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28 Reviews
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October 3, 2011

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October 3, 2011

Studying abroad in Ecuador with the Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation was the best decision I ever made with regards to my education. The program plunged me into many different areas of science and I saw hands-on conservation strategies going on right now around the world. With the help of my professors and others involved with Ceiba I was able to conform any of my assignments into something I was interested in. Whether you are interested in animals, plants, the community, the environment or anything you want to pursue, its possible through Ceiba.
My favorite memory was one of my first weekends in Ecuador. Our group went to Ceiba's El Pahuma orchid reserve. I was walking up a steep climb for over an hour, exhausted from carrying my pack. With every step up the mountain the clouds became thicker and the vegetation lusher. When we got to the top I remember seeing a giant bromeliad and a tree fern engulfed in fog. The scenery was magnificent, like a step back in time. I don't know if I ever would have had an experience quite like it if I hadn't decided to study abroad with Ceiba.

Ways to make it better...

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

Make the program one year long instead of only a semester.

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?

A lot

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?

Lucky to be a part of this world and to see all it has to offer before it gets even more degraded and impacted by humans.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

September 28, 2011

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1 previous review
April 6, 2010

I volunteered with the Ceiba Foundation at their Orchid Reserve just outside of Quito, Ecuador. After many years of working with a local family, Ceiba created a locally owned reserve where the land-ow... more

September 28, 2011

Studying with the Ceiba Foundation in Ecuador was my most rewarding educational experience. I was thoroughly impressed with how well the Foundation was organized and able to honor its goals of tropical conservation by educating communities in Ecuador as well as American university students.

The Great!

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

studying various ecosystems across Ecuador and taking part in local conservation projects

Ways to make it better...

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

increase its funding !

April 6, 2010

I volunteered with the Ceiba Foundation at their Orchid Reserve just outside of Quito, Ecuador. After many years of working with a local family, Ceiba created a locally owned reserve where the land-owners were able to self-manage (and conserve!) precious montane forest that would have otherwise been destroyed. Their method of conservation can succeed in the long-run because it has personal incentives for the local people involved. Ceiba is a wonderful organization working for conservation in a country that has some of the most precious landscape remaining!

The Great!

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

visiting the reserves protected by the Foundation and seeing rare species and abundant plant life.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 27, 2011

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September 27, 2011

I had an excellent experience as a student on the Ceiba Foundation's Tropical Conservation Semester program. The course offers a unique combination of cultural immersion and practical instruction in field ecology. Students are paired with host-families in Quito, where they get an intimate experience of Ecuadorean culture and an intense sink-or-swim Spanish language immersion. Classroom lectures give students a nuanced perspective on biodiversity and evolution. Group discussions explored many of the complex social and ecological challenges of conservation programs in developing nations, with a sensitive look at the interests and agency of the indigenous population.

The program's time in the field constitutes a second kind of cultural immersion. Students explore an incredible diversity of landscapes. They learn to identify the organisms, observe patterns, become comfortable in the field, and design and execute experiments.

The program culminates in a month-long internship with the conservation-related organization of the student's choice. It is a phenomenal opportunity for hands-on, direct action, and it endows students with a sense that they have the capacity to affect positive change. It also provides them with unique insights into the human experience of poverty in an environment rich in endangered natural resources.

Above all, they grow their own visceral sense of biophilia; the experience as a whole nurtures a deep appreciation for the intrinsic value of biodiversity. Students will carry this appreciation with them to any future career, and it will color their opinions about conservation and their decisions as workers, donors, citizens, and voters. I cannot overstate my gratitude to the Ceiba Foundation for my experience as a student, and I cannot recommend the program highly enough.

The Great!

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

I spent several weeks at conservation sites managed by the Ceiba Foundation. They maintain the integrity of precious ecosystems, offer a unique educational and recreational experience for visitors, and establish a mutually beneficial relationship with the owners of the site.

Ways to make it better...

