It is with huge sadness that we announce the death of Dilwyn Jenkins, our extraordinary Project Manager for Peru and the foundation of so much that Cool Earth has achieved.
UPDATE: Since Dilwyn’s death we’re very sad to hear that Marcial Sinchicama, the former president of our partner community Cutivireni, has died from malaria. Marcial was an ally of Dilwyn’s and was instrumental in expanding our Asháninka project. Read about Marcial here
Dilwyn passed away in Lima having just returned from the rainforest. He was only 57 and was as active as ever. Just last month he was setting the pace on six hour hikes in 100% humidity. Having just got back from a trip to the department of Amazonas, he was buzzing with excitement about the new project he had just put in place. He seemed very fulfilled and happy.
It has been a huge shock to his large family and everyone else who loved him. The outpouring of grief from the forest communities that were so close to Dilwyn’s heart has been overwhelming. The impact of his long-standing loyalty to the Asháninka is impossible to exaggerate. For over thirty-five years, Dilwyn has been their biggest advocate and their bravest defender. For a marginalised tribal people to have overcome the threats of Shining Path guerrillas, petroleros, cocaine cartels and loggers, is in large part down to the compassion, energy and integrity of Dilwyn.
When we talk about the Cool Earth model – that puts indigenous people in control of their rainforest – we should really talk of the Dilwyn Jenkins model. With the team he assembled in Peru, Dilwyn and his dear friend Carlos Montenegro won the trust of even the most sceptical communities and did more to save rainforest and protect unique cultures than anyone.
Claire, Dilwyn’s wife, and his children have asked that Cool Earth work with the Asháninka communities to create a memorial for his lifetime’s commitment to safeguard the Asháninka way of life.
All donations in memory of Dilwyn will go towards a much needed Medical Outpost in the Asháninka village of Tinkareni. Tinkareni was the first village that welcomed Dilwyn in 1978.