When Xiuhtezcatl (pronounced shu-TEZ-kot) Martinez was just 6 years old, he watched The 11th Hour, a documentary about the devastating impact humans are having on the environment. Shocked by what he saw, he decided he had to do something about climate change. His family was already environmentally conscious—his mom had founded a group called Earth Guardians, and his older siblings were now running it—but it was the film that truly spurred Xiuhtezcatl into action. “I saw that the world was in danger,” he says. “It was terrifying for me.”
He began sneaking into Earth Guardians meetings, and before long, he was traveling around the world to educate and inspire people to join the fight. “I understood young people’s responsibility to act and be a part of a movement for change,” he says.