Maximo Nivel > Volunteer Abroad > Teaching English

Volunteer Teaching English

Maximo Nivel’s teaching English projects offer volunteers lots of opportunity to hone their teaching skills and help local students improve their English skills.

The public education systems in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru do not offer high quality ESL (English as a Second Language) classes. Speaking English is a life-changing skill for people in developing countries, because it opens both academic and professional opportunities, and provides a path out of poverty. Most middle and upper class students learn English at private language centers, which unfortunately are too expensive for a large part of the population. This creates an unfair gap between those who can afford English and those who can’t. Volunteers can help make real impact in people’s lives by teaching English!

What will you do as an English Teaching Volunteer?

Maximo’s teaching English projects serve underprivileged schools and communities—people who want to learn English, but who don’t have the financial means to do so. Volunteers work in a variety of settings including public schools, community centers, after-school programs, shelters for street children, and other educational programs for the poor. Work varies at these projects, but generally consists of creating lesson plans, teaching classes, one-on-one tutoring, and organizing educational games and activities. You may also work in support activities such as cleaning and fixing up the teaching areas, fundraising and collecting donations of books and other educational materials. Classes are taught in the mornings or afternoons.

As part of your orientation, you will take part in Maximo Nivel’s ESL Crash Course to make sure you understand basic ESL teaching strategies, and to be sure you have access to Maximo’s materials, books, and lesson plan ideas to get you started.

CountriesCosta Rica, Guatemala, Peru
Program DurationMinimum 1 week; We recommend 2 weeks or longer.
Work Schedule3-4 hours/day; Working hours are either in the morning or afternoon, depending on project site.
Volunteer Requirements– At least 17 years of age
– Native English speaker or qualified via Maximo’s English Diagnostic test
– Flexible, creative, resourceful
– Hard working, ready to do anything!
– Work independently to create lesson plans
– Spanish language skills are not required
Apply Now!

Need Help? Talk to our Programs Advisors today!

Contact us or schedule a live call

What our English Teaching Volunteers are saying…

“I cannot even begin to put into words this life changing as adventure! The first day, I was all alone in a different country, with no friends, no Spanish background, and very limited WiFi!?! It was scary and intimidating but literally by day three, I adapted rather quickly and felt like I had been there for months!! It truly, truly changed my life. My first week was consumed by Spanish classes, in which my “Spanglish” improved enough for me to get by, and was introduced to my students. The students I taught came to a one room building in a community member’s backyard and was properly dubbed “The Backyard School.” Those little angels have changed me for the better and humbled me so very, very much so! Their eagerness to learn, gratitude for EVERYTHING and just overall joy was abounding and infectious!!! I will FOREVER be connected to that developing school. They taught me more than I could have ever hoped to teach them! I also was afforded the most magnificent cultural experiences, my favorite being climbing a volcano and taking in absolutely breath taking views. I made friends from all over the globe and had THE BEST housemates AND host family I could have ever imagined!! The Backyard school family, community and students include some of the most amazing people I have ever met and I truly want to continue to help them create the vision they have for their students. If you are interested in positively impacting the lives of many children, please volunteer and request this program. I guarantee it will change your life!”
“Majority of volunteers take part in this experience to grasp a feeling of accomplishment and value, not only did I fulfill my hopes of achieving that, this experience provided me with a new outlook on life. I was able to connect with so many locals, teachers and children within the two weeks I taught. As a volunteered teacher, you are able to connect with children within the classroom and outside of the classroom. You are able to learn the everyday struggles that the people of Costa Rica experience, things that you as a volunteer would never think is a problem. On the contrary to the “struggles” some experience, you gain a appreciation for your life as well as you learn from who you met on your travels how sincerely grateful they are to just be placed on this earth. That alone gives volunteers a reminder that life is too short and you need to seize any opportunity you get to help those who cannot help themselves. If you are considering volunteering, all I can say is say yes. Start to saying yes to life in general, I would recommend Costa Rica to anyone because the teaching program offers each volunteer to immerse yourself into the culture, enhance your language skills and help those in need.”
“I volunteered with Maximo Peru in Cusco for 3 weeks teaching English in October 2017 and what an amazing experience it was! From the moment I arrived to the day I left I was given all the help and support I needed from the superb Maximo team on the ground in Cusco. My living accommodation was great and my host family were so hospitable I felt like a member of the family! I was teaching English in an after school program to children between the ages of 6-12. They had an infectious happiness and willingness to learn that it made my time with them enjoyable and fun everyday whilst I was making a real impact to the quality of their written and spoken English. I would highly recommend Maximo Peru for any volunteer program you´re thinking of doing!”

Take your English teaching to the next level!

They say “all those who wander are not lost” and this is especially true if you’re TEFL Certified. Do you love teaching English? Do you want your experience abroad to continue? Do you want to travel, teach, earn money, and build your international résumé?

Maximo Nivel’s TEFL Certification Program is your ticket to living and working abroad. Our TEFL program is a professional, accredited, teaching certification that qualities you to teach English anywhere in the world. Maximo’s 4-week/150-hour TEFL program includes 100 hours of classroom training, 25 hours of practical teaching and observation, and an additional 25 hours of self-study and reading outside of the classroom. Learn more about TEFL Certification >

  • Packing Essentials to Volunteer Abroad

    Volunteering abroad is an experience we recommend to anyone who can dedicate time, skills, and passion to those in need no matter where they might be. And though more and more people are jumping on [...]

  • Top 3 Reasons to Spend Thanksgiving Abroad

    Thanksgiving Day is largely celebrated in the U.S as a time to spend with close family and friends; eat, drink, and be merry, they say. But more and more Americans are finding it hard to [...]

  • My-Experience-Volunteering-with-Maximo-Nivel-Costa-Rica-v-Peru

    My Experience Volunteering with Maximo Nivel: Costa Rica v. Peru

    I love volunteering abroad because it allows me to make a positive impact while having the opportunity to travel to a new land. Fortunately, through fundraising and having a supportive social circle, I was able [...]