Jacky Li

Guatemala and China Course Director

B.A. with honors, Finance and Business Administration, Richard Ivey School of Business, Canada

Jacky was raised on four continents: China, Russia, Australia and Canada. The skills cultivated as a youngster to thrive in change laid the foundation for his adult life. He was guiding volcano hikes in the Guatemalan highlands as a volunteer when he first encountered a Dragons group. Since then he has found a calling in cross-cultural education. For the last seven years he has instructed summer and gap-year programs in India, Cambodia, Laos, Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru, Costa Rica, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, and vast regions of China. An advocate of experiential education and a student at heart himself Jacky shares a profound enthusiasm for learning with his students through the distinct, dynamic and transformational experiences that shapes a Dragons course.

In his early academic days Jacky cruised his way into the top business school in Canada. His life seemed to be “on track” when he signed up to his first full-time job of investment banking in Chicago out of university. The stressful environment intensified by the 100-hour work week however was an admonition. He put in nine months of work to pay back his student loan and began to actively recalibrate his life’s compass. For the last nine years Jacky has led a nomadic life. On the road, adventure is plainly a fact of life. He can tell you tales of running with 1,500-pound bulls in Spain, train hopping in the Sahara desert, Muay Thai training on an island in Thailand, hitchhiking the entire length of Mexico north to south, camel trekking on the silk road, circumnavigating Taiwan on a bicycle, floating down the Beni River in the Amazon rainforest, and serving as the show secretary for the South India Equestrian Championship.

Jacky’s initial wandering was strongly shaped by several sustainable and spiritual communities in Central America. Impelled to live the full spectrum of human experiences, he built houses with natural materials using permaculture principles, worked with rescued animals in the Petén jungle, studied to become a yoga teacher, learned massage techniques, and managed an off-the-grid vegetarian kitchen at a retreat center. Now a dedicated yogi and an avid photographer, Jacky celebrates the sacredness of life and embraces what comes with an open heart.

In his daily flow, Jacky finds immense satisfaction in slow mornings, walking barefoot in nature, savoring a cup of tea, playing basketball, eating whole food, dancing wildly, and having a good laugh with people. Jacky aspires to share his inner joy and love. He is delighted to be joined by others on this journey – where the sense of wonder comes alive!

“Right education should help the student, not only to develop his capacities, but to understand his own highest interest.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti