By Senior Associate Jennifer Imholt
Someone once warned Bob and me early in our careers that if you go to Latin America, you’ll never want to leave. We laughed and said, “It’ll only be for a couple of years.” Guess what? Eleven years later, we were still there! Our fond memories and experience of working in three international schools in the region will forever be in our hearts.
We have been asked many times by candidates, “What’s so special about Latin America?” Where do I begin? Here’s our TOP 5 Reasons why it’s an amazing place to live and work.
Reason # 5: It is a region of incredible natural beauty and biodiversity. Just about every type of biome you can imagine can be explored. Seven wonders of the natural world are calling, and you won’t be disappointed: the Amazon Rainforest, Angel Falls, the Galapagos Islands, Iguazu Falls, Salar de Uyuni, Atacama Desert, and Torres del Paine. If you are an outdoorsy, adventurous person, you can always find something to do.
Reason # 4: This is a region boasting vibrant artisans of all types. If you like colorful woven arts, intricate pottery, wood work, leather goods, fine filigree jewelry, and natural stones and gems, you can find it all, and then some. Whether you are visiting the plaza in the center of a tiny town,visiting a large metropolitan city, or wandering open markets on the weekends, exploring parts of Latin America is an experience for the senses.
Reason # 3: Latin America is a region where you can develop your linguistic skills and actually apply them. If you’d like to practice your Spanish or Portuguese skills, you’ve come to the right continent! You’ll be amazed by the variety of dialects. You might even surprise yourself and pick up some Guarani in Paraguay. You’ll also make local friends who will appreciate your effort and enthusiasm to learn their language and culture.
Reason # 2: It is a region of rich culture and history. If you enjoy learning about ancient civilizations from the Mayas to Incas to many impressive cultures in between, there is so much to see. Amongst the wonders of the world, you can visit Chichen Itza, Mexico, known for its vast Mayan ruins. Hike the heights at Machu Picchu, Peru, the most well-known symbol of the Inca Empire. Look up at the towering statue of Christ the Redeemer, standing 130 feet tall on the peak of the Corcovado Mountain in Río de Janeiro, Brazil. From ancient to colonial to modern sites, history buffs will enjoy exploring the marvels of Latin America.
Reason # 1: In this special region, amazing international schools come in all shapes, sizes, and curricula—American, British, Canadian, IB, and hybrids of all kinds. You’ll find large flagship schools with 80 or more years of well-established history, tiny schools nestled on the Caribbean coast, schools terraced into mountainsides at 8000+ feet elevation, and schools hidden in lush rainforest campuses. Big or small, old or new, each school has something unique and special to offer, and they are all looking for quality educators to join them!
One thing you’ll find that these places have in common is that you’ll be welcomed like you are part of the family, with warmth, kindness, and generosity of people eager to share their culture and lifestyle with you. Come find out what all the excitement is about. You might just stay for a while!
Search Associates works with close to 100 schools in the region, and many will be represented at the Latin America fair in Panama City! Make plans to join us in November.