One unique thing you will notice about El Zonte is that most of the businesses accept Bitcoin. We hope that while you are here, you will learn about the Bitcoin Beach project and participate in the local economy. As part of this project, many local businesses and community members use Bitcoin in daily transactions.
From a subsistence economy to a circular economy.
Like many rural areas in El Salvador, the local economy has historically been built around agriculture and fishing. These jobs tend to pay low wages, and many in the community live in difficult conditions. El Zonte has already seen a significant transition from this type of work to tourism as a new way of earning. The adoption of a Bitcoin Standard has allowed the community to adapt more easily to this transformation by allowing small businesses (who are not large enough to accept credit cards) to have access to instant mobile payments for everything from room reservations to a cup of coffee.
Beginnings of the Bitcoin Beach project.
Bitcoin Beach began in 2019 through the vision of donor and philanthropist Michael Peterson and Jorge Valenzuela (Zonteño), who have been involved in community development projects in El Zonte for the past 15 years. As El Zonte continues to grow and prosper, we want to make sure that the local residents are able to participate in the growth. It can often be challenging for small businesses to benefit from development without banking relationships and capital access. Businesses of any size can use Bitcoin, so it helps insure that small businesses can compete.
The goal of Bitcoin Beach is sustainable development in which everyone can participate. The project has focused on establishing a circular Bitcoin ecosystem that encourages shopping local, so the money stays in the community. Most residents in El Zonte are currently unbanked, including many of the business owners. Bitcoin not only provides mobile payments, but is also used as a savings vehicle to help owners prepare for future investments in their businesses.
Bitcoin, the engine to propel El Zonte’s development.
Currently, almost everything in El Zonte can be paid for with Bitcoin. About 500 locals use it daily to buy everything, including haircuts, cleaning and hygiene products, food, surf lessons, and even water service.
Bitcoin Beach is focused on a number of community initiatives. Everything we do is focused on education and continued personal development, preparing the youth to capitalize on the opportunities that will come with the growth of El Zonte as both tourist and permanent residents flock to its beaches.
Bitcoin Beach believes in community empowerment. Bitcoin use is open to everyone, and nobody has to worry whether a bank will accept them as a client or take advantage of them because they don’t have any other option. We believe that Bitcoin will be the people’s money and make being unbanked a thing of the past.
Economics and social programs go hand in hand here at Bitcoin Beach.
With the increased use of Bitcoin in El Zonte, several local initiatives have risen up, focusing on making El Zonte a place of promise for its young people. One of the programs provides Bitcoin stipends to students to pay for transportation and meals, so they can attend high school. Because there is no local high school, the cost of transportation previously prevented most students from continuing their education past 9th grade. Now anyone willing to do the work can continue on to get their high school diploma.
Another initiative provides University scholarships to young Zonteños, offering them better opportunities in their professional development, adding value to the community where they live. Likewise, there are preventive programs that seek to integrate children and teenagers into dynamic and worthwhile activities to prevent them from getting off course.
We believe that the natural beauty of El Zonte is what makes it so special and are focused on community-driven initiatives to protect the environment. The goal of Bitcoin Beach is that El Zonte will be a trash-free zone. From river clean-ups to placing trash cans throughout the community, we look forward to a day when litter is non-existent. Another aspect of this is making sure that the local infrastructure is safe and sanitary, so we focus on pipeline repairs, roadways, and waste collection. Our volunteers oversee these efforts and are rewarded with Bitcoin fractions better known as “satoshis.”
All these projects were born from the community’s vision and noble endeavor, without intervention from any state institution.
Come to Zonte and use your Bitcoins!
If you are a Bitcoin user, you can travel to El Salvador, stay and enjoy the spectacular beaches of Zonte without having to bring cash. Many of the local businesses and hotels accept Bitcoin.
There is a Bitcoin ATM, located in the former Café Cocoa, where you can buy and sell Bitcoin. This ATM is operated by the global digital coin company “Athena Bitcoin,” which enables users to purchase Bitcoin or trade their Bitcoin for c – and all in one place!
Without a doubt, El Zonte is an incredible surf destination that you must discover!
If you are interested in learning more about Bitcoin Beach in El Zonte Beach or donating to support our projects and programs, we invite you to visit our website for further information.
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