Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a 13 year old indigenous environmental activist from Boulder, Colorado, came into the world through the Aztec culture on his father's side, and environmental activism on his mother's side. His name was chosen by Aztec elders of Mexico based on the cosmology of the Aztec calendar and given to him when he was six weeks old in the Black Hills of South Dakota by elders Arvol Looking Horse and Xolotl Martinez. Xiuhtezcatl has been participating in ceremonies and Aztec dancing since he could walk, and is very connected with his culture. He grew up learning to respect and care for the Earth and all life upon it.
His deep connection with the Earth inspired him to become a voice for protecting the Earth at a young age, giving his first speech at a climate change rally when he was six years old (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6PrMybQzyQ).
He has remained vigilant in his work as he has watched the trees and forests he loves die from beetle infestation, eco-systems collapse, and species disappear, which are a direct result of our environmental and climate crises.
Xiuhtezcatl is the youth director of Earth Guardians, a non-profit environmental organization that is committed to protecting the water, air, earth, and atmosphere. He has organized many rallies, actions, demonstrations and events, and has spoken globally on many issues. Projects include organizing the largest US iMatter March in Denver in the spring of 2010 with over 2,000 young people.
Xiuhtezcatl has worked with Boulder City Council members, County Commissioners, senators and congresspeople, and has collaborated with over 50 environmental organizations. He has led and participated in many victories including getting pesticides out of Boulder’s city parks, achieving a fee for plastic bags, and containment of coal ash.
He is currently working on helping fight for a statewide ban on fracking. He gives presentations on fracking in schools and at conferences nationally, and also has developed and shown a presentation called EARTH, teaching about practical changes all people can make to insure future generations a healthy habitable planet. His work on climate change has led him to become a youth plaintiff against the state of Colorado, and a federal plaintiff against the United States, filing law suits for not protecting the atmosphere.