Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Boulder’s teenage environmentalist, climbs to a new stage this month

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, age 16, already has been featured by Rolling Stone, BBC and TEDx – oh, and he’s spoken before the United Nations a few times and been honored by President Barack Obama.

This Sunday at 6 p.m., his story will be part of ABC’s national WE Day special. Why? Well, it’s just the latest step in his emergence as one of the country’s youngest climate-change activists.

As Rolling Stone put it, Martinez is a “trilingual Indigenous hip-hop artist from Boulder who’s already organized youth crews on six continents.”

Here’s a bit more of what he’s about:

  • “I’m in love with a world that’s falling apart.” That’s what he told the Denver Post for a long profile that ran today.
  • He has been in the spotlight since at least age 11. His mother, Tamara Roske, started Earth Guardians, for which he is now the youth director, the Boulder Daily Camera reported.
  • His name is pronounced “shoo-tez-cat,” and it means “turquoise mirror” in the Nahuatl language, as he told the BBC.
  • One of those UN speeches has been viewed about a million times.
  • He’s been on Bill Maher’s show. There’s a short documentary about him.
  • He’s a litigant against the federal government, alleging that failure to stop climate change is a violation of people’s constitutional rights.
  • His brother is his rap partner.