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Teaching English in Mexico: the easiest way

Planning on teaching English in Mexico? Find out what's the easiest and most fun way to live this transformative experience.


Teaching English in Mexico

Teaching English in Mexico is an adventure of a lifetime. Imagine waking up to the sounds of bustling markets, savoring spicy tacos for lunch, and ending your day helping locals improve their language skills. This immersive experience is about much more than teaching: you’ll get to learn about Mexican culture, make friends, develop your resilience and so much more.

There’s an increasing demand for ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers in Mexico, with English being the dominant language of global commerce and tourism. But how do you go about teaching English in Mexico? In this article, you’ll find out about the easiest and most fun way to live this enriching experience.

consider Teaching English in Mexico

Reasons for teaching English in Mexico

Mexico, a vibrant country filled with rich culture and history, presents an enticing opportunity to teach English. There are countless reasons why you should consider spending some time working or volunteering there.

The joy of making a difference

As an ESL teacher, the impact you can make on people’s lives is significant. Your role as an English teacher opens up new doors for these learners by providing them with valuable language skills. 

Beyond just imparting knowledge though, cultural exchange plays a crucial part too, fostering understanding between different cultures.

Experiencing Mexican culture firsthand

Mexico is known for its colorful traditions and vibrant festivals and it definitely offers an enriching cultural experience. From participating in local festivities to savoring traditional cuisine such as tacos al pastor or chiles en nogada, while spending time there you'll get a chance to live the authentic Mexican life.

It's also a chance to dive into a lively culture full of legacy, from the Maya and Aztec civilizations to European effects. Glimpses into ancient and more recent history can be gained by visiting sites like the Teotihuacan pyramids near Mexico City or Chichen Itza on the Yucatan Peninsula, as well as colonial towns such as San Miguel de Allende.

In addition, teaching here provides opportunities for language exchange, meaning you can enhance your Spanish skills through daily interactions with locals.

mexican food

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Fostering your personal growth

This type of immersion leads to considerable personal growth and broadens your perspective significantly. You'll face situations challenging adaptability, problem-solving abilities, and emotional resilience, which will teach you invaluable life lessons.

Making your CV stand out

Working or volunteering abroad isn't merely rewarding but it also makes your resumé stand out. It showcases potential employers about cross-cultural communication prowess along with resourcefulness and adaptability traits.

In addition, if you're starting a career as an ESL teacher, this kind of practical exposure provides a first-hand taste before investing time and money into acquiring formal qualifications.

Requirements for teaching English in Mexico

If you plan on teaching English in Mexico in formal institutions, there are certain qualifications that are usually required, such as:

  • TEFL Certification

To earn a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate, one must demonstrate their proficiency in teaching techniques, lesson planning strategies, and classroom management skills. You can earn this qualification through online platforms or at physical institutions worldwide.

  • Educational degree

Besides the TEFL certification, some Mexican educational institutes might require an undergraduate degree - not necessarily related to education or linguistics.

  • Work visa

To legally work as a paid English teacher in Mexico you might need a work visa or temporary resident visa. Contact the Mexican consulate or Embassy in your home country for official, updated information.

Teaching English in Mexico

An easy way to teach English in Mexico

If paperwork isn't really your thing, don't worry. With the work exchange programs offered by the Worldpackers platform, teaching English in Mexico (and in many other countries) is much easier.

This platform connects hosts from all over the world with people looking for volunteer positions through a collaborative and cheap travel experience. 

In exchange for a few hours of work every week, whether it is teaching English or performing other tasks, you’ll get free accommodation and other perks like meals, classes and tours.

If you choose to teach English in Mexico through Worldpackers no specific visa is required, since the main purpose of your trip is leisure, and the work is voluntary rather than formal employment. So you just need to worry about the requirements for entering the country as a tourist. 

Besides that, most hosts don’t make specific requirements such as the ones mentioned above, or even prior experience. Basically, all you need is a good knowledge of English, determination, motivation to learn and responsibility.

This makes things much easier, especially for travelers looking forward to making a positive impact without dealing with bureaucracy.

It also means you can go way beyond formal education settings. There are community projects looking for volunteers to teach local people and establishments within the tourism industry that need their employees to have a stronger command over spoken English, for instance.

mexico city

How to teach English in Mexico with Worldpackers

To kickstart your journey teaching English in Mexico, sign up on Worldpackers' platform for free. You'll find different English teaching opportunities across various Mexican cities like Tulum and Mexico City.

From non-profit schools to guest houses and farm stays, there are plenty of options available for those who want to live a transformative experience in this amazing country.

You can filter through these based on location, duration, or type of work (such as 'teaching'). Each listing is detailed with information about the role so that you know what awaits you before applying.

