Frequent asked questions

Where is the VQC Mission located

The mission is located in ‘Barrio 70’, near the ‘Puesto de Salud’ / ‘Health Clinic’ in the village of Tuis. Tuis is a 30 minute drive past the city of Turrialba, and also going past the town of La Suiza. Turrialba is a 1.5 hour drive from San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica.

Tuis, Turrialba


How does one get around?

Tuis can be visited by car or by bus, and is serviced by a paved road from Turrialba. There is an hourly bus service (on the hour - mostly) from Turrialba to Tuis, taking about 30 to 45 minutes. The bus leaves from Tuis to Turrialba on the hour (mostly) and leaves from the center of the village. The cost of the bus is about 50 cents US.

Turrialba is a 1.5 hour bus ride from San Jose, leaving on the hour (in both directions). The cost is between $1.50 and $2 USD. The public bus service in Costa Rica is clean, efficient, and cheap. Local taxis are available and are efficient.

All international flights arrive at the Juan Santa Maria Airport in San Jose, or at the airport in Liberia (North Pacific). If your goal is to come to the Mission, then please arrive at the airport in San Jose.

A taxi ride to downtown San Jose (to the bus terminal for buses to Turrialba) from the airport will cost about $30 USD, or a taxi directly to the mission will cost about $90 USD. We can provide airport pick up as well for a fee comparative to a taxi drive. Contact us regarding transportation, in order to have a more personalized and secure experience. Car rentals can be arranged from the airport and many other locations in San Jose as well. There are NO car rental companies available in Turrialba.

Getting around in Tuis, Turrialba

What is the weather like in Tuis area?

There are usually 2 seasons in the Tuis area, the dry season, from late December to April, and the wet season from May to December. The dry season is usually hot and sunny averaging between 26 and 30 degrees C in the daytime. The wet season is mostly cloudy and cooler between 22 and 26 degrees C.

Weather in Tuis, Turrialba

What type of clothing should I bring?

The wet and dry seasons here can vary a lot so please come prepared for both. Useful items include an umbrella, light jacket or sweatshirt, sandals, light cotton pants, and light T-shirts. People will dress casually in the home, but tend to dress up when going to town, to church, etc.

CLoth to bring

Will I be safe?

The village of Tuis and all of the surrounding areas are quite safe. Turrialba is relatively safe, but please use good common sense. San Jose and Cartago are not very safe for foreigners and locals alike, both having problems with theft, but not with violent crimes. The locals do not carry valuables around with them, preferring to leave them in a safe place (not a car). Men rarely will carry a wallet in the cities. It will help you to look like a local, and tourists are usually easy to pick out of the crowd because of the way they dress. Dress like the locals, jeans, running shoes and a clean T-shirt.

The drinking water in the Tuis area is very good and safe from the tap.

Tuis is safe

What can I expect with the language and customs in Costa Rica

The language of Costa Rica is Spanish. If you do not speak Spanish and are coming to serve or visit, we require that you take Spanish language lessons at CISA. This can be easily arranged through us and will also increase the effectiveness and enjoyment of your time with us. You do not need to be fluent, but a few key words will go a long way. Both Pastors, Hector and Daniel, speak English, but very few others in our area speak more than a few basic words.

There are no strange customs in the country. The typical diet is beans and rice, served with a meat portion and salad or whatever is available. It is good and nutritious. People normally get up early, have a good breakfast, and then at about 12 noon the largest meal of the day is served. Suppertime often only resembles a snack with people going to bed early, usually between 8:30 and 9:30pm.

Living in Costa Rica

Where would I stay?

There are different options open to people coming to visit and people coming for short-term stays. One option is to stay at a bed and breakfast at a cost of about $30 per person per day. Another available option is to have a home stay where you get to live with a family in an immersion situation. The cost of this will vary but is generally quite inexpensive at about $25 per person per day. A third option is to stay at the VQC Mission building, if the rooms are available. Most of these types of stays will include some or all of your meals. We would put together a budget that where all prices quoted are in US dollars

For longer term stays, another option is to rent CISA’s 5 bedroom furnished house (if available). The cost of this is can vary, as you would be charged for the amenities and other services. Please contact us for a quotation and budget.

