Work and Travel in El Salvador

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Volunteer and Paid Work Opportunities in El Salvador for Travellers

El Salvador is one of the most unstable, volatile nations in Central America. Only travellers who’re tough enough will brave work and travel in El Salvador. If you have that sort of character about you, think about volunteering opportunities in El Salvador. You’ll experience an incredible array of things in this small country.

We’re going to show you the volunteering opportunities you won’t find in travel guides for El Salvador. See if this is going to be your next big adventure!

1. Sea Turtle Conservation in El Salvador

The sea turtles of Central America are highly endangered. Efforts are being made in countries like El Salvador to protect their habitats on the Pacific Coast. Participate in helping with this vital conservation initiative as you work and travel in El Salvador.

If you have specific qualifications, you could even help nurse sea turtles back to health, which have been injured by fishing nets and hunters.

2. Plant Fruit Trees to Benefit the Environment

Fruit trees are incredibly beneficial for the environment. There are programmes doing this all over the world, but they also have a presence in El Salvador. It’s a fun volunteering role for those who want to get out into the rural areas and experience this beautiful landscape.

Planting fruit trees is done in collaboration with local communities and they help to revitalise the environment. In the long-term, you’ll be doing a lot for the rural areas of El Salvador.

3. Teach English in El Salvador

Do you want to teach English in El Salvador? San Salvador, the capital, is an excellent place to do this and experience a long-term stay in El Salvador at the same time. You don’t necessarily need anything other than to be a native English speaker.

It does help if you already have a TEFL qualification as this will enable you to take on paid work in higher education institutions. But you can also study towards your TEFL qualification in the country.

No prior knowledge of Spanish is required, but it helps.


El Salvador is an extremely open country and getting a visa to enter the country is easy. Citizens from the EU and people from the UK can enter without a visa for 90 days. The same applies to all North Americans, South Africans, Russians, the Japanese, South Koreans, Australians, and Kiwis.

You should also remember that if you have visited Guatemala, Honduras, or Nicaragua you will already be able to enter the country without a permit overland. This is due to the CA-4 Agreement signed by the four countries in the mid-2000s to harmonize their visa regime.

It’s also similar to the Schengen Zone in that you can only spend a total of 90 days at a time in all four countries. A lot of travellers have fallen victim to this, particularly Europeans. However, you can simply leave the zone and re-enter to get a new 90-day visa without any problems.



The springtime is actually the hottest time of the year. Specifically between March and April are the hottest and most humid times of the year. For seasonal work at this time of year, it’s best to head away from the coasts towards the conservation projects there.

You’ll be able to find conservation projects for both the environment and the wildlife. But it’s best to apply for these well in advance as they tend to have lots of applicants.


The second half of the dry season takes place over the summer. The coastline is your best choice for picking up seasonal work as you travel in El Salvador as this is when both foreigners and El Salvadorians flock to the Pacific. The surf camps and the various resorts all need volunteers at this time of year to deal with increased demand.

You don’t need any qualifications or experience to pick up much of this work, but if you do have specific skills you’ll find it easy to snag some paid work in the process. For example, you may be able to become a dive or surf instructor on the Pacific Coast.


The beginning of autumn carries on in the same vein as summer. The jobs in the previous section are still available, but if you want to try something different you may choose to find work on the various ranches inland. These ranches could involve you taking care of the horses or just helping out around the house.

It’s one of the best ways to get a taste of authentic El Salvadorian life. Generally, the good weather will last until November when the rainy season hits.


The wintertime is the rainy season and is not an ideal time to work and travel in El Salvador. The best seasonal work to pick up at this time of year is English teaching work. Nobody wants to be outside in the rain and it’s the perfect time to work in a city like El Salvador.

If you join up with a teaching programme you may even be able to offer a basic education to underprivileged kids in the inner cities and poorer areas. But beware of taking work in the rural areas as it’s easy to get cut off in the remote parts of the country.


Unfortunately, travel in El Salvador still comes with a negative reputation. Many still believe that work and travel in El Salvador is impossible because it’s so dangerous. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Taking proper precautions, such as not taking chicken buses between towns at night, will ensure that you run into no problems.

El Salvadorians are just like the rest of Central America. You’ll get the usual parade of touts and scammers in the major resorts, but outside of that you’ll find that they come with traditional Latino hospitality.

Do you have what it takes to work and travel in El Salvador?

Recent Contributors

  • Edited on Jan 16 2018 by Yara

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