Costa Rica

Costa Rica

The Republic of Costa Rica is the most democratic country of Central and South America. Costa Rica, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, lies between Nicaragua and Panama. The geographical area is 51,100 square kilometers (19,652 square miles) or about the size of West Virginia.

The seven provinces are Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, and San Jose. The population is 4,509,290 persons with 59% of the inhabitants living in the Central Valley. The official language is Spanish. Local currency is the Colon, named after Christopher Columbus. The official religion is Roman Catholic, with the freedom of expression of other beliefs.

The executive responsibilities are vested in the President, Laura Chincilla, who was elected on February 7, 2010. She is the first woman to be elected President. She and two Vice Presidents hold a 4-year term. Fifty-seven Legislative Assembly deputies are also elected for a 4-year term. Ex-presidents may run for reelection after they have been out of office for two presidential terms; deputies may run for reelection after sitting out for one term.

Costa Rica's people pride themselves in being a hospitable, peaceful, and gracious people. The army was abolished in 1949 and the country's emphasis was then placed on education. There are 6146 primary and secondary schools and 50 universities. The youth literacy rate is 98.3%. Primary education is obligatory; secondary education is available but not compulsory. The school year begins each February with mid-semester break the first two weeks in July. Classes end in mid December for summer vacation which coincides with the coffee harvest.

Main exports are electronic components, textiles, bananas, coffee, medical devices, pineapples, foliage and ornamentals, seafood and processed foods. The main industries are microprocessors, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products and tourism.

The Costa Rica Flag is formed by five horizontal stripes, the first and fifth are blue, the second and fourth are white, and the middle is a double red stripe with the Emblem.


The Emblem  has three volcanoes and a vast valley stretching between two oceans. In each of the oceans there is a merchant ship. In the horizon is a rising sun between the blue sky and the blue ocean. Seven stars forming an arch represent the seven provinces of the Republic. The crown is formed by a blue ribbon with the inscription, "America Central".

The national flower is the orchid, Guaria Morada. The Guanacaste tree is the national tree. The national bird is the Yiguirro (Turdus grayi) known for its whistles in melodic phrases.

One of the most representative handcrafted objects in Costa Rican culture is the Costa Rica Oxcart , drawn by a team of oxen. The oxcart was used during the colonial period for the transportation of sugar cane, tobacco and coffee and was a very important factor in the development of agricultural activity in Costa Rica.



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Thank You Jessalyn

 Our Missionary Intern, Jessalyn Waddell, has returned to her home in Catonsville, Maryland.  Jessalyn was a magnificent sweet spirit and in every effort she demonstrated a special heart for missions.  Her service with us blessed each VIM team.  Her assistance with the many duties between the teams was a vital testimony for us and our staff here at the camp.  She is remembered by the pastors and their families, congregations and friends for her help in the extension work of the mission.  Though we miss Jessalyn greatly, we are thankful for the time we had together.  We know she is needed right now in Catonsville with her family so we continue to pray for her mission of love and service there.  We are thankful for her prayerful concern for God’s will to be done in her life.  In His timing, we pray that she can return to serve with us.  We love you, Jessalyn!  Thank you!


We are pleased to present our personnel who work here at the Rural Center

Back row L-R: Alberto, Dennis, Andres, Mario, María, Flori, Santos, Eliza
Front row L-R: Geovanny, Pablo, Molly, Alissa, Keytlín (w/ Duquesa, Copita, Maní and Winky
Not Pictured, Guard Guillermo, Jimmy, Peggy and numerous dogs






¡Estamos alegres para presentar el personal que trabaja en el campamento!


Keytlin es nuestra secretaria en la oficina. Ella ayuda con las preparaciones para los grupos de voluntarios y los campesinos. Si usted llama el campamento, probamente usted va a hablar con Keytlin. 

Flori es nuestra administradora del mantenimiento del campamento y de la lavandería. ¡Sus habilidades creativas hacen una gran diferencia en la presentación del campamento! Ella cuida del campamento como si fuese su propio hogar. Sus tres hijos ya adultos son Gerald, Keilor y José Pablo.

Doña Santos y Eliza asisten a Flori en el cuidado del campamento. Santos y su esposo José además de sus cinco hijos viven en la granja próxima.

Dennis ha sido nuestro administrador de la granja desde 1998, cuidando del ganado, los cercos y una gran variedad de deberes. Vive aquí en el campamento y nos ayuda con muchas tareas. ¡Dennis es talentoso en el cuidado del ganado!

Andrés and Geovanny son nuestros trabajadores de construcción.  El trabajo ha avanzado tremendamente en su mando. 
Andrés y Karolina y su hija, Alexa quien tiene 5 años, viven en la granja próxima.

 Geovanny y Blanca tienen dos hijos, Jerson y Melissa, edades 5 y 4.  Viven en El Mirador.

Pablo es el joven del grupo. Él es un trabajador arduo y hace una gran diferencia para el campamento. Pablo vive con su madre en El Mirador.

Beatriz es nuestra excelente cocinera. Nosotros damos gracias a Dios por la manera en que el Señor ha contestado nuestras oraciones para su familia. Ella tiene dos hijos, Naomy en quinto grado y Daniel en el colegio. 

Alberto y Guillermo son los guardas de seguridad. Ellos se encuentran aquí todas las noches. Alberto está aquí durante de la semana y Guillermo en los fines de semana. La seguridad es un asunto de prioridad y damos gracias por su fidelidad.

Peggy Miller Briles ‘vino a hogar’ al Centro Rural. Peggy es la hija de la pareja misionera que estableció el Centro Rural en 1953. Peggy y su gemela identica, Kitty nacieron en Chile. Ellas aprendieron el español antes de ingles. Agredecemos su ayuda con los grupos voluntarios.