Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation, Inc.

Rating: 4.96 stars   46 reviews


301 S. Bedford St., Suite 7A Madison WI 53703 USA


Tropical habitats contain 50% of the world's biodiversity, yet are threatened by accelerating rates of deforestation. Most of the remaining unprotected lands are privately held, and new means are needed to conserve these forests. Ceiba works to protect habitat and the biodiversity found there through by implementing legal conservation agreements with landowners, providing public education about the value of wild nature, conducting research on the relationship between humans and the land, and encouraging sustainable economic activities that improve livelihoods while safeguarding biodiversity.

Target demographics:

local communities protect forests and create sustainable livelihoods

Geographic areas served:

Ecuador, South America


- Jama Conservation Corridor - Lalo Loor Dry Forest reserve and biological station - El Pahuma Orchid reserve - Tropical Ecosystems: Andes to Amazon summer field course - Tropical Conservation Semester: Galapagos, Andes and Amazon study abroad program

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Reviews for Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation, Inc.

Rating: 4 stars  

I studied with Ceiba this summer as an intern on the Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve. I had an amazing experience exploring the plant diversity and plant uses in such a unique region of the world. The staff at Ceiba, both in Ecuador and in the U.S. are incredibly caring, helpful, knowledgeable, and passionate about their work. The Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve is a big part of nearby coastal communities in Ecuador, and it employes several local community members. This not only provided an enriching cultural exchange during my stay, but it demonstrates Ceiba's approach as a non-profit to work closely with communities and inspire residents to take ownership of projects impacting their environment. I would highly recommend interning or participating in one of their study abroad courses!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I studied abroad through Ceiba in Spring 2014, and I can say it was the best experience of my life. The passion with which Ceiba cared for the communities and environment where they worked was incredible and inspiring. I truly learned more in the one semester abroad about conservation than all the classes I had taken during the previous 3 years. An amazing experience that anyone who is interested in conservation should take a part in!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I participated in the semester long study abroad with Ceiba, and loved every moment and new experience I encountered. Joe and Catherine really facilitate a wonderful experience for their students, and they also contribute greatly to the people living in the communities where they work. Ceiba is the epitome of effective conservation work, they are small-scale but they have made more connections and implemented more programs to benefit the environment and the people than any large NGO could ever do. So proud and lucky to have been able to learn from them and their organization.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I did a two week study abroad course with Ceiba this past summer (2015) and I can say with great confidence that you will not find better and more passionate people to work with. Catherine was our professor and was by far the best teacher I have ever had. She was extremely knowledgeable about the people, the culture, and the nature that we experienced. I wish I could have stayed longer, but I learned a great deal in the short amount of time that we were there and I can definitely see why Ceiba works so hard to conserve this absolutely stunning part of the world. They are doing amazing work in Ecuador and I'm glad that I got to be a part of it.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I volunteered with Ceiba in Quito Ecuador during a two-week service-learning course. It was through this process I gained a deep appreciation for both water conservation as well as the unique culture of Ecuador. Through Ceiba's direct links to the local communities, I felt as though we supported a much larger cause in a way was well-received by the communities we served.

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Rating: 5 stars  

The most amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity, that will teach you more than you thought you could ever learn in 5 months! The instructors are the best people I think I have ever met. So grateful to have had this experience, and I would not trade it for anything.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Best experience of my entire life!
Spent a semester hiking around in the rainforest, swimming with sea turtles, and learning about conservation!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I was a student with Ceiba's Tropical Conservation Semester for the spring of 2015. It was with out a doubt the best 4.5 months of my life. I met life long friends and had a truly unique experience. I learned so much from the two most knowledgeable and caring professors I've ever had. Whether I was navigating the streets of Quito, hiking through the cloud forest, bird watching from the crown of a 45 m tall ceiba tree, swimming with caiman in the Tiputini river, swimming with sea turtles and sharks in the Galápagos Islands, or just relaxing on the beach, I was always aware that Ceiba had thrown me into the adventure of a lifetime. That list seems pretty good but it doesn't come close to capturing all the experiences I had in my semester in Ecuador. This trip changed my life. Do yourself a favor and just go.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have interacted with Ceiba in numerous capacities over the last five years; first as a student, then as a volunteer, and finally through a grad school internship. I am blown away by the combination of efficiency, effectiveness, and empathy the Ceiba staff have shown as they promote conservation, improve people's lives, and educate the next generation of conservationists.

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

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

Would you volunteer for this group again?


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?


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?


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