Hello, my name is Todd Lichtenwalter and I have been working at CIC now for 11 years. Living in Valencia allows one to experience one of the better cost of living locations in the world. Taking a look at some of the common living expenses, groceries and automotive, will give you insight into the boost in savings potential one can realize while working at CIC. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Buying your weekly produce is relatively inexpensive compared to prices in North America, especially if you buy from the venders at the local street mercados as opposed to chain grocery stores. I visit a Saturday morning market near my apartment that is within walking distance of most teachers apartments. Below you can see what I purchase on a typical weekend, which cost me $27, about 1/3 of the cost in the US, and a savings of about $2600 annualy. As the inflation rate here runs so high, there are times when this cost drops to around $10 per week.
Shopping at local grocery store chains is priced comparable to North America in my experience, with some items being more expensive, especially North America name brands, that are imported. However, I use a door to door sea shipping company to buy year supplies of items I enjoy including some home supplies and food items that I don't want to miss out on by living overseas. As such, I go to the local grocery stores only a few times a year. When there is something I need in a pinch (food items or otherwise), Amazon.com will deliver some items and they can be here within 7-10 days.
Vehicle Operation and Maintenance
For around $5K you can get a good used car which will hold its value during your stay. I buy just the minimum annual car insurance which runs me about $10 per year, that is a saving of about $1500 compared to annual car insurance rates in the US. Gasoline is essentially free, right now it cost me 2BsS to fill up and the conversion rate at the moment is 830:1). For maintenance, there are a number of trusted and good mechanics we teachers use. I suggest buying one of the popular model cars as it will ensure cheaper replacement parts. Also, mechanic labor cost are significantly cheaper here than North America. The average US driver spends 7% of their income on gasoline, another significant annual savings, an average of $4,062.
Having a maid, good air quality, a beautiful work environment, and access to some of the most beautiful beaches in world are some of the additional perks that come with working at Colegio Internacional de Carabobo. Many, if not most, of the international teaching jobs are in cities of sub-optimal air conditions. I personally put a high price on this attribute and find Valencia one of the better locations a teacher can find in the international teaching circuit. Additionally, our campus must be one of the more beautiful school campuses in the world per its tropical setting on the outskirts of the Amazon rainforest. Having a maid here is very low cost, and it is a much appreciated perk to come home at the end of the day and your apartment is spotless with the evening meal and your lunch for tomorrow already waiting. A typical maid cost about a $2 per week for 2 cleanings. I personally just hire my maid out full time M-F. Such as perk is just not possible on a teacher salary back in the US.
Annual Teachers Beach Trip
Venezuela is full of many exotic and interesting places to visit. Some teachers really get after it and buy a car and cover numerous locations from the Caribbean beaches, to the snow capped mountains of Merida, to the tropical grassland savannah of Los Llanos, to the Amazon rainforest. You will be hard pressed to run out of places to explore. Say good bye to the frozen winters of North America, and come to a land of perpetual summer and spring!