ACEER’s Puppet House

PuppetHouseFun fact! ACEER Foundation has its own puppet program used by teachers to develop learning activities through the use of puppets, music and songs, artistic creativity and field activities, strengthening their capacities and attitudes about knowledge and care of the environment.

puppetssStories like “Yoqui the brave little parrot”, “My little paradise” and “small Fish fleeing” among others, relate to local environmental problems and offer students the ability to critically think and generate viable solutions to promote the conservation of the Peruvian Amazon.

Check out the below video for more detail:

In presenting Peru’s National Award of Environmental Citizenship to The ACEER, Peru’s Minister of Environment, Manuel Pulgar Vidal, specifically cited ACEER’s Puppet House, a traveling puppet show for rural Amazonian elementary school children.

The Puppet House is the brain child of ACEER’s Director of Education, Licia Silva Ortiz, who delivers the popular program to hundreds of school children each year in the southeastern Peruvian region of Madre de Dios.

Through rainforest characters, such as Yoqui the Brave Parrot, the Puppet House teaches rural Amazonian children the value of the rainforest, and why it is important to them and to the world to keep it standing, intact and used sustainably.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled with this award,” says ACEER President, Dr. Roger Mustalish. “It speaks to ACEER’s commitment to provide life inspiring experiential learning to those living in the Amazon as well as a global audience.

“This Puppet House, and its assortment of zany Amazonian animals and plants, brings a simple, yet powerful, message of the need for rainforest conservation.”

ACEER was selected for this award following a national competition with over 150 organizations vying for the award. Last year, ACEER was a finalist, showcasing its teacher training program using a unique “leaf pack” sampling device to monitor aquatic biodiversity.

Headquartered in West Chester, Pennsylvania, ACEER has offices and programs throughout the Peruvian Amazon. To learn more go to www.aceer.org.

ACEER wins Peru’s National Award of Environmental Citizenship

ACEER receives Peru’s National Award of Environmental Citizenship for its environmental education programs promoting conservation of the Amazon Rainforest. In announcing this prestigious award, Peru’s Minister of Environment,

Manuel Pulgar Vidal, specifically cited ACEER’s Puppet House, a traveling puppet show for rural Amazonian elementary school children. ACEER was selected for this award following a national competition with over 150 organizations vying for the award. Last year, ACEER was a finalist, showcasing its teacher training program using a unique “leaf pack” sampling device to monitor aquatic biodiversity. Such a tremendous honor.

From Intern to Thesis Researcher to a Graduated Engineer!

Lizeyka Xilena Barra Polanco, joined ACEER in 2012 as a pre-professional intern with the “leaf pack” project. With her characteristic charismatic manner she worked guiding students in the field, and classifying and identifying samples of benthic macroinvertebrates in the laboratory. In 2013, Lizeyka continued her work as a field assistant on our water quality research project on the Puerto Maldonado-Cusco interoceanic highway. Thanks to her experience with ACEER, Lizeyka decided to specialize in macroinvertebrate ecology for her research thesis.

Lizeyka Xilena Barra Polanco

Lizeyka was hired by ACEER during 2015 as assistant coordinator of the educational project “leaf pack”, while she was also working on her research thesis. She graduated as a Forest and Environmental Engineer in 2016 from the Madre de Dios National University (UNMAD), evaluating and researching the water quality of nine ravines in Madre de Dios, using the leaf pack method. She is currently working independently and studying English; she plans to pursue a master degree in the near future.

From Volunteer to ACEER Staff

Therany Gonzales Ojeda
Therany Gonzales Ojeda

Therany Gonzales Ojeda, first became an ACEER volunteer in 2005, working out of our Puerto Maldonado office. At the request of our program coordinator there, he joined the project “From School to the Garden”, supporting the content and activities in our medicinal plant gardens aimed at teaching local school children about the botanical biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest.

An already accomplished engineer from the region, Therany brought to ACEER an impressive record of field experience, including numerous research projects in the southern Peruvian Amazon. Therany’s work with us grew to include serving as a field guide for many of ACEER’s university outreach workshops and academic courses.

Seven years later, he was hired by ACEER to work as the lead coordinator of the “Leaf Pack” research project to assess the impact of the interoceanic highway on the aquatic biodiversity of adjacent watersheds. He was instrumental in its success, from planning and execution in the field, through to the presentation of results. Therany is now ACEER’s Scientific and Education Coordinator in Madre de Dios and has been part of ACEER’s family for over 11 years, continuing his professional growth with us.

Ethnobotanical Studies Scholarship: James A. Duke

This scholarship from Dr. James A. Duke, was created by the Board of Directors of the ACEER Foundation to honour this renowned Ethnobotanist and member of ACEER.

