantial commitment to both teachers and students.

Peak hiring seasons occur in February and July, creating favorable opportunities for teachers to secure positions. To work legally in Guatemala, teachers typically obtain a work permit.

The average monthly cost of living in Guatemala ranges from 3,800 – 5,700 GTQ, offering a reasonable standard of living in this tropical paradise. Additionally, English teachers can anticipate an average monthly salary ranging from 2,600 – 4,600 GTQ.

Start Your TEFL Journey With The TEFL Academy

Great! You’re in the right place. The TEFL Academy provides the very best in accredited TEFL courses, meaning your qualification is recognised throughout the world. The TEFL Academy is the world’s leading TEFL course provider. We can help you acquire the skills needed to teach English as a foreign language. Check out our TEFL internships, volunteer placements and the thousands of jobs on our exclusive TEFL jobs board.

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