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

I have no complaints. The organization's model is so admirable that I only wish it had the resources to expand the scope of its operations.

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?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Absolutely. I made many cherished new friendships. I improved my Spanish language ability, learned to identify and appreciate flora and fauna in novel ways, learned the fundamentals of organic agriculture, and designed and executed field experiments.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I radically reassessed my concept of what I was capable of, what changes I could affect in the world, and how happy I could be.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 27, 2011

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September 27, 2011

I studied abroad with Ceiba the spring semester of 2010 and long story short it was a life changing semester. I met really great people who I'm still in contact with including students from the trip and both of my host families. Traveling to the cloud forest, paramo, dry forest, rainforest and the galapagos. At the end of the classwork we all had internships of our interest. I worked in the cloud forest with 2 Ecuadorian students collecting caterpillars and studying there parasitoids. My months in Ecuador were life changing and I learned so much. Before my trip I never understood how important conservation and all the facets that are needed to make a successfull program.

The Great!

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

A further understanding in tropical ecology and conservation. I've also taken more interest in environmental education and ecotourism and in January will leave to Guatemala for two years. My experience with Ceiba was a great factor in making this decision.

Ways to make it better...

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

I wouldn't change anything

September 16, 2010

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September 16, 2010

I was a student studying abroad with Ceiba and it was undoubtedly the most influential and amazing semester of my college career. The things I learned and the people I met changed my life. My favorite parts were getting to see and experience the conservation projects that Ceiba has undertaken in the country and the huge impact that each project has had on the communities in which they have been located. Ceiba is an amazing organization.

The Great!

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

The impact that Ceiba had made on my outlook on life. They have changed the way I view different cultures,conservation efforts, and the impact that I can make in the world. I learned an amazing amount from Ceiba and its workers.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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.

More feedback...

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...

More feedback...

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 9, 2010

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April 9, 2010

I participated in Ceiba's semester abroad program in Ecuador. No review can do justice for the incredible experiences and life-long friendships that I made while abroad. Ceiba does a superb job in practicing what they preach - they are dedicated (and very good) at working with local stakeholders and residents in order to achieve conservation while improving social well-being. The people running Ceiba care deeply about tropical conservation and the local people that such actions may affect, and do a great job integrating both objectives to work towards sustainable conservation solutions that really work.

The Great!

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

El Pahuma orchid reserve, where Ceiba has worked with a local family to save a pristing area of cloud-forest and turn it into an orchid reserve, and Lalo Loor dry forest, where Ceiba has worked with locals to conserve one of the last coastal dry forests

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...

The leaders of the Ceiba are fantastic professors and mentors. They truly understand community conservation and have developed real relationships with locals, enabling them to achieve conservation in an environmentally and socially sustainable mannner

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

Fantastic. Ceiba incorporates local stakeholders and experts into their program which allows students a great experience and participation in conservation for locals.

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

Save the world.

Ways to make it better...

I could have stayed longer, I would have liked to spend my four years of undergraduate abroad with Ceiba!

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

Funding. Ceiba does a great job with what they have, but increased funding would allow them to increase projects and provide further benefits to the environment and local communities

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 8, 2010

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April 8, 2010

I was a student studying in Ecuador through the Spring semester program. I loved every moment of my time spent with this organization and all of the places they support and have helped to build. I hope that this organization will be able to continue supporting the environment and creating an inviting environment for education for not only English speakers but Spanish speakers also.

The Great!

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

their ability to conserve biodiversity on several levels and to include surrounding community members in the implementations of these plans.

Ways to make it better...

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

involve additional community members.

More feedback...

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

being able to explore environments that I never would have been able to see otherwise.

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

always friendly, approachable and hard working.

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

save some of the disappearing mangroves and purchase the land next to the Lalo Loor's Dry Forest Reserve.

Ways to make it better...

I could have stayed longer.

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

money

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

this organization is amazing.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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