JJ Durand & Diego Davila

A Junglekeeper’s journey from remote roots to global impact

Online communities have the power to connect people with vastly different life experiences — even when separated by thousands of miles. For Udemy instructor Diego Davila, connecting to one of the 900,000+ learners who have taken his courses meant traveling to a remote part of southeastern Peru. 

It’s here, deep in the Amazon rainforest, where Diego met JJ Durand. JJ leads the Junglekeepers, a group of young rangers dedicated to conserving and preserving one of the world’s most vital and diverse ecosystems. It’s a big challenge for this small community-based group, but they are committed to defending the 50,000 hectares of local forest they call home and preserving it for generations. 

Image description here
“Learning is powerful. Education is powerful.”

JJ’s path to conservationism wasn’t always clear to him. Growing up in Peru’s remote Madre de Dios region, life choices and careers were limited. But there was always one constant in JJ’s life — the land. Witnessing people and companies destroy it through illegal activities like logging, mining, and poaching inspired JJ to take action by organizing the Junglekeepers.

He’s been hard at work protecting the forest for over 25 years. But JJ recently realized that to face the constantly changing threats on their homeland, he and the team of rangers would need to learn new skills to help them adapt to the rising challenges. 

For JJ, enrolling in one of Diego’s leadership courses was the first step. “I learned how to see yourself,” JJ said about the course. “How to define your goal by understanding and visualizing every step [needed to achieve the goal].” By learning and sharing his new skills, JJ is empowering his team of rangers to make time for learning so they can find new ways to approach the challenges they face daily in the jungle.

Image description here

Diego never expected his courses to reach as far as the Amazon. But while visiting JJ and the Junglekeepers he saw firsthand the leadership skills JJ cultivated from his course. He watched JJ guide the rangers in developing strategies to help them protect the rainforest more effectively. Diego’s takeaway from the trip? “Learning is powerful. Education is powerful. It’s about changing one life.”

What about you?

For learners, instructors, and organizations alike, skills have the power to empower. What possibilities have they opened for you? We want to hear your transformation story.

Share your story
Skills learned. Stories transformed.