Teach English in Ecuador

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How to Begin Teaching in Ecuador

Home to the World Heritage Sites of Quito (the capital) and Cuenca

For people who love hiking and the great outdoors, Ecuador is for you...

Despite being small, Ecuador sits on the Equator and has a heritage that is hard to rival. Home to the World Heritage Sites of Quito (the capital) and Cuenca, along with the interwoven Spanish colonial heritage, Ecuador is a rich mixture of indigenous and European cultures. The indigenous textiles and the colour of the Andean villages permeate Ecuadorian society. Apart from its heritage, this country also comprises places of extreme natural beauty. Part of the Amazon rainforest can be found in the country. The Galapagos Islands, the place that inspired Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, is also located here. Wonders such as the giant tortoises and the world’s only marine iguanas await those who make the short plane ride to the islands. For people who love hiking and the great outdoors, Ecuador is for you.

Currently at the time of writing there are warnings from the UK Foreign Office not to travel to certain parts of the country, particularly on the Colombian border. It is important to stay informed of this situation if you live and travel there. The language spoken in Ecuador is Spanish, and Quichua and Shuar are also officially used, along with a few other indigenous languages.

There are four main parts of Ecuador when being divided by geographic lines that have diets that are unique to each and give different things to the overall makeup of the Ecuador’s economy, mostly based on what natural resources are based there. These regions are called the coastal lowlands (La Costa), the mountain highlands (La Sierra); the eastern jungle lowlands (La Amazonia or El Oriente “the east”); and the Galápagos Islands (La Región Insular).

One interesting fact about Ecuador is that it has the closest point on Earth to space, no it’s not Mount Everest! What lies behind this is the fact that the Earth is not a perfect sphere. Because of this Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador is indeed 1.5 miles “higher” than Mount Everest. Because mountain peaks are measured from sea level, Mount Everest is officially higher. Due to the bulge the seas are higher too.

The famous explorer Charles Darwin embarked on his iconic Voyage of the USS Beagle to the Galápagos Islands in 1835. His theory of evolution is largely on the discoveries and observation he made in the islands. Ecuador is a must visit for lovers of beautiful scenery, biodiversity and places of native cultures with all the rich languages, customs, handcrafts and so much more.

Teaching Opportunities

The TEFL sector in Ecuador is a steady market, with a 120-hour TEFL certificate being seen as the most basic requirement. The main hiring times are in February and March, and July and August. There are opportunities in both private and state institutions. There are also job possibilities in universities in Quito, Cuenca and Guayaquil. For private language schools the majority of the work can be found in the capital, Quito. Teachers are generally required to teach 20-25 hours a week. The remuneration is not generally high. This means that this is not a place to earn lucrative contracts, but the price of living is relatively low. Very few positions offer benefits, meaning that you will be responsible for your own accommodation, flight and health insurance.  Many teachers also supplement their salaries by giving private lessons to children and adults. 

Most of the prospective employers, just as in Costa Rica, do not generally accept teachers who are coming from abroad, unless they are in the country for face-to-face interviews. This means that you will need to supply the money for your own airfare, and have savings for the first few months while you look for a job. Many employers, some unscrupulous, will try not to sign a contract with you or provide a work visa. This will leave you in a very precarious position. It is recommended you try to hold out for a job that is prepared to sign a contract with you.

Teaching Requirements

Degree Requirement Typical Contract Length Peak Hiring Seasons Visa Info Typical Students Average Monthly Cost of Living in £ GBP & Local Currency Average Monthly Salary in £ GBP & Local Currency
Not required 6 - 12 months February - March and July - August Tourist visa Business professionals, children 400 - 700 USD (250 - 435 GBP) 400 - 800 USD (250 - 496 GBP)
February - March and July - August
Tourist visa
Business professionals, children

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