Photo courtesy of Zoe Urness
At Bioneers, we believe that youth have the power to help shift the future for the better. Xiuhtezcatl Martinez (pictured above, left, with his brother Itzcuauhtli) is one of those young people catalyzing change.
Call to Youth to be Earth Guardians
All of last year’s youth keynote speakers were inspiring to all, and serve as real-life role models for the youth who attended conference.
The youngest presenter, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is just 14 years old and has already started an environmental non-profit, Earth Guardians.
In his Bioneers talk he pointed out that, “We were put here to be the caretakers of the land, and we kind of have done the opposite of that,” which is why he started Earth Guardians.
Through Earth Guardians, Xiuhtezcatl is leading the way for young people, which he calls #GenerationRYSE, to protect the planet and leave it better than it was left for them.
As part of the #GenerationRYSE, Xiuhtezcatl and his younger brother, Itzcuauhtli, travel around the world speaking out for change and performing as an activist rap duo. Earth Guardians currently has over 60 groups on 6 different continents, so they are clearly doing something right.
With titles like “Indigenous Roots” and “Be the Change,” their lyrics are focused on social change and environmental activism. You can watch their performance from last year’s Bioneers Conference below.
The Defining Issue of Our Time
Xiuhtezcatl recognizes that “[Climate change] is a human rights issue. And it is the defining issue of our time.” With youth like him stepping up and taking the lead in the fight for environmental and social justice, the future is already brighter for all of us.
Xiuhtezcatl is walking his talk and working with other leaders in his local community to fight climate change. He has worked with environmental organizations on a variety of important causes, such as banning pesticides from local parks, implementing a plastic bag fee and more. Now he is working with other young people to ban fracking in all of Colorado.
Watch Xiuhtezcatl’s full plenary below and share this post on social media to spread this story of youth leading the way to make the world a better place.
Bioneers as a Catalyst for Youth Activism
Xiuhtezcatl recognizes the importance of bringing youth together to motivate them to become change makers in their communities, and see Bioneers as an important space for this to happen.
In a recent interview he said, "I think in this generation, in this movement, young people play a very, very important role in taking the lead, spearheading the movement…Bioneers allows the ability for young people to engage in something different, something better than what they normally do all the time every day."
75% of the youth who attended the 2014 Bioneers Conference received some form of financial assistance. Support these emerging young leaders with a gift to the Bioneers Scholarship Fund!