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September 15, 2010

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September 15, 2010

The Ceiba Tropical Conservation semester was one of the best experiences I've had in college and quite possibly in my life. Ceiba has struck a perfect balance between challenging coursework and exhilarating field work to make the semester educational and fun. Specifically the internship portion of the program allowed me to apply what I had learned about sociology, ecology and conservation in class to a community. My global perspective on conservation developed as we visited different Ceiba conservation sites and directly saw the challenges that arise when talking about conservation on a global scale. I learned that stakeholders and their culture need a primary voice in any conservation effort and feel empowered to include conservation in whatever I choose to do professionally. Academically the program gave me the opportunity to get to know two incredible professors and learn from them in an extremely hands on fashion. The enthusiasm they have for conservation and learning in general was contagious and methods I learned from them will certainly contribute to my future academic success. Professionally I now understand the relevance and importance of addressing conservation in every career. A fire has been lit inside of me to seek ways to problem solve across boarders without being afraid of the challenges cultural differences may pose. I have been inspired to travel, and to work with the global community on conserving our planet.

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The Great!

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

many different sites we visited in Ecuador. Joe and Cath have worked hard to set up El Pahuma and Lalo Loor forest reserves and are working to protect marine ecosystems as well. All their reserves prioritize collaboration with the local population.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 30, 2010

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April 30, 2010

The Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation is an extremely productive, well-managed and successful conservation organization that does most of its work in Ecuador. Conceived and run by Joe Meisel, Phd Zoology and Catherine Woodward, Phd Botany it is an extraordinarily successful conservation organization. It started small by replacing a lost boat to a protector of the manatees. From there they saved approximately 300 hectares of cloud forest, situated in the midst of 1200 hectares of forest, from being destroyed by the lumber companies trying to buy out the owning family’s property. After seven years of working with the family, sending several members to school and other training programs so that they could manage the property, developing the property into an orchid reserve with a visitor’s center and orchid garden and promoting tourists visits and volunteer aids, this forest area called El Pahuma has become a viable means of support for the entire family who has owned the property for generations. Their latest project is the Lalo Loor Reserve. Bundling and connecting forest fragments, Ceiba has established a coastal corridor in this dry forest that is large enough and connected in such ways that its bio-diversity can be maintained and sustained.. Ceiba has the support of the mayor of the neighboring town and the landowners whose properties abut the forest corridor. Again they have built a visitors center which now operates education programs for local students and teachers. There are continually volunteers and Peace Corps workers incorporated into this program. For the past several years Ceiba has run an environmental ecology semester abroad program in Ecuador for college students. They also have a month long summer course for interested students and Ecuadorian scholarship students. The leaders have consistently gotten rave reviews from their students, many of whom go on to volunteer in Ceiba’s projects and to pursue a science curriculum. Through all of these programs, this organization has had an enormous impact on the environment. They have worked diligently to save many acres of land, educate the local people about the importance of the land, and the various ways it can be protected and useful at the same time. They are continually educating students of all ages about the importance of protecting these amazing resources. Through the diligence, devotion and energy of its leaders, Ceiba has developed into an extremely important environmental organization.

The Great!

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

Visiting and working at El Pahuma, meeting their students,and helping with fundraising and office work.

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

the people who run it, their dedication and the beautiful places they have protedted and we have been able to visit.

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

THE BEST!!!!

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

change the world through the forests it could save and the education of people as to the importance of saving these beautiful and necessary bio-diverse places.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 30, 2010

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April 30, 2010

My experience with Ceiba was life changing. I've always wanted to join the Peace Corps, but was always undecided about where to go and want I would do. But, after my time with Ceiba, I would really love to go back to South America and work on forest conservation and education. The program teaches students about the ecology and biodiversity of Eucador, while also explaining the challenges that face conservation. I think the work that Ceiba does is so important. They work directly with local people to give them more sustainable and economical options for their land. For example, they provide training and support for people in eco-tourism and reserve management. I also loved my experience at the Tiputini research station in the Amazon rain forest. We saw an anaconda and so many wonderful birds and monkeys. I really miss seeing monkeys everyday. That was great. If anyone wants to donate time or money to a nonprofit organization, I would recommend Ceiba. Your efforts would definitely get to the areas and people who need it most.

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

really sincere and genuine people. Joe and Catherine really care about what they are doing. All of the staff of Ceiba were really knowledgeable and friendly. When I was in the program, I could ask Joe anything and he was happy to answer my questions.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 27, 2010

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April 27, 2010

CFTC gave me a life-changing opportunity to see the Amazonian Rain Forest first-hand. The experience was wonderfully educational; I learned techniques for studying the environment; assessing water quality; identifying flora and fauna (including different types of monkeys); how to catch bats; how to catch a panther on camera, and much, much more. The food we ate was wonderful and memorable, especially the homemade yogurt; I learned what to be afraid of (urticating vines) and what not to be afraid of (venomous snakes - we didn't see any)...The trip up to the paramo was beautiful (if a little chilly. The orchid preserve was exotic and beautiful. The river dolphins were particularly special. I whole-heartedly recommend the CFTC to anyone who would like to learn the facts surrounding envionmental issues in the rainforest. Catherine and Joe know their stuff, and they make great hosts.

