Here’s my paycheck for teaching ESL part-time for the month of May.
“Read ’em and weep boys” That’s what an instructor I used to know would say as he handed back his students’ graded exams. Same could be said for paychecks in Peru.
I only taught 2 classes, or about 4 hours a day, 18 days per month. The grand total is S/.800 (~ $280). Notice how S/.104 (~$35) is deducted for my retirement and my employer generously chips in S/.72 (~$25) for EsSalud health insurance. I take home S/.696 (~$250) at the end of the month.
That’s less than what the taxes on my WEEKLY paychecks at GE used to be 😦
Not that I’m an ungrateful gringo, I just do the teaching job for fun, it’s a nice way to meet local people and get out of the house for a few hours. For a single person who wants to spend a few months in Latin America teaching ESL is actually a good gig. If you work full time (4 classes ~ 8 hrs / day) you can make about S/. 1,500 (~$500) per month, enough to cover your living expenses down here.
At ICPNA my pay is actually better than average for Peru. The minimum wage in Peru is around S/.550 (~$180) per month, average starting wages in Cusco for respectable jobs like drivers, nurses or teachers are around S/.800 (~$280) per month – full time.
If you ask me, the way to make money in Peru, start your own business. That’s what I tell all my students, “Make your own luck, don’t work slave labor for a bunch of old rich guys…”