replied to the thread Teaching English in Cali
on the Colombia forum on March 09, 2014:
Hi ageecee. I see from your only 2 posts to date, you have said you are moving to Cartagena, and a couple of weeks later, you say you are moving to Cali.
That tells me you haven't really made much preparation, and are still in the initial stages of wondering whether you should, and where. (or is it even which lady you should move here to marry?).
In that case, I might suggest you read through one of the very recent threads, by Guy From Iceland, who started the thread "May be forced to move to Colombia, have questions". There are some excellent posts which highlight the dangers and difficulties of moving here to marry a girl that you may not know very well. Yes, of course, we are extremely flattered when a young pretty (and sexy) girl, half our age, shows some interest in us oldies. And they often say the nicest things, in fact, the very things that we love to hear. The dream is one of living in paradise, eternally surrounded by a harem of beautiful young virgins who will be by our side for ever, tending to our every need, loyal and faithful until the day we die. But I would suggest that thread is a very important thread to read. You also get to hear the truth in many of those cases. Not all Colombian girls are like that, but it makes you wonder what a young sexy and pretty girl sees in a guy who is almost at retiring age, fat, bald, and possibly going to need full-time care any time soon. (Ok, I exagerate, but you get my drift).
Then, if you do come on over, we would all hope that your move to Colombia is successful, and to be successful, you should be aware of the bad things as well as the good stuff. Which brings us to the question of employment.
Yes, there are jobs going here, but be warned that there are hundreds, and sometimes thousands of applicants for each job. (One school actually thanked, on their website, the 1,500 applicants for their vacancies, apologising that they couldn't answer them all). Unemployment is high, and if you don't work, you don't eat. Simple as that, I am afraid. Also, if you don't work, you can't pay your rent either. And if you don't pay your rent, you are out on the street, and quickly.
My suggestion would be to try and find a job before you come, searching online, or if you have any contacts here, maybe they could help you. The possible outcome could be that we will see you at the traffic lights, washing windscreens, or selling lottery tickets, trapped here, unable to afford your flight back to NZ..
Of course, if you have capital, it would help. If you could buy an apartment here, it would cut down the risk enormously, and your financial needs would be much lower.
But then, you still have to be sure that your new wife will be happy for you to buy one, for if all your wealth goes into a home, that means she will not be able to milk all your money away, then leave. She can, of course, get the property, but its oh, so much of hassle, taking you to court, and getting it awarded to her. Its much easier if you have the cash. Nice and clean, and quick.
Good luck, and hopefully you might have found the right girl, only time will tell. But if you read all the advice, you will be better prepared, and aware if you see some of the warning signs, and you can take action to protect yourself.
There are quite a few schools and institutes in Cali that teach English. You should have a degree for the best jobs, but as long as you can teach them to say eseven estudents you'll be OK! Also Wa-der for water. The people here think the American way of saying "water" is the proper way, and as a lot of teachers are Colombian, they put the "E" in front of words beginning in "S". You NEED Spanish for everyday life in Cali - not many people speak English. Some have spent years studying in the "Colombo Institute" and can only talk pidgin English. Best of Luck!