You might have trouble pronouncing his name, but this teenager who closely identifies with his Aztec heritage has made big climate change and global warming waves in his short life. Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is an American hip hop artist, activist, and global phenomenon transforming the way we think about climate change.
One of the only teenagers of his time that has already performed various TED talks, and spoken before the United Nations regarding his stance on environmental policy, Xiuhtezcatl has only just began his journey. Leveraging the music industry to reach millions of young minds, addressing politicians, Union Leaders, and developing youth programs across the world, Xiuhtezcatl is a man on a mission.
Known for his long hair, hard to pronounce name, and passion for climate change, this Boulder, Colorado artist offers positive rap messages encouraging teenagers to embrace the idea of global change and respect for the planet Earth.
One of his more popular songs, “Be the Change”, inspired by the famous quote ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world” by Ghandi himself, Xiuhtezcatl wanted a song that addressed fracking, climate change, and the future of next generations.
Xiuhtezcatl first started raising awareness at the young age of six while attending a rally in Colorado, since then, he has pursued his passion without waver, more recently creating a formal youth-led climate change group called Earth Guardians.
Offering a range of options for people to join the cause including 50 simple things to improve the environment, signing a petition asking future Presidential candidates to provide their stance on the climate crisis to joining the actual group and becoming a Guardian, this passionate group of individuals are clear minded, straightforward, and determined to make a difference.
Julia Butterfly, best known for her residence in a California redwood for 738 days, weighed in on Xiuhtezcatl’s message saying, “Xiuhtezcatl is a vital voice for our time. Combining art and creativity with passion, commitment, and clarity, he represents as well as models what it is to be the change our world and planet need. He speaks powerfully from and connects deeply with both the mind and the heart. I am in awe of who Xiuhtezcatl is and all he has already done at such a young age. No matter our age or background, we can all learn from him.”
How to Be the Change
Earth Guardians are not only the “voice” of a new generation but also offer immediate options for one join the cause by participating in various lifestyle changes and actions including tracking your carbon footprint, pledging to be a climate change advocate, and even creating a garden to fight carbon emissions.
Xiuhtezcatl has certainly made some major steps towards both influencing change and inspiring responsible living. As he continues to make a name for himself, representing the entire new generation, he exudes confidence, portrays urgency, and demands recognition in all that he does. Standing before the UN in 2016, his message was clearly heard, “I stand before you representing my entire generation,” he said. “Youth are standing up all over the planet to find solutions. We are flooding the streets and now flooding the courts.”
“We need you to take action. We are all indigenous to this earth.”