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Teach English in the Middle of the World: Ecuador
Written by: International TEFL Academy
Last Updated: January 5, 2021
Ecuador is paradise for lovers of stunning natural beauty and diverse culture. If you want to journey to the middle of the world, or least at “zero degrees latitude,” this is the place to be! While teaching English in Ecuador, be sure to explore the wonders of the Galapagos Islands; venture up the slopes of volcanoes; admire the stunning beauty of the Andes Mountains and discover a nation whose national identity incorporates influences from ancient indigenous cultures, Spain, and even Africa!
Cuenca’s Historic City Center
Cuenca is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the third largest city in the country. Locals claim it is the most beautiful and charming city in the country and certainly a vast array of historic churches, mazes of cobblestone streets and grand old colonial mansions will welcome you here. Set high in the Andes at 2500 meters (8,400 feet), the city traces its roots to the Canari civilization that settled the area 1,500 years ago. Named Tomebamba by the Incas, the city was said to be filled by golden temples and was considered to be a candidate for the mythical golden city of El Dorado that Spanish conquistadors believed would bring them endless riches and glory. Today it offers a great introduction to Ecuadorian history and culture and is also a sizeable job market for teaching English in Ecuador.
Want to know what it's actually like to teach English in Cuenca, Ecuador? Check out Cuenca, Ecuador Q&A with Lynsey Schwab to get a firsthand account from an International TEFL Academy graduate who is teaching there right now!
Home to some of the most unique species and ecosystems in the world, the Galapagos are most famous for inspiring Charles Darwin's groundbreaking Origin of Species and his Theory of Evolution. It is also one of the most beautiful places on earth defined by lunar-like landscapes distinguished by volcanic craters and lava tubes. Here you can swim with sea lions and penguins; hang out with giant tortoises; snorkel with marine iguanas and admire fascinating bird species like blue-footed boobies, Darwin finches and an array of fascinating herons and gulls! Because they have not been exposed to predators, many species hold no fear of humans and will allow visitors the opportunity to approach and view the wildlife from extremely close-up. At the same time, strict rules are applied to human interaction with the Galapagos wildlife to protect the species and their natural habitat.
Famous for attracting hippies (at least back in the day), surfers and others who prefer a laid-back lifestyle, Montanita is a beach town and one of the favorite spots for surfers and the young. Parties, the beach, delicious food, “agua ardiente” shots and nightlife will capture you here with their infectious energy. This surfing mecca has year-round readable waves that can reach 2 or 3 meters at good places and experts warn “that this is not a place for beginners.” The internationally renowned “Surf Carnival” surfing competition is usually held here in February and attracts expert surfers from around the globe.
The most amazing wild life awaits you in the Ecuadorian Amazon where a vast array of colorful monkeys, toucans, anacondas and even river dolphins await those who venture along the great river and its tributaries. This may be the best destination for bird-watching in the entire continent, as it is home to more than 350 species. You can also experience the traditions and cultures of indigenous inhabitants of the region by living with a “Quichua” family for three or four days while you explore the region's spectacular waterfalls and lush jungles. You will also learn how the Quichua have thrived for generations while living in harmony with the rhythms of the rainforest and you may even be able to attend a traditional shaman ceremony as well.
As in other South American nations like Peru and Chile, the breathtaking Andes will captivate your eyes during your stay in Ecuador. The Sierra is home spectacular snow-capped volcanoes, forests, lakes and hot springs that provide dreamlike relaxation after a day of hiking and trekking. If you head south to Vilcabamba, explore El Cajas National Park or Podocarpus National Park. If you want to head to the Central Andes, visit Cotopaxi National Park, Banos Park, or hike the huge crater lake of “Quilotoa Loop.”
Founded in 2010, International TEFL Academy is a world leader in TEFL certification for teaching English abroad & teaching English online. ITA offers accredited TEFL certification courses online & in 21 locations worldwide and has received multiple awards & widespread recognition as one of the best TEFL schools in the world. ITA provides all students and graduates with lifetime job search guidance. ITA has certified more than 35,000 English teachers and our graduates are currently teaching in 80 countries worldwide.
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