Our mission at Climate Advocates Voces Unidas (CAVU) is to inspire local solutions to the climate crisis via visual storytelling and youth education programs.

Central America
CAVU Founded

CAVU founded by David and Jordan Smith in Central America

Costa Rica
Senderos del Cambio

CAVU produces first film in Costa Rica

El Salvador
Agua Salvadora

Voces del Darien

Shown to Panama’s National Assembly

Costa Rica
Nuestras Agua Nuestra Vida

Cockscomb: Jaguar Proud

Reefs for People

Six part series.

Barrier Reef Mapping

In conjunction with the Belize government, CAVU creates a hi-resolution aerial map of MesoAmerican Barrier Reef.

Ahead of the Tide

Ten chapter series.

New Mexico

Six part series.

Colorado &New Mexico
Wildlife without Borders

Receives Best Film, Environmental, and Best videography Emmy Awards

Central America
Climate Innovation Challenge

Inaugural year.

Jan 2020
Washington D.C.
Featured in the Smithsonian

CAVU featured for using flight and film for conservation in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

10,000+ Join the Challenge

CAVU surpasses 10,000+ annual participants in the the Climate Innovation Challenge


CAVU’s story began almost 20 years ago in Central America where its founders, David and Jordan Smith, incorporated the aerial perspective with stories from local citizens and leaders to create videos that served as advocacy tools for communities impacted by environmental degradation. 

The Smiths quickly saw the power that visual storytelling had to affect change and be an antidote to prejudice, partisanship, and cynicism when working on environmental and social justice issues. This work led to an Emmy and CAVU is now featured in a permanent exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum for CAVU’s use of flight and film for conservation purposes. 


CAVU’s Climate Innovation Challenge (CIC) was born out of the understanding that the climate crisis is the defining challenge for today’s youth, impacting their environment, health, culture, and future job prospects. We work across the Americas and Africa to engage youth, with a focus on those most vulnerable to climate change impacts: students from Indigenous communities, communities experiencing acute climate change impacts, and communities burdened by economic disparities.

CIC is a free STEAM program built on CAVU’s science and storytelling curriculum. The program cultivates student leaders to think innovatively and communicate effectively about adapting to our changing climate.

We serve students annually in grades 3-12. We challenge students to create locally-led, culturally-responsive solutions that build resilience in their own communities. We believe this is the most effective way to address the climate crisis, through promoting a sense of agency in our future leaders.

Student discussion outdoors

Today, CAVU is developing the next generation of youth leaders through our Climate Innovation Challenge (CIC). We work with teachers and students to help them create local solutions to the climate crisis. They are then given the opportunity to share their solutions with the world using visual storytelling.

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