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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services, Environment, Forest Conservation, Technology

Mission: 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: We work with local communities to protect forests and create sustainable livelihoods.

Geographic areas served: Ecuador, South America

Programs: Tropical Conservation Semester Galapagos, Andes and Amazon study abroad program - Tropical Ecosystems: Andes, Amazon and Pacific coast summer field course - Jama Conservation Corridor - Lalo Loor Dry Forest reserve and biological station - Internships and volunteerships in habitat conservation, environmental education, community development, reforestation, and scientfic research - El Pahuma Orchid reserve

Community Stories

63 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Cieba is a fantastic organization that far exceeded my expectations. Not only do the two founders do an amazing job at helping students learn as much as possible but they also are huge contributors to the local community and offer an amazing foundation of support.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was able to travel with Ceiba to Ecuador for a semester long tropical conservation program. It was an experience of a lifetime. Not only was I taught to appreciate the wildlife but I was also introduced to a culture extremely different than my own. I see the world differently now and am truly a better person because of it.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The trip was just like entering into the discovery channel. We went all the way to the Amazon, saw parrots, sloths, snakes, armadillos, river dolphins, frogs, peccaries, Ceiba trees, and so much more while learning about the ecosystem of the rainforest. With hands on mini experiments, we learned more than we could ever by reading a text book because while we were there, in addition to the science course, we saw the impacts of humans, how locals viewed the forest, and how the government and corporations are changing the landscape.
But this is maybe like 20% of the trip. It gets better, much better.
The Galapagos, after the cold nights in Quito, was like a vacation inside a 'vacation'. And I say vacation, because even though we learned A LOT, it was much much more fun than the amount we learned. The instructors have experience, they know how things are done, they know what they're talking about, and they know how to enliven their students. The internship at the end was a very nice way to tie up all that we had learned and to use it practically in a way that each of us wanted to, because we could choose from a variety of programs dealing with a variety of things. There was a lot of freedom for such a structured program, which I personally loved.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

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.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

10

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CEIBA is a great organization because the people running it are innovative in their dedication to conservation--they have worked tirelessly for to create unique vanguard conservation easements in South America (Ecuador) especially where these ideas are new. Both Americans and Local people work for CEIBA which bolsters their ability to foster conservation work in a logical way for the community.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I participated in the tropical conservation semester in Ecuador. It is the most unique opportunity that I have ever been able to take advantage of and was needless to say, incredible. This is one of the few conservation organizations that I have ever encountered (or heard of) that is effective in successfully conserving through local people's efforts and management. Ceiba is able to make little capital go a long way through hard work, passion and efficiency.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended the Ceiba Foundation's "Andes to Amazon" course in the summer of 2008. The expertise, collaborative spirit and motivation to conserve precious ecosystems makes the Ceiba Foundation effective as teachers and conservationists.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I participated in the semester abroad program with Ceiba. The professors are very knowledgeable about the ecology of the many ecosystems found in the tropics. I learned a lot about the ups and downs of conservation work: small victories, cultural divides, economics considerations, ecology considerations. I value the time I spent with CFTC and appreciate the passion Joe and Catherine have for this work.

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CEIBA has been instrumental in helping build conservation capacity in Ecuador. Through their work with local reserves, they have boosted ecotourism and ensured conservation "paid for itself." The Principals are great tropical ecologists with a passion for conservation. I am now a donor and believe it is the most efficient way to support tropical forest conservation efforts.