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I strike for climate action Xiuhtezcatl Martinez 19 years old, Earth Guardians

Living my whole life between Colorado and Mexico, I saw the forests that I grew up in and loved disappear because of the changing climate. I saw my family’s access to clean water become more and more scarce in Mexico. This built a different kind of connection to the crisis because it affects my home, my ceremonial places and the places I go with my family.

I organize in honor of my ancestors, for those who fought for the world we live in today and for future generations who will inherit the planet we are leaving behind.

Everything to be afraid of about the climate crisis is already here—the destruction and displacement of peoples off their land, the death and the violence, and the imbalance. My biggest fear is for that to spread to the rest of the world and inflict more suffering.

I believe in the power my generation has to shape our future. We are at the most pivotal moment where our existence, our reality, our futures and our present are all at stake. It’s not a matter of choice for us to be involved—these are our lives on the line. And it’s a heavy burden, but it’s also a beautiful responsibility.

We need to set aside the barriers that have separated our movements and our people and recognize that the only way we’re going to make it out of this is together. This is one of the most challenging times humanity’s ever going to face, and with that, it’s one of the most unifying moments we have ever experienced. It is calling on humanity. It’s calling on each and every one of us to step up and play our part—as artists, as teachers, as students, as entrepreneurs, as dreamers.

Whatever you do, do it from a place of love. This is a beautiful struggle. I’m grateful to be a part of it.

Youth activists are striking for the future of our planet. Answer with Action