The Great!

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

considering tropical conservation as a career choice. My experiences would qualify me for a position in conservation.

Ways to make it better...

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

expand its operations to Brasil

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

the variety of habitats that we visited

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

The very kindest

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

change the way Americans relate to food, paper, cars, and water

Ways to make it better...

...we'd actually caught some bats...somehow, they evaded our nets

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

..the food was very good, and the hosts were most generous. Catherine and Joe speak good Spanish

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2005

April 24, 2010

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April 24, 2010

I was impressed with the Ceiba philosophy of giving local landowners an economic interest in preserving their land. It is a sustainable

The Great!

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

land preservation projects in Ecuador.

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

excellent communicators and well-educated in thei respective fields.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

April 23, 2010

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April 23, 2010

My experience so far with Ceiba has truley been life changing. The work we have been doing, both learning about the natural environment and engaging in conservation efforts has profoundly affected my view of the world and my desire to spread the word of change to everyone I meet. The foundation has allowed me to do research projects in Amazon rainforest and the Galapagos Islands, places I never previously dreamed of visiting. They have also allowed me to participate in a rural internship, working in a location of my choice for a month, using the tools I have aquired after a 3 months of study. The members of the board are all wonderfully friendly and concerned people, interested in making a difference on the local and global scales. The foundation could work on incorporating the students of its study abroad programs more into the local culture and the projects it is doing with the community. It waits until the end of the program for their interships to allow this and I think more immersion throughout the semester would be more helpful.

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

getting to see the many faces of the Ecuadorian country side, learning about the land and ocean in one of the most biodiverse places on earth.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 22, 2010

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April 22, 2010

We have known the two founders of Ceiba Foundation for many years, and as the Quito Orchid Society, we helped develop the orchid project in Pahuma. We admire their hard work and enthusiasm to achieve tropical conservation about which they (and we) feel very strongly and care deeply. We are currantly working with them on a new conservation project and are impressed with their professionalism. Today, more than ever, it has become a necessity to preserve whatever land is left in its pristine state. There are people in the world, like the founders of Ceiba Foundation, that believe in this need and are working to protect the rapidly reducing environments. Ecuador, the country with more species of orchids than any other country in the world, is still a paradise of pure nature. Before it goes, their (and our) commitment is to help save it.

The Great!

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

the creation of a magnificient orchid habitat in Pahuma, one hour away from Quito

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 21, 2010

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April 21, 2010

Thanks to a Scholarship granted by Ceiba Foundation I had the opportunity to travel around one of the most beautiful countries in the world(Ecuador) learning and living the most incredible and exiting experiences, Ceiba Foundation is dedicated to promote the conservation and protection of wildlife while improving social well-being in remote but wonderful places, now that I have the chance here in Thailand, I am putting into practice all the knowledge I learned during my course during the summer in 2008, I wish you continue helping the environment as well as involving many people in your amazing projects.

Ways to make it better...

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

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

sharing moments with people who love and feel a great passion to protect the nature, travel around the most wonderful and unique places while learning the way to protect the environment.

Ways to make it better...

if the time had been longer

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

April 17, 2010

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April 17, 2010

I had the opportunity to study abroad with the Ceiba Foundation in the Summer of 2006. Our group studied conservation biology, zoology, ichthyology, entomology, ornithology, forestry, land management, as well as many other important techniques dealing with the human wildlife bond as well as human kind's impact and association with the environment. This program enabled me to open my eyes to the world around me, the impact mankind has on our environment, and the critical thinking involved in attempting to problem solve. I only wish that everyone had the opportunity to participate in this program.

Ways to make it better...

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

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

help further promote the conservation of land and animals for generations to come. It would also enable the program to branch out to different areas of the world, educating more individuals, both locally and globally on conservation ideals.

Ways to make it better...

I could have participated with the program even longer.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006

April 10, 2010

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April 10, 2010

I participated in Ceiba's summer abroad program in Ecuador. This course exceeded my expectations in every way possible. The founders of Ceiba are two of the most incredible people I have ever met, and have truly been an inspiration to me. What I find so unique and interesting about this organization is their ability to incorporate the locals in their conservation efforts. This has largely contributed to their huge amount of success with a number of projects, including El Pahuma Orchid Reserve and Lalo Loor dry forest. My experience with Ceiba was truly unforgettable. I cannot give enough praise to this organization.

Ways to make it better...

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

More feedback...

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

truly dedicated and passionate about their work in the field of conservation.

Ways to make it better...

I could have spent the whole summer learning from Ceiba!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

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