Teaching abroad in El Salvador

El Salvador is a beautiful country to live and teach. We are happy to assist international school teachers in their search for jobs in El Salvador.

Key details

Population: 6,880,951
Capital: San Salvador
Currency: Salvadoran colón;United States Dollar
Number of international schools: 4
Number of IB schools: 1
Cost of Living

Living in El Salvador

El Salvador is a fiery country. Yes, as we know, fire exists between gangs on the streets, but it is also in the hearts of its proud, loyal and joyful people, and bubbling at the roots of the ground itself, in the many volcanoes that line this small and beautiful nation. It might not be at the top of everyone’s list as a place to live, but for those of you who are adventurous enough to call it home for a while, there is no doubt that you will be richly rewarded.

Situated as it is in the middle of Central America, the travel possibilities are exceptional, with direct routes to all the local countries and the US by air. But there is plenty about life in El Salvador that would keep you within its borders. The countryside is breathtaking. The land rises up out of the sea in dramatic crags, and the black sand beaches shimmer down the coastline. The mountains and volcanoes are flanked by lush rainforest and there are glittering volcanic lakes dotted all over the country. This means there are a great variety of outdoor activities to enjoy.

Many people are attracted to El Salvador for its first-class surfing. At various points along the coast, communities of surfers have set up camp and there is a laid-back vibe that extends from the waves to the beachside bars and restaurants. In towns like El Tunco they throw regular parties on the beach with live samba drumming, delicious barbecued fish, and fire-shows late into the night. The beaches further west down the coast are wider, and the sea calmer, attracting families and groups of friends looking for a slightly less extreme time.

Other outdoor activities are popular on the lakes and mountains inland. There are mountain bike tours, kayaking, and trekking in the ‘Parque Imposible’, potentially the best-named National Park for those of you who like a challenge. The Lake Coatepeque is particularly beautiful and the perfect place for a weekend getaway. You can follow ‘La Ruta de las Flores’ through the mountains, flower-lined roads and too little towns and villages in the hills.

There are plenty of cultural activities to enjoy if you live in El Salvador. The Mayan ruins at Tazumal are the most important in the area and definitely worth a visit. There are also many little colonial towns that are making a mark on the art scene with quirky shops and trendy bars frequented by artists and poets, most notably Suchitoto and Alegría. The civil war is still recent enough to be in the minds of the people to this day and this is reflected in the street art throughout the country, with many pieces being dedicated to Óscar Romero, the priest who was killed for speaking out for the people of his country.

The city of San Salvador is a bustling hub at the foot of the ‘Volcán Boqueron’, or ‘Big Mouth’. The city provides access to all the services you need with some high-end restaurants and a buzzing nightlife in the Zona Rosa. The shopping is excellent, with huge shopping malls being a favourite hang out for Salvadorans. The medical care is world-class, with many of the doctors having trained in the States. Having a car is definitely a must. From San Salvador you can drive to Guatemala in just a few hours and the roads are really well maintained, on the Salvadoran side of the border anyway. Driving around the country is a dream.

[Having said all that, there is no point in pretending that currently it isn’t an unsettled country with a reputation for being dangerous. Indeed, at the time of writing El Salvador ranked number one on the list of the countries with the highest homicide rate in the world. For the most part though, the violence takes place between gangs and away from the expat communities. With a few precautions, it’s perfectly possible to live safely and not to feel in danger.] Not sure about including this paragraph, but I put it in so you can choose. I figure most people will know about its reputation, so it’s good to acknowledge it and attempt to put their minds at ease. It’s true that I rarely felt in danger when I lived there.

Here is a good summary of various blogs to read about El Salvador, including links. By far the most comprehensive and in-depth is Tim’s El Salvador Blog, which provides a run-down of all current affairs and is updated regularly. And here is another list of blogs to browse through. This is a website created by the tourist board which helps tourists plan a trip to the country, and a connected Facebook group. Here is a really great set of videos that give you an insight into some of the most interesting sights.

El Salvador is certainly a complex place, but it’s full of possibility for someone who has enough fire in her belly and we definitely think you should take a closer look. This video is a must-watch for everyone and might help you do that.

Other useful websites:

Lonely Planet: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/el-salvador

Trip Advisor: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Tourism-g294475-El_Salvador-Vacations.html

Lonely Planet El Salvador

Latest teaching jobs in El Salvador
Visas and Medical

Citizens of many countries do not need a visa to enter El Salvador. For more information see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_El_Salvador Public healthcare in El Salvador is of a variable standard and expats are advised to use private health insurance. Your international school may provide this as part of the package.

Latest teaching jobs in El Salvador
Top schools in El Salvador*

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Top schools in El Salvador
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