The Spanish Language Institute, also known as the Instituto de Lengua Española (ILE), is organizing an event for November 2 and 3 of 2017 to celebrate seventy-five years of thanksgiving–thanking God for His faithfulness through ministry. The event will be held at the ILE chapel and in the Sojourn gym with the collaboration of the ILE staff.
The Spanish Language Institute began in Colombia in 1942 and was created by the United Presbyterian Board. In 1950, the Spanish Language Institute moved to San José, Costa Rica. With the help of a board of directors made up by Costa Rican pastors and missionaries, the Spanish Language Institute grew into a strong and successful non-profit organization offering programs allowing foreigners to learn Spanish in order to do mission work in Spanish speaking countries.
Located in San Francisco de Dos Ríos in San José, Costa Rica, the Spanish Language Institute is surrounded by homes of Costa Ricans, a location which allows the institute to have a close relationship with the people in the community. Being surrounded by the Costa Rican community allows the missionaries attending the institute to live with families, learn more of the Costa Rican culture, and practice their Spanish. San Francisco de Dos Ríos is a strategic location due to the fact that is surrounded by restaurants, supermarkets, recreational parks, and plenty of bus stops that will take a person to downtown San José.
The staff is culturally diverse within the Spanish Language Institute. Most of the Spanish teachers are Costa Ricans who help the students learn more of the Costa Rican culture and Spanish. The institute also has North American staff members such as the director of the institute and the counselors. The Spanish Language Institute provides the students an opportunity to engage with the Costa Rican culture as they prepare themselves to minister in another Spanish speaking country.
Most of the missionaries who come to the Spanish Language Institute come as families. Because of this, in 1993, the Spanish Language Institute had to expand their facilities to include a school for the missionary kids. In this school, Sojourn Academy, missionary kids are able to continue their education and also are able to learn Spanish and interact with Costa Rican natives. This interaction came as a result of opening the school to Costa Rican children in 2006. This was a great opportunity to reach the community around the Spanish Language Institute for Christ. And not only does the school reach the community for Christ, but also provides an opportunity to Costa Ricans to expand their education.
Written by Melissa Prado and Michelle Prado