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Where to Get a CELTA in Latin America
Once you’ve decided to embark on the amazing journey that is the CELTA, the next difficult decision you’ll have to make is where you want to get it! With centers around the world, Teaching House offers top-notch training for destinations near or far. Whether you’re a local teacher looking to take your teaching to the next level or an international trainee wanting to kick off your teaching experience in a new location, here are a few reasons why getting a CELTA in Latin America is an excellent choice!
Mexico City, Mexico
Dubbed the City of Palaces, Mexico City is rooted in one of the most ancient civilizations that we know of. The whole city has an area of mystery and history, while still being a dynamic modern metropolis.
Living in Mexico City
Many people around the world have the perception that Mexico is a dangerous place, but by being a little street smart, you’ll minimize any risks. Do your research and talk to locals about the best safety tips, and then enjoy all that Mexico City has to offer!
- National Museum of Anthropology: Witness civilizations long lost by visiting Mexico City’s National Museum of Anthropology. See artifacts from the Aztecs, Mayans, and Toltecs with your own eyes and try to envision the world they ruled hundreds of years ago. Mexico City is packed with museums, including the Frida Kahlo Museum and Palacio des Bellas Artes, so you have no shortage of cultural enrichment. Even their post office is a stunner!
- Teotihuacan: Museums are great, but nothing beats walking in the footsteps of ancient rulers and warriors for yourself. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Teotihuacan will give you a small taste of the glory of a forgotten pre-Aztec civilization. Teotihuacan is an easy day trip from Mexico City, but it will whet your appetite for all of Mexico’s mysterious ruins.
- La Merced: The largest market in Mexico City, La Merced will have you gawking as your senses are overwhelmed. Whether you’re stopping by for lunch, picking up candied fruit for a walk in the park, or stocking up on mole for the week, La Merced has got all your culinary needs covered.
- Bosque de Chapultepec: Love living in a city but need an escape sometimes? Chapultepec is a giant park that’s perfect for an afternoon stroll or a whole day hiding from skyscrapers and traffic jams. There are even museums and other attractions inside the park, so it will take more than one visit to explore it all.
Eating in Mexico City
Mexico City is drool-worthy, a total foodie destination in its own right. Whether it’s quick and easy tortas (sandwiches) or sugar crusted churros at El Moro, you will be well fed in Mexico City. Sample all the different types of mole sauce that you can, and make sure you go on a hunt for the best tacos. Though if you’re in dire need of a chain, you can pick up a frappuccino at Starbucks.
Teaching English in Mexico City
As a CELTA-qualified teacher, you’ll have the opportunity to teach at language schools around the city, including International House and British Council. There is also a demand for English teachers in universities, which typically require a masters’ degree. Licensed English teachers can also look into international schools, which often provide quality workplace environments. Volunteering in Mexico as an English teacher is also a great way to give back to the world as you experience it!
Doing a CELTA in Mexico City
The CELTA program in Mexico City is housed in the European-esque Colonia Hipódromo Condesa neighborhood. With ten classrooms and a relaxing terrace, the school is a perfect place for both the rigors and the fun of the CELTA. One of the unique benefits of the CELTA in Mexico City is that trainees have the opportunity to stay with local host families. While the CELTA keeps you very busy, staying with a family offers an unforgettable look into local life!
As the bustling capital of Colombia, Bogota is a great place to get your CELTA. After studying and teaching all day, you’ll have a plethora of ways to unwind and enjoy the city.
Living in Bogota
Founded in the 16th century, Bogota has the history and culture to keep you busy for weeks. And, when you need a break from city life, you can easily escape to green spaces or visit other Colombian cities.
- Bolívar Square: The heart of Bogota, Bolívar Square has hosted everything from circus acts to protests. Its elegant architecture is stunning any day of the week but also gets a seasonal upgrade for the Christmas holidays.
- El Museu del Oro: That’s right, the Museum of Gold. Bogota has dozens of museums, but El Museu del Oro is one of its most famous and a good place to start. Come gawk at thousands of historical relics, including pre-Hispanic gold artifacts. Just enough glimmer and glam to make you feel like Indiana Jones.
- Professional Football: It’s no surprise that football (or soccer for us U.S. citizens) is popular in Colombia, but Bogota has three teams. Seeing a Colombian football game is definitely an experience you’ll tell stories about!