Where to stay in Tuis

Do I need to be special?

Yes and no. You must come with a heart that is willing to serve, to share from what God has given you, to have a teachable spirit, and to be a teacher. Our hope is that you open yourself up to God allow Him to do his good work in you and through you. If you are not a Christian, you are still welcome, as long as you come with a giving and teachable spirit.

Do I need to be special?

Is there Internet in Tuis and how can I communicate back home?

At the VQC Mission building, there is Wireless Internet available. The connection is not as fast as in the bigger cities, but it is still good.

The building also has a desktop computer that visitors can share and use.

Be aware that the homestays do NOT have Internet.

There are Internet cafés in the next town, La Suiza and in Turrialba.

Depending on your cell phone plan, you can bring your cell phone and use it here (although check before coming what the roaming fees would be).

If you are coming for longer term, you can rent a cell phone from CISA. It is difficult to get a cell phone line in Costa Rica, because there is only one cell phone provider for the whole country. So unfortunately it is not as easy as you would think, to simply ‘buy a SIM card’ here. Contact us for more details about this somewhat complicated situation.

Communications in Tuis

There are many public phones available that you can use an International Calling Card. It’s best to buy a phone card in Costa Rica (rather than bringing one from home) as we have found many foreign phone cards do not work.

The homestay families have either land lines or cell phones. Please be aware that in Costa Rica EVERY local call is charged per minute (they do not have monthly plans). So if you were to use their phone for a local call, it is courtesy to give them money to help pay for that expense.

It is goes without saying that using the homestay phone for ANY long distance calls are ONLY to be made with a International Calling Card.

Lastly, we have found the cheapest and most convenient way of contacting your friends and family back home, is to set up a SKYPE account on the Internet. Please ask us for details if you are not familiar with that computer program.

Skype Me™!

Can I expect thing to be less expensive than back home?

One misconception that many visitors to Costa Rica have is that they think that everything will be significantly cheaper than in their home country.

It is good to aware that although the standard of living is different or one would maybe say ‘lower’ than some more ‘developed’ countries, there are many areas in Costa Rica in which things will cost the same or in some cases more than in your home country. Imported products from the US, Canada or Europe will be more expensive here; name brand clothing, furniture, cars, particular food items that are typical of a North American diet (eg. Peanut butter, cereals, etc.).

You’ll also find that buying groceries (should this be your case), and maintaining the ‘style of eating’ from back home, will equal a significant high bill at the check out. Locals, on the other hand tend to eat very simply (local products) and know how to budget according to their income.

Some restaurants (depending on the location) will charge the same prices as back home. More local diners, sodas, etc. will be much cheaper, but would be serving typical food, not a North American style menu.

You will also find that in the Tourist areas (Pacific and Caribbean coasts), the tours, hotels, souvenirs, etc. will be in some cases around the same rates as one would pay in North America.

One area that does tend to be less expensive for visitors, are things like ‘services’. Getting your haircut, salons, cleaning services, seamstresses, movies, etc.

What should I know about Costa Rica?

Costa Rica has the highest literacy rate in all of Central America. It also has a social health care system (with some similarities to Canada), and places strong importance on education. It is a stable country, with no military and the people are famous for their smiles, generosity and tight family units.

We would encourage visitors to read about the history and culture of Costa Rica in order to understand more about its customs, standard of living, and people.

About Costa Rica



Contact in Costa Rica

April Binnie
Apdo. 28-7150
Turrialba, Costa Rica
Phones: office +506-2531-3251
Cell: +506-8822-6752

Contact in the United States

Beverly Liberman
3326 Caminito Cabo Viejo
Del Mar CA 92014
Cell: (707) 290 6174

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