If you read regularly enough, you know that I am currently trying to decide if the path to teaching abroad is on my immediate radar. Since spending my junior year of undergraduate studies abroad, I have developed this longing to spend extended time in a Spanish speaking country yet again teaching English.
I tried for Spain last year, and after not receiving a feasible offer from a program, have started trying again for next year. Originally, Panamá was at the top of the list, but more recently countries such as Chile and Costa Rica have become the primary focus this go-around. I have had an interview via WorldTeach for a spot in their 2014, Costa Rica program, yet the costs would be upwards of $6,000, which, though including housing, a stipend, health insurance and round-trip airfare, is still a bit pricey in my opinion. I also applied for TeachingChile's program which requires a $1350 registration fee with some perks as well. CIEE has a similar program for a similar price, and English Opens Doors offers the same incentives for free in Chile with no fees attached, but for a shorter amount of time.
I thought I had bitten the bullet and had been able to suck up the "paying to volunteer abroad" juice, but I just can't shake the idea. So, I have started sitting back...and observing instead of over-thinking it. I've been going with the flow, throwing my options out and seeing what surfaces...
And that's when Ecuador starts showing up.
It won't go away, either! Everywhere I turn, Ecuador's major cities and the Galapagos Islands keep flashing favorable teaching options. Hmm...a sign maybe? Now, I will tell you all, though I like traveling and though I want to work in a Spanish-speaking country, a country who's primary area of focus on the US State Department page deals with "crime" does not make me feel too good about this. Not to mention that Quito, the capital city in the country, derives from the verbs to take off, to rob to remove and to get rid of. Not a good look, Ecuador, not at all.
I know very little about the dynamics of this country, but have applied now to two "real" positions there within the past few days. I've also started doing my research and plan to start talking to people- particularly women and persons of color- about their experiences there. In fact, one of my Meetup group members, a young woman in her late 20's, spent over a year there, so she is going to be my first point of contact.
So, readers, if any of you can offer any suggestions or assistance regarding Ecuador's educational system and dynamics, it would be most appreciated. I am going to be praying that God just keep pointing me in the right direction, and that he give me the knowledge and wisdom to help me determine the best plan for my life, in accordance with my needs and desires.