Earth Guardians’ Youth Director Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, (his first name pronounced ‘Shoe-Tez-Caht’) is a 19-year-old indigenous climate activist, hip-hop artist, and powerful voice on the front lines of the global youth-led environmental movement. At the early age of 6, Xiuhtezcatl began speaking around the world, from the UN Summit in Rio de Janeiro, to addressing the General Assembly at the UN in New York. He has worked locally to get pesticides out of parks & coal ash contained, as well as initiating moratoriums on fracking in his home state of Colorado. He is currently a plaintiff in a youth-led lawsuit against the federal government for the government’s inaction around the climate crisis and its failure to protect their essential public trust resources.
Xiuhtezcatl has traveled around the world educating his generation about the climate and environmental crisis, and has launched Earth Guardians youth crews in 60+ countries. His work has been featured on PBS, Showtime, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Upworthy, The Guardian, Vogue, Bill Maher, The Daily Show, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, CNN, MSNBC, HBO, VICE, and more.
Xiuhtezcatl‘s book “We Rise” was published by Rodale in 2017, and he has just finished writing “Imaginary Boarders” to be published and released by Penguin in the spring of 2020. Xiuhtezcatl is stirring his generation with his music and released his first EP, “Broken” and album, “Break Free” in 2018.
In 2013, Xiuhtezcatl received the United States Community Service Award from President Obama, and was the youngest of 24 national change-makers chosen to serve on the President’s youth council.
He is the 2015 recipient of the Peace First Prize, the 2015 Nickelodeon Halo Award, 2016 Captain Planet Award, Sweden’s 2016 Children’s Climate Prize , 2017 Univision Premio’s Ajente de Cambio Award, 2018 My Climate Hero, 2018 Shorty Award, Huffington Post Top 10 Movers and Shakers, Grist Top 50 Fixers, TIME Next Generation Leaders, MTV Emma Award and the 2019 Senckenberg Award.