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April 12, 2012

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April 12, 2012

I began working with La Reserva Forest Foundation during college for a Service Leadership class where I consulted a non-profit. I had the privilege of being paired up with LRFF. I noticed from the first second I talked to Roberta that this was truly something special. Her passion was unmatched and her goals were out of this world. I realized that this rubbed off on everyone involved with this organization, which eventually rubbed off on me. Everyone involved has such a strong desire to make the world a better place environmentally, socially, and even economically. Their goals of restoring forest habitats, helping the people of the earth, and helping the economies of poor indigenous people in Costa Rica really spoke to me. It seemed as this non-profit really hit all the bases and did not focus on one issue, but somehow fit a bunch of them even though it was not very big. I have now worked with La Reserva on their board of directors for a year, and it has been a wonderful experience. I highly recommend anyone at all get involved with this non-profit since it is something that everyone can relate. It is a non-profit that you get immediate satisfaction knowing you are making a difference on earth.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

April 11, 2012

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April 11, 2012

La Reserva Forest Foundation is a truly magical place with a tremendous social mission and the staff capable of seeing it to fruition. Roberta and her team are a blessing. To date, they have helped our organization educate over 200+ university students who have taken the positive values and principles of LRFF to heart. The work being done at LRFF is extraordinary and the impact has been clear over the past 3 years of visiting the project sites. Best of luck for continued success.

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The Great!

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

Creating a sustainable future through biological reforestation, and sharing their mission with the young generation of students.

Ways to make it better...

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

Raise more funds to hire additional staff, to continue doing more of the great work they do.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

How did you find this group?

Personal introduction.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

Care for the environment, open-mindedness and continuous education.

April 11, 2012

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April 11, 2012

My reforestation project was one of the first and has been an enormous success. We put in at least 50 different types of trees. The new forest has now a new family of monkeys and untold bird nests. There are now naturally appearing tree sprouts filling in under the larger trees as the forest growth ages. The whole project has been great fun to watch and we get many comments on how fast things can change for the betterment of all. Roger

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

April 11, 2012

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April 11, 2012

I did an internship at La Reserva for 5 months last year working as Executive Assistant to the CEO, Roberta. As a student of Modern Languages (French and Spanish) in England, I am currently undertaking the 'year abroad' aspect of my degree for which I spent my Spanish half in Costa Rica. Roberta was extremely helpful and welcoming from the start, and after a very friendly Skype interview, found me a host family nearby who are friends of hers and Dan's. At La Reserva I was given a wide range of tasks ranging from translations, letter writing and blogging to video making, calendar design, production and promotion and accompanying them on day trips to Maleku tribal villages! Roberta, Dan (Roberta's partner), Suzy (the very friendly Chihuahua cross who greeted me every day with excitable muddy paws), Gino (the Great Dane who greeted me every day with a very large not-overly-pleasant slobbery kiss), the La Reserva parrot and Squeak the loudest snoring cat I have ever met, really have something special at La Reserva. Even the walk up is pretty surreal, with captivating views out over Lake Arenal and Arenal Volcano looming in the distance, quite often a rainbow or two framing the idyllic scene following the afternoon rains in wet season. The work that La Reserva does is innovative, wide ranging and essential to the survival of the rainforest and its inhabitants both human and animal. The unconditional love that Roberta and Dan have for the earth and its inhabitants is really rather inspiring and it is their enthusiasm and passion that keep LRFF going through thick and thin. I had a fantastic time in Costa Rica working at La Reserva, and I am hoping this summer to return or to volunteer in some way from England, possibly to help set up an LRFF UK!

Ways to make it better...

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

Set up an LRFF UK and tap into the very large European 'Eco-market', potentially a huge pot of funds for LRFF.

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

I was the first Intern that they had had so there was understandably little structure already in place. This gave me a lot of freedom to take on my own projects but it might be an idea to produce an 'intern instruction manual' or something similar so that future interns can get on with the work that needs to be done and can be more autonomous without having to ask Roberta about things that need to be done all the time.

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

Before working at La Reserva, I didn't really understand the value of restoring forests and the impact it had on people and living things. Working at La Reserva has taught me the importance of this on living things in both the immediate environment and throughout the world.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Like I could make a difference!

April 10, 2012

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April 10, 2012

I am so amazed by the dedication and progress of La Reserva Forest Foundation. They have planted over 70,000 trees in the past four years. I feel grateful to be able to help my planet by donating to people who are willing to go out in to the jungle, trudge through the rivers and dig in the dirt to lovingly plant trees. I like to help physically plant the trees as well but I donate as much as I can to support this very important work. Trees produce oxygen and clean our air what could be more important?

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Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

April 10, 2012

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April 10, 2012

We have been to La Reserva and had a wonderful experience there. These people care so very much and work so very hard. We saw some of the trees they had planted and how much they had changed the environment. Great Job!!

