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March 9, 2011

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March 9, 2011

I volunteered for ACA for 2-3 months during summer of 2010. I spent most of my time in the Washington, DC headquarters, but traveled to Peru for a week to visit the offices in Cusco and Puerto Maldonado. My time with ACA was extremely positive. I was especially intrigued by the organization's willingness to try innovative and daring new strategies to promote conservation in the region, such as their Brazil nut project and conservation corridors. Because they are able to combine scientific expertise with passion for the environment, they are very effective in Peru and Bolivia.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've volunteered and interned for various organizations in the past, but I was especially impressed with the enthusiasm and dedication shown by every person that works for ACA. I think this factor positively affects their ability to carry out projects because no one rests until all the details are accounted for.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Hire more staff! Everyone is pushed to the max to accomplish all their tasks.

March 1, 2011

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March 1, 2011

I volunteered for ACA at their Los Amigos and Wayqecha Biological Stations in the summer of 2009. After seven weeks on the ground, I was determined to come back. I have collaborated with many NGOs over the years and ACA was the first organization that I have worked with that lives up to each facet of its mission. In 2010, I received a U.S. Fulbright Scholarship to Peru to collaborate with ACA on a photojournalism project about their work in the Manu - Tambopata Corridor.

Amazon conservation is an increasingly complex problem and ACA understands that to make great change you have to give support to and invest in local communities. I have personally visited seven of their projects in the region between Cusco and Puerto Maldonado, Peru.

In the Andean region, I visited three local communities ACA has worked with to create communal forest reserves. With ACA's help these communities have set aside large tracts of land for conservation and have also started reforestation projects near their communities. I stayed with the family of one community President and was astounded by his enthusiasm for conservation - he spoke to me about the pride the community takes in reforesting the surrounding mountains. In a candid interview, his attitude toward ACA was nothing but positive. Unlike many NGOs, ACA has a good relationship with local communities because they have found a way to balance conservation and community support. In my opinion, this investment in local relationships is the only way to ensure long-term conservation in the Andes to Amazon region.

I have also been impressed with how deeply connected ACA is in the places they work. The staff at ACA collaborate with other NGOs and organizations to get things done. When I worked with the Brazil Nut concessions in Puerto Maldonado, I had great access to interviewees because of ACA's connection to local Brazil Nut councils and associations.

I will continue to support ACA because of its forward thinking vision - the staff at ACA understand that conservation in this region will become more and more challenging as roads are built and climate changes. They are taking a proactive approach to conservation in the region by putting projects and reserves in place before its too late.










The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my visits to their biological stations, where I have found wildlife abundance that is uncommon in adjacent areas.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase communication between the Cusco and Puerto Maldonado offices.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

More optimistic about the future of this region because ACA is working with the people that will really make a difference in the future - the locals.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

April 28, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 28, 2010

One of the few conservation non-profits actually committed to on the ground conservation. ACA has been pioneering conservation and research in the Amazon

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the southwest Amazon

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working in such a priority conservation region with incredible biodiversity and one of the last areas in the world with the potential to conserve true wilderness

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 28, 2010

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April 28, 2010

ACA is a remarkable organization with a staff that includes some of the most intelligent, dedicated people I have met. I plan to further my education and experience in environmental conservation because of this organization and its team. They strive to protect the Amazon's biodiversity, support local communities, and provide amazing educational opportunities in the region. I have truly felt that every bit of my time spent volunteering for ACA has supported an extraordinary cause.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

being surrounded by a small group of individuals with such a huge amount of dedication.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

intelligent, compassionate, and committed.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

prove to the rest of the world what it's more than proven to me - that the Amazon is worth saving.

Ways to make it better...

I had gotten the chance to travel to Peru and witness first-hand the projects that come from the hard work done by those in DC.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 2, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 2, 2010

ACA is an excellent non-profit organization working towards preserving the biodiversity of the Amazon. What is best about ACA is that it goes about this in a way that educates locals to help them best use their forest resources sustainably. Their website is also extremely helpful.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the number of people that support ACA in our efforts to better protect the Amazon.

More feedback...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

all highly intelligent, friendly, and motivated.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

continue ecotourism efforts and expand the project base in Peru.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 2, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 2, 2010

Amazon Conservation Association does what every conservation organization should be doing, not only preserving and protecting the environment but also supporting local communities. One of their newest projects the Manu Cloud Forest Canopy Walkway, the work that ACA has done to help protect the Manu forest can be seen from a rare vantage view point, at the canopy level. This allows local students, researchers, and visitors to get a unique prospective in the Manu Cloud Forest. In addition, it provides another economic alternative to local people and another reason for them to want to protect the cloud forest. ACA simply put does some extraordinary work.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

their day to day commitment to protecting the Amazon rainforest.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

allow for better connections between field staff and the main office.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the chance to explore my areas of interest while also helping ACA move forward with their work.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

intelligent, supportive, and committed.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

give everyone the opportunity to experience the Amazon Rainforest in Peru and protect it at the same time.

Ways to make it better...

I had the opportunity to see first hand the work ACA does in Peru.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

small permanent staff numbers and big projects/ideas with little money.

One thing I'd also say is that...

organizations like this need more recognition and financial support.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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