Dr. Duke, whose professional training was as a systematic botanist, was leading the service’s research at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as an expert in Economic Botany. In addition to his research at the USDA for more than 30 years, Dr. Duke has published more than 30 books, numerous articles and reviews, and remained active in his research on medicinal plants.

Dr. Duke was a catalyst and guiding figure of the award-winning gardens Ethnobotanical, workshops and ACEER programs. New commercially viable medicines were developed by researchers at ACEER gardens. In 2012, ACEER granted Dr. Duke with the Legacy Award, in recognition to his great contributions and achievements in research and conservation.

Beca de Estudios Etnobotánicos en Español

Ethnobotanical Studies Scholarship

ACEER’s Next 25

The ACEER Foundation has just celebrated its 25th anniversary as a dynamic force for rainforest conservation and looks forward to its next 25. The ACEER has two new and exciting initiatives: The Learning Hub and Conservation Café and the Global Conservation Leadership Institute. These initiatives will allow us to continue to grow and expand our efforts as an effective organization for Amazon conservation in these upcoming years.


The Learning Hub and Conservation Café will be a state of the art learning center. It will unite teachers, conservation professionals, and community leaders in an interactive meeting environment. The learning center will allow them access to innovative learning technologies, enhanced Internet, digital databases, computers, and much more. All of this will serve to create real world outcomes that measurably promote conservation and restoration in the Amazon.

Our second initiative, the Global Conservation Leadership Institute, will create a new cadre of leaders. It will focus on fostering leadership skills for emerging, top tier professionals, through immersive and experiential learning opportunities. It is designed to promote creative problem solving in truly transdisciplinary ways. The institute will provide access to, and direct interaction with, a world-class faculty, allowing participants to create lasting personal and professional relationships with peers from around the world. The Global Conservation Institute will encourage an entrepreneurial spirit and desire to improve people’s lives and protect the Amazon.

These exciting initiatives are the foundation of ACEER’s next 25 years of devotion to the conservation of the Amazon Rainforest. We are looking forward to them.

Help us to make these initiatives a reality by
making a donation via check or PayPal here.

Dr. Paul Morgan elected new President of the ACEER Foundation

The Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research Foundation (ACEER), a US 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with offices in West Chester, PA, and Puerto Maldonado, Peru, is pleased to announce that Dr. Paul Morgan was unanimously elected Paul MorganPresident of ACEER at its December 16, 2016 annual board meeting.  He succeeds Dr. Roger Mustalish, who will now serve ACEER as Chair of the Board of Directors.  Dr. Morgan holds a B.A. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He is a Professor of Professional and Secondary Education at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, and the director of undergraduate and graduate certificate programs in Education for Sustainability. In addition, he served as West Chester University’s Sustainability Coordinator from 2011-2014 and continues to be a member of the University’s Sustainability Advisory Council.

Dr. Morgan had been ACEER’s Chair of the Board, its representative to the Lima and Paris United Nations Climate Change Meetings (COP20 & COP21), and a workshop and expedition leader to the Amazon.  In July, Dr. Morgan headed a delegation from Dubai, UAE, studying climate change impacts in Peru.  His vision created ACEER’s Emerging Leaders in Sustainability Institute, and forged strategies to grow ACEER’s flagship program, the AMIGOS Partnership for Education.

As President, Dr. Morgan will be the CEO of the organization, which has been a dynamic force for rainforest conservation for 25 years, having touched the lives of more than 1 million individuals worldwide. He will lead the implementation of two new ACEER strategic initiatives: a Global Leadership Institute built on the success of the Emerging Leaders in Sustainability Institute, and creation of a state of the art conservation education “Hub” in Puerto Maldonado, Peru.  The “Hub” will offer innovative, experiential learning programming, networking capabilities, and empowerment opportunities to students, scientists, teachers, and community leaders with a goal of developing local and global environmental leaders who work to conserve and restore functioning landscapes in the Amazon. Learn more about ACEER at www.aceer.org.

Preserving More than Forest

October 10 marked the opening of a gallery exhibit for a cultural mapping project of the Ese’Eja at the University of Delaware. In his opening remarks, Dr. Paul Morgan, chair of the board of ACEER, posed an unexpected question to his audience; is the future envisioned by the TV show “The Jetsons” a future that we actually want?

TheJetsonsParkingSo does living in a world that looks something like the one portrayed in “The Jetsons” sound like an appealing idea to you? A skypad apartment? Robot housekeeper? Three-day workweek? What could be better? Dr. Morgan, however, sees things a little differently. In fact, he looks towards indigenous groups like the Ese’Eja of Southeastern Peru for a more ideal portrait of Continue reading “Preserving More than Forest”