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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

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Teal G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was fortunate enough to study abroad with the Ceiba Foundation on two separate occasions. The first was my freshman year of college when we navigated our way to the remote Tiputini Biodiversity Station in the Amazon Rainforest. The second I arrived home, I knew I would be joining the semester study abroad with Ceiba. My Spring semester of junior year I was then able to return back to the country I fell in love with in order to greatly expand my experiences and knowledge. Both of these programs offered more than I would ever even think to ask for. The excitement, energy and knowledge that Catherine and Joe have regarding every ecosystem of Ecuador as well as broader conservation and environmental concepts is mind boggling. I gained and retained more knowledge during my semester abroad then I ever would in a typical semester or even year. The experience is extremely hands-on, allowing every student to really understand the concepts and receive the highest benefit from the experience. Catherine and Joe sincerely care about their students, in addition to the communities and families they work with. When meeting various individuals with which Ceiba has a relationship, the appreciation and love that they have for one another is extremely evident. The Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation is committed to their mission and goals. Both Catherine and Joe inspired me with their passion and drive to pursue college degrees in Botany and Conservation, and then to continue onto grad school to earn my Environmental Conservation Masters Degree. I would not have wanted to study abroad or explore Ecuador with anyone but Ceiba!

Jake W.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I studied in Ecuador in the spring of 2015 as part of Ceiba's Tropical Conservation program, and I was not disappointed. There was so much that we did there that there was almost no time for relaxation, and that was okay because Ecuador has so much to offer. We studied at the university in Quito, trekked the Andes mountains in vastly different climates, hiked through the Amazon rainforest, explored the wonders of the beautiful Galapagos Islands. I very much enjoyed the Amazon and Galapagos Islands and the flora/fauna they housed. One of my favorite parts of the program was the internship at the end of the semester. I interned on an organic coffee farm with 3 other guys, and it was probably the best experience I have ever had. We planted crops, were introduced to the whole process of coffee making, milked cows, learned about the flora, and best of all had no electronics...total bliss! I would highly recommend this program because it isn't all about the learning, but also about the experience and people of Ecuador. Lastly, Joe and Cath were/are my favorite professors coming out of this trip. They are so knowledgeable about everything from flora/fauna to culture to where to go in Ecuador, and they helped each and every student with any question they had. Do not hesitate to go on this awesome program!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Excellent attentive staff. Well-managed organization. Phenomenal and productive non-profit doing critical work!


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.


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.


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