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

April 10, 2012

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April 10, 2012

ECO-Action can not extend enough praise to this wonderful organization! We have rated them as EXCELLENT in all the following categories: Educational, Hands-On Effectiveness, Community Awareness, Local and Global Actual Benefit, Virtual Presence, Enthusiastic Leadership, and Sustained Commitment! These are the kind of people and organization that can take one's breath away - and, in this case, produce enough oxygen for several more! The variety of projects and areas of effectiveness are especially impressive when considered vis a vis so many bloated and one-dimensional non-profit organizations popular today - and La Reserva operates on a criminally low budget for the time, sustained effort, and effectiveness obtained. Others in the field would do well to visit and assist this organization with time or money, and leave with renewed hope and vigor. Their enthusiasm and dedication are contagious! We are proud to know them and aspire to La Reserva's accomplishments. For more information: Beth Hollenbeck, Executive Director, ECO-Action, USA, www.eco-action.net, 407-695-5050

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

March 29, 2012

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1 previous review
February 21, 2011

I had the opportunity to fund raise for any organization in the world and chose to donate my funds to LRFF. This organization is run by intelligent, driven leaders that I've had the pleasure of meetin... more

March 29, 2012

La Reserva Forest Foundation (LRFF) is an incredible organization working towards restoring the Costa Rican rainforest. As a college student in California, I haven't had the pleasure of returning to Costa Rica to directly volunteer with LRFF, but I plan to in the future. They are so smart with what they do, considering all aspects on life in Costa Rica from the trees and vegetation to the monkeys and other wildlife, and the farmers and people trying to make a living. I've throughly enjoyed giving some of my very little income as a monthly donation, and have loved reading the periodic emails sent to me about their diverse and focused projects. LRFF is an awesome non-profit that I'm thrilled to continue to be intimately affiliated with.

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

February 21, 2011

I had the opportunity to fund raise for any organization in the world and chose to donate my funds to LRFF. This organization is run by intelligent, driven leaders that I've had the pleasure of meeting personally. Roberta and her staff are truly inspirational. I hope one day to return to Costa Rica to visit their neck of the woods and plant one of their countless trees that are helping to restore our precious rain forest. Thank you LRFF for your extremely hard work and amazing accomplishments!

The Great!

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

my everyday life. I know that our air is cleaner and full of more oxygen because of LRFF.

Ways to make it better...

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

expand them to more locations across Central and South America because they do great work and I know they could handle the expansion with their passion and drive.

February 24, 2012

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1 previous review
February 23, 2011

I moved to Costa Rica hoping to be able to engage in reforestation and wildlife preservation efforts. I met Roberta and Daniel of La Reserva Forest Foundation at their first ever fundraiser. Despite h... more

February 24, 2012

I have nothing positive to say at this date. Sorry.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unsure

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

None

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 23, 2011

I moved to Costa Rica hoping to be able to engage in reforestation and wildlife preservation efforts. I met Roberta and Daniel of La Reserva Forest Foundation at their first ever fundraiser. Despite having virtually no funding or support at that time, they were planting trees anywhere they could get an agreement from landowners. I was moved by their dedication and commitment to reforestation and habitat restoration. I am proud to work with La Reserva regularly and have seen the foundation take on bigger challenges and become better organized and more effective in our efforts. Community outreach, educational programs, nursery creation projects, animal rehabilitation and reintroduction and biological corridor program, and ongoing forest docent programs along with cultural restoration projects are among the expanding efforts being made at La Reserva. In 2009 we planted 10,000 trees and more still in 2010. Other lands we have reforested are showing signs of returning fauna and diversification of flora in the few short years since being planted! This makes me even more excited about the work we do with La Reserva Forest Foundation. Roberta Ward Smiley and Daniel Spreen are a true inspiration and deserve to be supported and encouraged in their work at La Reserva Forest Foundation.

The Great!

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

revisiting reforested sites and seeing the return of the forest slowly but surely. I have helped rehabilitate injured wildlife and participated in release programs. I have participated in tours that leave the people fascinated and excited about forests and the importance of trees. I have seen the hillsides that were denuded become thick with trees and felt the change in local climate as a result of having more forested areas to trap moisture and clouds.

Ways to make it better...

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

try to secure some form of regular funding to support La Reserva. Being a foundation, La Reserva spends all their funds on reforestation. No money is provided for administration and no money is provided for personal compensation. This means that Dan and Roberta are always at the edge, financially speaking. If I could find a way to alleviate that, I would make that change.

August 19, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
August 19, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

La Reserva was a fantastic experience and should be highly recommended to anyone interested in biodiversity, jungle hikes, or just nature in general. Roberta is a fantastic guide and she really knows her wildlife and plants. Thanks for the tour and alowing me to partake in the ecological restoration efforts at La Reserva!
Zack

The Great!

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

Observing the success ofthe efforts to restore the environment and natural habitat for the animals andthe inhabitants of the jungle.

Ways to make it better...

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

Hire more employees and volunteers to speed up the process of restoration.

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