Change Of Plans-- Help!

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Change Of Plans-- Help!

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1. Posted by hummingbird500 (Budding Member 38 posts) 49w Star this if you like it!

Hello all,

So, I was all set to go on a year long trip to Colombia to teach English, leaving in January or February. However, yesterday I received an email that the program is basically canceled! There is still a small chance for me to receive a position through a different program but I'm not going to bet on it. So... I have no idea what to do. I still want to spend the year of 2018 in Latin America, but I don't know how I will do it. I am already applying to other jobs in the region but... I can't be sure of anything.

If anyone has any recommendations of places I should go or things I could do to support myself whilst travelling alone in Latin America, I would be very grateful. I am certified to teach English, so this is always an option... please let me know what I should do! I'm really devastated by this, as all my plans for the next few years have gone down the drain. I'm praying the smaller programs in Colombia will work out but I must arrange a Plan B in case they don't. Maybe something in Mexico City or Montevideo? I'm really just looking for any recommendations you can give me at this point... I feel as though I will explode if I have to stay in my country for even a few more months.

Thanks for your help fellow travellers!


2. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 613 posts) 49w Star this if you like it!

Oh that really sucks. Nothing worse than all your plans falling through. If you can't find alternative employment in Columbia you may need to defer your trip. Even if you find something in Mexico or Uruguay you'll need time to apply for whatever permissions are required to work in those countries and those are not usually granted within 24hrs:(

Is there no way you could stretch your savings? I don't know your trip details but maybe you could see if there are cheaper alternatives to your original planned itinerary? Another thing might be to just have a shorter trip. It will let you scratch that travelling itch and you can still try an arrange work somewhere in South America for your deferred longer trip.

3. Posted by hummingbird500 (Budding Member 38 posts) 47w Star this if you like it!

Thanks for understanding, Teoni.

I had another job offer this week and the company is reputable, but the reviews by former employees are pretty bad. I might pass on that and just go down by myself. If I haven't found anything by February 1st.... I'll plan to go down to Bogota by the end of February and just find something for myself. I'll have enough to support myself for a few months at least, but I hope it won't take that long. I've looked into a couple of other programs that seem promising and begin in March.

Who knows! I'll just have to carpe diem until I figure out something.



4. Posted by hummingbird500 (Budding Member 38 posts) 44w Star this if you like it!

So, I've been looking into some more options but I've had yet another setback. I was planning to go down to Colombia and follow up on some email correspondence I've had with schools in Bogota but I received some traffic tickets for which I must go to court to expunge. The court date isn't until the 26th of Feb.

Now I'm worried that going down to Colombia so late will mean I've missed the major hiring season. I don't want to arrive there and find that there are no open positions left.

So, I've done some thinking and looked into other options. One that has really gotten my attention is Montevideo, Uruguay. It is a bit more expensive and farther away, but its safety, location, and good market for English teachers seem attractive to me. It seems like a wonderful option, as it has easy access to Buenos Aires and Brazil as well... what do you think? Is Montevideo too far away/ difficult to get to? Should I keep faith in my Colombia plans?

I would like to look at other countries but... I really prefer to explore South America rather than Central or the Caribbean. But... I would like to be close to my friends and family, and to stretch my budget as far as possible in case it takes me some time to find a job. So... what should I do? I've already moved out of my apartment and want to make plans as soon as I can. I fear the generosity of my friends who have been letting me sleep on their couches will run out near my court date

Any thoughts are much appreciated



5. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 613 posts) 44w Star this if you like it!

Again I have to bring up the point of, do you have the paperwork to seek employment in Uruguay?

6. Posted by johnniewalker01 (Budding Member 25 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

Hi Folks!

I think Uruguay is a great place to get a job, It´s a beautiful country and it do has good options for english teachers. I don´t know if you need to do some paperwork for that but...if I were you I would go to montevideo and explore the options directly.

I recommend go there around 03/01, when academic year begins. They always have good choices for english teachers at that time, and also if you can´t find some job quickly you always can look into others options right there. So my advice is... to go to Montevideo on early march and figure out directly which is the job that fits you.


7. Posted by hummingbird500 (Budding Member 38 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

Hello fellow travellers,

Thanks for all the great input. I have finally made some plans!! I have received two offers. One in Bogota with a private English school, and one from a national program. The national program seems a bit disorganized, and I could potentially be working in Cali, Santa Marta, or Barranquilla. For this reason I am leaning more towards the position in Bogota.

Either way.... I will plan to arrive in Bogota March 1st or 2nd. I will make my decision soon as to which job I take.... And if something happens and both jobs become unavailable to me, I'll head straight to Montevideo!

So excited for the coming weeks.... I'll be in Bogota March 1st or 2nd and I'll be sure to update you on which job I choose.

Thanks for sticking with me through all the confusion!



[ Edit: Edited on 12-Feb-2018, at 12:46 by hummingbird500 ]

8. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 43w Star this if you like it!

Teoni, you're killing me with your consistent spelling of Colombia....

I lived for two years teaching English in Cartagena. There are several schools there. I would hate for you to miss the opportunity to go there. Look there and Barranquilla. Even if you CAN'T find a job there, and plan just to travel now, I would go there. Boots on the ground might find you something. Get a tan. Go to Taganga and scuba dive for a while.

ah, reading farther along I see you have a shot at Bogota. It's a cosmopolitan city, but fairly rainy and cold for being so close to the equator. Me, I'd try for Santa Marta, which is very close to Barranquilla, Taganga and Carta. It's a nice Caribbean city. Either choice is you getting to live abroad, and so is awesome.

Montevideo is a very nice little city....But why the crazy urge to go there rather than anywhere else? Also, it gets cold down there and they SUCK at insulating for some reason.

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Feb-2018, at 21:38 by Piecar ]

9. Posted by hummingbird500 (Budding Member 38 posts) 42w Star this if you like it!


Thanks for the input. I put my preferences for cities for the program as Santa Marta, Cali, and Barranquilla. Definitely want to experience the coastline of Colombia, but I'm not sure I could pass up an opportunity at living in such a lively, amazing city as Bogota. Oh well, I suppose this decision will be made for me. Still waiting to hear back from both programs but... I just bought a one way ticket to Bogota for March 2nd! So its definitely happening!

About Montevideo, it just seems like a city I would personally enjoy very much. Everything I've seen and read about it makes it seem like the perfect place for me. Maybe I'll head down there after a few months in Colombia, who knows.

I'd love to hear more about your experience teching English, any and all tips/ recommendations are welcome!


10. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 42w Star this if you like it!

Bring warmer clothes than you'd expect, is my only real tip then. I'm not against Bogota as a city, but it's a CITY and so is like other cities. I love Colombia. I think Colombians are great people. I hope you are going to a real school, and not Berlitz, which was my first school. Their system is so limiting.

Good for you buying a one way ticket. That's adventuresome. If you are going without a working visa in place, be aware that you have to leave the country to process a working visa, and then return. I had to fly back to PTY and come back in.