Here’s a few examples of positions you can apply for right now:

Teaching English in Mexico
  • Teach English or French to teens and enjoy outdoor activities at an Ecological Reserve in Zitacuaro in exchange for free stay, breakfast, lunch, tours, 4 days off per week and other benefits.

volunteer in mexico
  • Teach English or give workshops on ecological and social topics to youngsters and adults in a lovely farmstay in San Agustín Tlaxiaca and get 3 days off per week, free stay, free laundry, tours and other perks.
  • Teach English to hotel workers in paradisiac Tulum in exchange for a free stay, lunch, use of bikes and 2 days off per week.

teach English in Tulum

Want more? Check out all the teaching positions available in Mexico through Worldpackers. And if you’re up to doing other things besides teaching, such as welcoming guests, hands-on chores, communication and marketing, gardening, kitchen and bar tasks or community work, see all the volunteer programs in Mexico.

Tips to have the best experience volunteering in Mexico

Are you interested in teaching English in Mexico with Worldpackers? Then keep reading for some tips on how to make the most of your experience, from the application to the trip itself.

Browse reviews

A unique feature of Worldpackers is its review system which allows past volunteers to share experiences directly on each host's profile page. These reviews provide valuable insights into what future might expect when working with particular hosts, so be sure to check them out when looking at a specific position.

Speak to hosts

Once a position catches your eye, you can also reach out to potential hosts via the secure messaging system provided by Worldpackers (after registering at the website). Remember, being enthusiastic about their opportunity could greatly increase your chances of getting accepted.

You can take this chance to ask your potential host about anything that isn’t clear, such as the tasks required and the conditions of the accommodation. Your host will likely have questions too; they want to ensure inviting someone who aligns well with their values and needs.

Be culturally sensitive

In any volunteer role, adaptability is very important, and that’s also true for anyone teaching languages abroad. 

Cultural sensitivity plays a crucial part here, so make an effort to adapt to your host country. Understanding Mexican customs and traditions helps bridge cultural gaps between you and your students while enhancing mutual respect.

mexican culture

Living and traveling in Mexico

Mexico, a country teeming with rich culture, history, and culinary delights, is an exciting destination to consider teaching English. 

As you immerse yourself into the local lifestyle as part of your Worldpackers journey, here are some practical tips on living costs, traveling around during free time and safety measures.

The cost of living in Mexico

Comparing to many Western countries, living costs in Mexico are substantially lower. According to Numbeo's data, monthly expenses excluding rent hover around $300 USD. 

Rental prices vary based on location but generally range from $150-$400 for city-center apartments; you won’t have to worry about that if you exchange work for accommodation, though.

Eating out at authentic Mexican restaurants or trying street food typically falls under $5 per meal, but you can spend a lot less if you stay somewhere with a kitchen and cook some of your meals. Most Worldpackers hosts offer at least one meal in exchange of your volunteer work, besides access to an equipped kitchen.

Healthcare services tend towards affordability when compared to US standards, which can be quite beneficial, especially considering long-term stays, but it’s advisable to get travel insurance.

Exploring the country during your free time

From breathtaking beaches along the Cancun coastline through lush rainforests in the Chiapas region up to the majestic mountains of the Sierra Madre ranges, there is something for everyone to enjoy during off-duty hours as a Worldpackers volunteer. The country has a well-connected bus network, making intercity travel both convenient and affordable.

You might want to visit historical sites such as ancient Mayan ruins in Chichen Itza or explore natural wonders like the Cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula. Alternatively, hiking Popocatepetl Volcano could offer a thrilling experience for adrenaline junkies among us.

For more tips and inspiration on traveling to Mexico, read these articles:

how to teach english in mexico

Safety tips for living and traveling in Mexico

Mexico has a poor reputation and often makes headlines due to the violence inside the country. Media outlets illustrate Mexico as the country of gangs, shootings, and drug smuggling, portraying the country as unsafe to travel in. This can make many people think that Mexico is dangerous. 

Generally, the northern states and cities bordering the USA are more troubled than the rest of the country. Since the country relies on tourism, the government puts a lot of effort into keep any danger out of tourist zones so not to decrease the number of visitors. 

Petty theft and scams are probably the worst that can happen to majority of tourists or volunteers that don't venture around unsafe areas. And if you're staying there as a volunteer and meeting other travelers and local people, you'll quickly learn how to behave and places to avoid, ensuring a safe, fun experience.

For more information on this topic, read our article “Is Mexico safe to visit?”.

FAQs in relation to teaching English in Mexico

Is Mexico a good place to teach English?

Mexico offers rich cultural experiences and a high demand for English teachers, making it an excellent choice for teaching abroad.

What is required to teach English in Mexico?

A bachelor's degree and TEFL certification are typically required. However, Worldpackers provides opportunities without these prerequisites.

live in mexico and dive deep into its culture

Mexico awaits you!

By teaching English in Mexico, you can not only enrich the lives of your students but also experience an exciting culture much deeper than you would as a typical tourist.

The process might seem daunting, but with Worldpackers volunteer abroad programs it's smoother than you’d think. You'll find opportunities across Mexico and can connect with hosts directly through the platform.

Living and traveling in Mexico is an adventure of its own kind. The food, the people, the landscapes... It's all waiting for you! If you have proficiency in English and love sharing your knowledge with others, teaching English in Mexico could be your next life-changing experience.

So why wait? Embark on this incredible journey today and join us at Worldpackers.

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