Leon, Nicaragua Teaching English Q&A With Lela Pigott

Leon, Nicaragua Teaching Q&A With Lela Pigott


Lela, certified English Teacher

Lela, certified English Teacher

What is your citizenship?

United States

What city and state are you from?

Fairbanks, Alaska

How old are you?


What is your education level and background?

High school diploma and some community college.

Have you traveled abroad in the past?


If you have traveled abroad in the past, where have you been?

Spain: Marbella, Malaga, Madrid; Germany: Munich; France: Montpellier, Paris; Italy: Rome, Pisa; Hungary: Budapest; England: Brighton; Netherlands: Amsterdam; Canada: Vancouver

If you have studied abroad in the past, where did you study?

I did not study abroad.

What sparked your interest in going to teach English abroad?

Lela taking in the sites of Granada, Nicargua

Lela taking in the sites of Granada, Nicaragua

I actually came to Central America with no intention of becoming an English teacher. I was working at a yoga retreat center and happened upon TEFL through my unplanned travels. I met two of the recent graduates from the class before me, on an island in Nicaragua after spontaneously deciding to get off the Ticabus with a new friend. When they told me about what they had just completed, I was immediately curious. (Despite the fact that I had in fact, left the United States to get away from schooling altogether.) They gave me an email address to write to and before you knew it, I was enrolled in the TEFL academy in Nicaragua. I can honestly say it was the single greatest accomplishment of my life, and I can’t imagine doing it with better people.

What were some of your concerns before teaching abroad?

My main concerns were not being able to speak the language of the country I end up in, not being taken seriously as a woman, and getting lost.

What did your friends and family think about you moving and teaching abroad?

I have a very supportive family and friend group,  for the most part they were extremely excited for me to get the life experience that I crave.


Why did you decide to get TEFL certified and choose International TEFL Academy Nicaragua?

I decided to get certified because I had never tried anything like this before and the recent  who I talked to really seemed to enjoy it. I chose International TEFL Academy Nicaragua because I happened upon it and it seemed like a very reliable place.

Which TEFL certification course did you take?

I took the course at the campus in Leon, Nicaragua.

How did you like the course?

I loved it, the teachers and staff were nothing but supportive, and I left with a new found sense of accomplishment.

Lela with her fellow TEFL course graduates

Lela with her fellow TEFL course graduates

How has your TEFL training helped you in your current teaching position?

I have not begun teaching, as I have come home for the holidays


Which city and country did you decide to teach English in and why?

I have not made a decision yet, but I plan on returning to Nicaragua after the holiday’s.

How did you get your work visa? If you didn’t get a work visa, please elaborate on working under the table without a work visa.

 I have not begun working, but I learned in class that it is possible to work on a tourist visa in Nicaragua.

How did you find somewhere to live and what is it like? Do you have roommates?

The staff at the Leon campus helped me find my housing for the time I was in class. Otherwise I have just stayed in hostels.


Please explain the cultural aspects, public transportation, nightlife, social activities, food, expat community, dating scene, and travel opportunities in your country:

The locals are super happy and friendly.  I really didn’t need to take public transportation during class because everything is within walking distance.  The local nightlife scene has a great mix of international people, so there are always new people to meet.

What are your monthly expenses?

I paid $130 for the month while I was taking my course in Leon.

How would you describe your standard of living?

I would say its comfortable, but simple.

Lela and fellow TEFL student Jill volcano boarding in Nicaragua

Lela and fellow TEFL student Jill volcano boarding in Nicaragua

In your opinion, how much does someone need to earn in order to live comfortably?

Probably $300-$500 per month.

What advice would you give someone planning or considering teaching abroad?

It was a pleasant surprise for me.  It may be for you too.

Would you recommend teaching in your country?

I plan on coming back after the holiday’s, so yes.

Click here to see what another Leon TEFL graduate, Janet, has to say in her Q&A interview about teaching English in Nicaragua!


International TEFL Academy Nicaragua BBB Business Review