Finding a House-sitter or Caretaker Opportunity in Central America
There are two kinds of caretakers that seem common here in Central America: watch some land, and watch the house. Typically, it's common to see locals employed in watching the land and/or foreigners house-sitting watching the house. I'm writing in this message about the kind of caretaker who lives in your house while you are away. It's often called house sitting, and the person often takes care of animals and the yard as well.
I thought about creating some type of caretaker database for this website, or a database of homes needing caretakers, but when I thought it through, it seems everyone's needs might be better served by simply sharing a few ideas for how to go about it.
Certainly, if you are are wanting to house-sit or wanting to find a house-sitter, you should let the people know in your local neighborhood. You should also post an announcement in a variety of places - country-specific email lists like those found in our list of online resources for Central America. Also please post an announcement here on the Central America Forum, either as a Forum Topic or a Blog entry.
Finally, there are a few resources you have available for longer-term caretakers: check out The Caretaker Gazette, and Caretaker Jobs. Of course, those organizations are global, not limiting themselves to the reach of a country-specific website or just the countries of Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Belize.
Typical arrangements I've heard of tend to leave a few expenses (like electricity) with the house-sitter, but in some situations also there are no expenses left to the house-sitter.
Of course, you should always call at least two or three references for a person you have not met, and assume that they are choosing their best references. And be clear on your expectations for each other. It's important to be able to communicate effectively with your potential house-sitter / owner.