- Festivals and concerts: Bogota is Colombia’s festival capital, hosting everything from open-air rock concerts to street theater festivals, and many international superstars make a stop in Bogota on their world tours. And with several top-notch theaters, you have access to great music and performances round the year.
Eating in Bogota
Bogota’s culinary scene is thriving, especially as it’s the main tourist destination in Colombia. You find everything from Russian to French to British. In addition, Bogota draws restaurateurs from the rest of South America. But make sure you try the local specialties, including ajiaco (a chicken soup), Colombian tamales cooked in plantain leaves, and postre de natas for dessert! And, if you’re feeling a little homesick, you can even stop for fast food at Pizza Hut or Taco Bell.
Teaching English in Bogota
As a tourist magnet, Bogota has a big demand for English teachers, and having a CELTA will give you a leg up on the competition. Bogota is home to top-notch English language employers like British Council and International House, as well as franchises like Berlitz. In addition, Bogota is home to many higher education institutions. With a master’s degree and the right experience, you could score a position at a Colombian university.
Doing a CELTA in Bogota
Teaching House’s affiliate CELTA center in Bogota is in La Candelaria neighborhood, right in the heart of the action, sharing both Bogota’s vibrant history and current booming culture. The center is housed in a building formerly used by Colombian presidents before their investiture ceremonies. The surrounding neighborhood gives CELTA candidates easy access to museums and cafes. The center is fully stocked with resources for trainees, as well as offering relaxing spaces to unwind from their hard work.
Bogota isn’t the only place in Colombia where you can get certified to teach English. We also offer a CELTA in Medellin!
Peru is a dream destination for many travelers, especially those who yearn to see the glory of Machu Picchu with their own eyes. Basing yourself in Lima is a great way to explore all that Peru has to offer!
Living in Lima
Lima is a buzzing metropolis gently brushing up against the ocean, making it a destination for both action and relaxation. As the capital of Peru, it’s a hotbed of culture, history, and – of course – food.
- Plaza de Armas: Lima’s main square is ringed with Spanish colonial architecture and dotted with swaying palm trees, making it the perfect place for a stroll or to hang out people-watching. You can also see the Basilica Cathedral of Lima, a Roman Catholic church has been standing (in one form or another) since 1538.
- The Catacombs at the Monastery of San Francisco: In a city stuffed with colonial churches, the baroque San Francisco Church might not stand out immediately. But its yellow façade holds a dark secret – catacombs that sprawl below the city. The catacombs are second in size only to the infamous ones in Paris, and an intriguing destination for those with a slightly macabre sense of history.
- Matias Maestro General Presbyterian Cemetery: For a more peaceful experience, you can wander through the first cemetery in Lima. Its solemn grandeur is evoked by hundreds of mausoleums and monuments. For a more chilling experience, you can even book a night tour!
- Surfing and other adventure activities: Surfing is nearly a religion in this coastal city, so it’s easy to get involved in this exhilarating sport. For a different kind of thrill, you can see the city from above by paragliding over it!
Eating in Lima
Lima’s culinary scene covers everything from fine dining to street food with ease, incorporating indigenous delights, international influences, and fresh seafood. Stuff yourself with ceviche, lomo saltado, and – for the truly adventurous – cuy (that’s guinea pig). And definitely indulge in a famous Pisco Sour!
Teaching English in Lima
There is definitely a demand for teachers in Peru, especially as the country continues to grow in tourism. And while it can be easy to break into teaching English in Lima, you want to make sure you find employment at a reputable school. It’s difficult to find a job in Lima from abroad, so arrive in-person with your CELTA in hand and you’ll be off to a good start. It’s normal to work split shifts or work part-time for multiple schools, so be prepared to be flexible.
Doing a CELTA in Lima
With experienced teacher trainers, ample classroom space, and teaching resources, the CELTA center in Lima offers high-quality training. It’s located in the buzzing Miraflores neighborhood, which means that CELTA trainees can enjoy both the energy of the city and the relaxation available in Parque Kennedy – when they have a few spare minutes, that is.
Have you ever thought about getting a CELTA in Latin America? Which of these destinations most piques your imagination?
Amy snagged a CELTA from Teaching House New York in 2013 and since then has taught on three continents (and counting). Having a CELTA has made her dream of moving abroad possible, and currently she is slow-traveling through Europe. She loves getting to know students, wandering around cities, and trying to find the world’s best donut. You can check out her travel adventures and mishaps at The Wayfarer’s Book.