Teaching English in Honduras

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Honduras Overview

Honduras is a very poor and crime-ridden country but your assistance in teaching English will be of great benefit to those you encounter in your classes. The level of demand for native speakers is rather low (for paying positions) but there are tons of volunteering opportunities and most TEFL-qualified teachers can find jobs in Tegucigalpa. Unfortunately, TEFL salaries are relatively low and despite very low living costs you certainly won’t be able to save much, if at all. As in most Latin American countries the students are lively and sociable and therefore a pleasure to teach. Honduras has a poor reputation when it comes to crime to make sure you do your research on how to stay safe. There is a high turnover of staff at many language centres across Latin America which says a great deal about the pros and cons. There are plenty of other native speakers looking for short-term employment but many leave after just a few months due to the poor pay and the fact that many private students cancel at short notice (and therefore don’t pay you). If you are experienced, persistent and hard-working then you may be lucky to find one of the few better-paid positions, such as those at bilingual schools. There are plenty if opportunities to help at local schools but, given how low school budgets are, don’t expect more than minimal payment for your time. For the majority, TEFL in Honduras is a fun experience for a short period of time but certainly not a serious career option.

Type of Institution Typical salary (USD/month) Typical hours Typical annual leave
Local schools 250 – 500 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday Various, depending on length of contract
Language centres 500 – 1,200 Various split shifts and evenings and weekends 2 weeks plus national holidays
International schools and universities 2,500 upwards 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday plus some weekend work 10 weeks plus national holidays

Main places for jobs

Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula.

Typical requirements

Degree, TEFL certificate preferred, local interview preferred.

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Tips

1. It is much better to find a job before arriving in Honduras but in reality the vast majority of newly-qualified TEFL teachers looking for starter-jobs arrive on tourist visas.

2. Given the low salaries, you may need to supplement your income with extra, private one-to-one tuition. Contacts are essential and found via word of mouth and through local adverts and websites. Bring as much teaching material with you as you can because resources may be very thin on the ground.

3. American and Canadian teachers may be at a slight advantage. Those who can speak Spanish will find integration much easier.

Red tape

Your employer is responsible for obtaining your work permit. However, in reality, many work illegally. Despite the flexibility this allows, this is not recommended for obvious reasons. Top employers will actually go through the troublesome process of making your employment legal. Without this, you are always at risk of being deported.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Honduras is very low but expect to have to share accommodation with other teachers to begin with.

Tax and salary information

You should expect to be paid on a monthly basis. Make sure you actually have a contract or else you may have problems when it comes to payday.

Summary

A gorgeous, mountainous country Generally low pay and many employers are reluctant to offer proper, full-time contracts
Fantastic, sociable students Teachers are usually expected to work split shifts
Very low living costs A dangerous country to live in

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3 Comments

  1. Kathy Brown says:

    For almost four years I have been teaching at a reputable bilingual school in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The website for the school is what I have entered here.

    My salary is not anywhere near the above-stated salary for bilingual schools, and I believe it’s pretty typical for my experience level. My salary is in the range stated above for “language centers”. Out of this I have to pay all of my expenses. It’s pretty tight for me, and the work is consuming. The school I work for is moving toward international level accreditation, and that translates to a lot of extra work for no extra pay.

    On the plus side, my school, unlike many others here in Honduras, always pays staff, and always pays on time. Also, it’s very secure; for example, when there are problems and threats that a family has to deal with (this is normal in this country for affluent families), the school is the safest place for the children to be – and if the need arises for a student to leave the country, our high school offers off-site learning (of course, this translates to more extra work for the teachers).

    I would not recommend that anyone come to teach in Honduras who is very set in his or her ways. Young beginning teachers who are fresh from college, not married with children, seem to function best in the bilingual school environment because they do not come with a set of expectations as to how a school should be run.

    Living in Honduras is challenging for many reasons; for example, water is not always available, hot water heaters are a luxury, transportation can be difficult, living behind high walls can make you feel claustrophobic, and crime is a daily concern. Seeing the whole thing as an adventure would be helpful. And as hard as it may be to step outside the bubble of the “American community” at your school, you definitely should – otherwise, why come here?

    Further, I would not recommend that anyone come to live and work in Honduras unless he or she feels a calling to be here. My husband and I are missionaries (though as a full-time teacher, I personally don’t have much time to pursue this), and it’s our love for the people here that keeps us going. I know my comments sound quite negative, and it’s because I want people to count the cost before signing a one or two year contract to teach here.

    Kathy Brown
    Cultivate Honduras

  2. mocha144 says:

    What is the name of the school you teach at? I am interested in going

  3. Brian C says:

    Hi, I’m writing to ask if you’re familiar with a school in Comaguaya, it’s Escuela Bilingue Honduras, I have four years teaching experience, some of it in the Middle East, BAEnglish Literature and TESOL cert. from Oxford Seminars. They are offering $541 us/month, lunch at school, a shared house, utilities covered, and transportation to and from school. Could you give me your opinion and any specifics you might be familiar with? Thanks, Brian Craig bmcraig66@gmail.com

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