If you are hoping to use the Spanish language in cross cultural ministry, The Spanish Language Institute is the ideal place to pursue your interests. Since 1942, The Spanish Language Institute has helped over 16,000 missionaries achieve the language skills needed to serve the Lord in the Spanish-speaking world. But the Institute is much more than a language school. It is the ideal place to help you and your family transition from your home country to your field of service, offering help with housing, a school for the children, recreational facilities, pastoral counseling and the opportunity to fellowship with other missionaries who are preparing for service in Latin America.

Our teachers are committed to helping you understand and speak the “language of heaven,”  while our administrative staff will help you transition  into a new cultural setting. And our tour guides are ready to show you around the beautiful country of Costa Rica, known for its complex ecosystems, conservation efforts, political neutrality and friendly people.

The Institute’s academic program is flexible enough to adjust to a wide range of proficiency levels, from beginning to advanced, as well as a variety of learning styles and preferences. In addition to the traditional classroom, we offer the FARO community language learning program, as well as individual tutoring.

The Institute is located in a suburb of the capital city of San José, right in the center of the country, less than 2 hours away from the Atlantic or Pacific coast. Everything from concert halls and shopping malls to typical restaurants and flea markets are only minutes away from our campus, which contains 14 buildings extending over an entire city block.

If you find that you have questions that are not answered on our website or if you would just like to make personal contact with us, please do not hesitate to call or write. We will be most happy to hear from you.

Language, culture and character to equip Christian missionaries

The Spanish Language Institute has supported the Church for more than 75 years.

The Institution was originally founded by the United Presbyterian Mission Board in Colombia in 1942. But in 1950, the school was moved to San José, Costa Rica, where it continued to operate under the same board until 1972.

In that year, a non-profit Costa Rican organization (Asociación del Instituto de Lengua Española) was formed, which continues to govern the Institute through its annually elected Board of Directors.

Currently we support more than 120 missionary agencies by equipping their missionaries in Language, Culture and Character.

We have graduated more than 16,000 missionaries.

Non-Profit Association:

The Spanish Language Institute is a non-profit association dedicated to helping Christian missionaries transition successfully to the community that God has called them to serve in the Spanish-speaking world.

We are located in San José, Costa Rica.

The Association and its Board are made up of Costa Rican pastors and missionaries, along with representatives of several of the denominations and agencies who send their missionaries to the school for language training.

It is affiliated with FEDEMEC, a national evangelical mission sending agency, and ACEP, an association of private schools in Costa Rica.

Board of Directors:

The Board of Directors is elected by the association members at their annual meeting in November.

Missionaries and christian leaders serve God in our institution.

The Spanish Language Institute made the decision to develop a Strategic Plan that will lead the Institution to the level of excellence, harmony and unity that we know will honor our Lord Jesus Christ. This plan will be focused on our call to fulfill the Great Commission delegated by our Lord.

Although we know that all the blessing and prosperity of our Institution comes from His Grace, we want to be faithful stewards and honor the trust that the Lord has in us by delegating the administration of this Institution. We yearn for the Lord to say of us “good servants and faithful.”

Strategic Statements, a Vision from God:

Being witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ impels us to strive to know the Purpose and Plans of God for each one of us and of the Institution at this specific time.

2 Thessalonians 1:11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.

We have updated our Mission, Vision and Values. Also we have defined a Strategic Direction.

Strategic Direction:

We have established a Strategic Direction that indicates the way forward in the short, medium and long term.

It shows the emphasis expected in the daily actions of the Institution in four fundamental chapters: financial health, beneficiaries, processes and resources.

Main Objectives:

  • Financial Surplus:
  • Financial health
  • Stability and Sustainability
  • Beneficiaries Satisfaction:
  • Good Cost benefit relation
  • Academic excellence
  • Effective Counseling
  • “Seamless” processes:
  • Effective processes
  • Effective Control
  • Quality and Excellence
  • Effective resources:
  • Training, Motivation & Culture Change
  • Performance evaluation
  • Low Rotation of employees
  • Infrastructure Renovation


To equip and disciple our students linguistically, spiritually and culturally with excellence and effectiveness in order to reach the Spanish-speaking world with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ


We will be recognized as the Missionary Institution leader in the quality of the teaching of the language and the culture of the Spanish-speaking countries and in the equipping and spiritual guidance of Christian servants who fulfill the Call of the Great Commission

Our Values

Fear of God

We humble ourselves before God, we honor and revere Him. We know what the Lord has declared to us and what he expects of us, so we long to humble ourselves before Him to live in holiness and not to hurt His precious heart; We want to be faithful, just and merciful to others.

The Fruit of the Spirit

We long for the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives and Institution, so that we may act according to the manifestations of His Fruit.


Our will does not vary despite the circumstances, because our character is based on biblical principles, wherever we may be we act with truth and justice

Servant Leadership

We follow the leadership model of our Lord Jesus, serving humbly and being an example to all, doing real work in the role that is ours to exercise according to the purpose established by Him

Team work and unity

We have a single purpose for which we commit, strive and hold ourselves accountable to serve, grow and learn. We know that each of our gifts is important, complementary and necessary for our role at the Institution.

Christian Testimony

Our life and actions reflect the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are humble, loyal, honest, helpful and vigilant witnesses to the fulfillment of the call and personal growth.


We respect the racial, generational and cultural diversity among our students and employees. We focus on the fundamental doctrines that we have in common, taking care to respect the brothers who differ in minor issues.