Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is influenced by Aztec culture on his father’s side, and environmental activism on his mother’s side. Raised in Boulder, Colorado, he grew up participating in ceremonies and learning to respect the Earth and all life upon it. His deep connection with the Earth inspired him to be a voice for change at a young age, giving his first speech at a climate change rally when he was six years old.
Xiuhtezcatl is the youth voice for the Earth Guardians, a non-profit environmental group for youth. He has mobilized a following of youth and adults and has been involved in helping to organize a myriad of rallies, actions, events, and City Council presentations. With the help of his mother, Tamara, he organized and led the “I Matter” March in Denver, the largest youth led march in the United States.
Xiuhtezcatl has worked with Boulder City Council Officials, County Commissioners, Senators, Congressmen and woman and collaborated with over 50 environmental organizations. In May, 2012, he and a delegation of five went to Washington DC to meet with representatives from all three branches of government, expressing their concerns and working to garner the support for climate change efforts. Over 80 members of Congress and the Congressional Progressive Caucus publicly supported the youth delegation and their work to ensure a healthy future, despite the fossil fuels industry’s efforts to place their own profits first.
Xiuhtezcatl was one of the youngest speakers at the United Nations Summit in Rio Brazil 2012. He spoke on UN panels and at many of the UN side events. He is called upon on a regular basis to provide the youth perspective and voice at conferences locally, nationally, and globally. He promotes his message of hope, inspiration, and the importance of taking immediate action. He is mobilizing his generation towards standing united and creating a sustainable world for generations to come.
Xiuhtezcatl’s story was featured in “Trust Colorado”, a short film Documentary by Peter Gabriel’s organization Witness, and it won 2012 Best Environmental Film Documentary of the Year.
Xiuhtezcatl continues to inspire youth and adults alike, encouraging people everywhere to become more aware and educated, and to work together to face the threats to our environment, our atmosphere, and our future.