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Do we have any more lookalikes? there have been rumours of a Jesus lookalike in mancora, and Jude Law worked behind the bar in Lima in October.

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No dating scene in Bolivia?

Well i have consulted Coleina (the previous love guide writer)  on this and she has told me the dating scene for gringas in Bolivia is a wasteland. It is certainly true that Bolivian people have the worst reputation for looks on the continent, but is this true? There is as i discovered a strain of beautiful women in Bolivia that all seem to live in the same areas and are all too willing to shed thier international reputation as ugly and sexless…

So to cut a long story short…somehow I ended up  in Potosi playing spin the bottle with 3 bolivian girls a Canadian and a Danish guy, there were certainly more teeth than people on the bolivian side and I was praying for the bottle to land on my Danish travel buddy, his long blonde hair and nice straight teeth were looking more and more appealing by the second and the beard he was sporting was now just a minor issue. The bottles circles began to slow and then it came to a halt between the Dane and one of the girls “spin again” I begged. But no, my fate was decided, luckily I was spared and just a peck on the lips was my only punishment. We left the bar after a few more nerve jangling spins and I wondered if I would ever find my Bolivian babe.

"Spin again, it was a false spin to start with, please, please!!"

I had heard rumours of beauties in Santa Cruz but by the time I got wind of that I was in La Paz and the linda latinas that i imagined while in the rat race in London seemed a million miles away, I then started to learn Spanish and my teacher told me of some places in the rich neighbourhood in La Paz that a filled with hot girls who are ready to shed the ugly Bolivian image.  The rich are rich in la paz, there is for example; a golf course that costs $20,000 a year to join (average salary in Bolivia is $2500 P.A) and huge houses with SUVs parked outside. It really is  a strange neighbourhood, full of TV stars, company owners and even the odd ex-pat and criminal.

To Be Continued….

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So perhaps you like the country you are in and want to meet some people and earn some money while you are there, well as many of you will know if you speak English you already have a job somewhere in the world and its all the more easier if you are native, because of course if you are native your English is better right?

Many teach in Asia where the wages can be as much as $3000 a month, nice, if you can sell your soul and teach 5 year old kids the alphabet for 8 hours a day.  But I am afraid in Peru wages are between $5 and $15 an hour, but still not bad, most will earn $7 an hour. All you need is perhaps a degree or  maybe not even that, but anyway we can all false s degree certificate cant we? Anyway life is better on this continent isn’t it. And many a latina/o will surely end up falling in love with there gringo/a teacher.

If you want it there is work out there

Those looking to wing it in lima like many do in South Korea will have a bit more difficulty generally South Americans have a good grasp of grammar so if you don’t know your past present passive from you present continuous you better swat up, or be caught out by some 14 year olds. The most enjoyable thing about teaching in South America and especially Peru is the people, students are fun  and interact with classes more, they will ask questions, give back some banter and you can genuinely get to know them and enjoy the lessons. Compare this to the robotic automatons that Asian students so often are, and you can see why more and more people are coming to South America to teach English.

There are some excellent international schools in Lima and for these you will certainly need a PGCE and Degree from good university, in fact the best schools on the continent are in Lima, and these have a worldwide reputation for brilliant students. The top schools in Lima are bilingual and these students will speak perfect English far better than most people from English speaking countries so you have to be on the ball to teach them. Most English institutes teach a variety of students from 6 year old kids to business people with a variety of English levels from basic to proficient. You will see these all over Lima, the biggest two are IPNA and Britanico.

Some institutes specialize in business people, teaching business people is also becoming more and more common, with 7% economic growth in 2010 Peru is a growing economy and English skills are essential for international trade.  If you can swap t shirts and jeans for shirt and trousers then this is an interesting way to make some money. You may end up working in high tech offices (be prepared for 7am starts) or for a mining company or even be sent to the mine itself to teach business people on site. This can pay up to $1200 a month with all meals and accommodation paid, but then you have to live in a mine for a month.

Teaching privately is also an option, but be prepared for students not to turn up or cancel at the last minute. You can charge $10 an hour and if get students to pay upfront for say 10 hours  you can get some cash coming in instantly. Once you get one student then you will surely get more especially if they are at college or at University.

You don’t really need a visa to find work in Peru, and it is not easy to get a working visa. So many people just don’t bother. TEFL qualifications are not that important unless you want to work for a really good English school, even then it’s not essential. A smart appearance and pleasant manner will get you far in South America.

Despite having a bad reputation as a smog filled crime fest most people will end up teaching English in Lima, and then they will see that it’s a great city with great people, nightlife, top museums and absolutely everything you would expect from a modern western city. There is also work in Trujillo and Arequipa and some as well in Cusco but it’s harder to find. So fancy earning some money in Lima? Get some smart clothes, print out CVs and Business cards and take them to some institutes. Send you CV as well but it is important to go in person, you should be able to get work no problem.

If anyone has questions please leave a comment and I will get back to you.

David Horne

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Queens day party 30th april

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