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Help! Looking for work in South America. What country, etc

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Help! Looking for work in South America. What country, etc

1. Posted by tbigler (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I spent February-June in New Zealand studying and while there I met people staying in hostels where they worked picking fruit. I am interested in doing something like this in South America during December. Are there similar opportunities in South America? What countries would be the most accomodating? Any information would help. As of now, I do not have a preference on the country but any advice would be much appreciated.

2. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but no one anywhere is going to hire you-not a chance.

Unlike New Zealand South American countries throng with achingly poor people willing to work @ menial jobs for peanuts to feed themselves/their families-would you work picking fruit 10-12 hours a day for a few dollars?

Even if you tried it you're unused to long hours of heavy labour/wouldn't last a week and the people doing the hiring know it even if you don't.

3. Posted by El Boot (Full Member 106 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

the best you can hope for is to work in a hostel. Lots of places offer free bed/food in return for working in the bar...

4. Posted by BHammer301 (Budding Member 33 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

hey buddy,

I got some good news for you. There are a bunch of programs out there that will set you up with work and housing. So your not out of luck yet. They usually costs a few bucks to book, but form what I hear they are worth it. Check web sites like Also, offers a ton of information too. do your homeowrk. and I bet you will find what you are looking for.



5. Posted by rachxx (Budding Member 14 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!


it´s not all bad news, though i think you have a better chance the better your spanish is, but it is possible with a bit of luck... i worked in la paz for one month as a secretary... what are the chances! And was also shocked by the number of advertisements in shop windows etc.. looking for workers (this is in la paz- i have no idea about anywhere else) But basically, if you don´t care what work you do, can speak good spanish, and don´t hope to earn a great deal... it can be done!

Best of luck,


6. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

It's not that easy to get work in South America, but it's far from impossible. If you are interested in fruit picking, you could check out the wine areas in Chile near Santiago and in Mendoza, Argentina, although I would agree with Sam Salmon in the sense that those jobs are probably going to be virtually impossible to get.

As an English speaker down there, your best bets are the following:

1. Teaching English as Foreign Language. (Contrary to popular belief, you dont actually need a TEFL qualification in S.A. You can definitely secure work without one. Lots of teaching Eng opps in Santiago Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina).

2. Working in English/Irish/American bars or restaurants. They welcome backpackers with open arms, and if you've any bit of charm or personality and you're sticking around for a while, they will consider you.

3. Hostel work - again, they are very receptive to native English speakers as these are the customers they are attracting. In fact, I was surprised to find in a Santiago, for example, that a number of hostels would not allow Chileans to stay there. *shrugs* So, they only hired backpackers who were staying around for a few months or longer.

Hope that helps. Good luck. ;)

7. Posted by sirwhale (Full Member 84 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Major opportunities for teaching English in Santiago, although not during the summer (Decemeber, January, February). You earn way over the minimum wage.