• Michael Phillips

Me Voy A El Salvador

Sun, Aug 15

Today is my 4th morning waking up at the beach in El Salvador. It’s relatively cool (for El Salvador), humid as always and I can quietly appreciate the beauty of the lush jungle green and constant sounds of the waves crashing as I scratch yesterday’s fresh mosquito and fly bites. This is the newest of many trips I’ve gone on solo. I’ve just meditated again (I’m getting back into the daily rhythm) and decided impulsively to begin journalizing again. Friends and family always request that I send back photos early and often. And I often disappoint. I get wrapped up in exploring, meeting new people and the camera can just get in the way.

I came to this country filled with curiosity. That curiously is fueled by new obsession, Bitcoin. For those that aren’t aware Bitcoin was recently named legal tender by the new millennial president, Mayib Bukele. The path to this new legitimization started right where I am now, in El Zonte, known to many as Bitcoin Beach. The story goes that a Bitcoin billionaire anonymously donated an unknown amount of money to Michael Peterson, a businessman and family man raising his children on the beach. Bitcoin was used to pay the local kids to clean up the beach and lifeguard amongst other occupations. The kids taught their parents on how to use a Bitcoin wallet and over the course of 3 years a circular economic system was created.

This system has the ability to change the community. For the first time the unbanked has the ability to save in what many believe (including myself), to be an appreciating asset. The prosperity and values of this system can end crime, keep families together and accelerate the community into an inevitable technological future. What the reality is, I’m here to find out.

I was traveling and living out of my little RPod trailer this past year. While pondering on how to invest my money in a very uncertain future I started on a deep dive of Podcasts, YouTube videos and articles. I went from speculative on using Bitcoin as a financial investment in my future to a revolutionary who got ‘orange pilled’ and completely bought into the concept that “if you change the money, you change the world.’ Somewhere near Carson City I heard Michael Peterson discussing Bitcoin Beach and the difference it was making for the people. From an off limits campground where I was camped out I announced outloud, “Me voy a El Salvador!”

Three months later I am at the beach. Many other gringos have come to check this place out for the same reason. It doesn’t take much to convince someone with wanderlust to go slum it on a surf beach. There’s ceviche and pupusas and fresh melon juices. Endless waves to stare at until you get the cojones to grab a board and paddle through the breakers. Lots of friends and family (who have never been to this country) explained how dangerous it is everywhere. I don’t see danger anywhere around here. The people are friendly and relaxed. The stray dogs everywhere walk up to you, hoping you’ll throw a stick to play.

I’ve made friends lounging around the guesthouse. We eat seafood dinners that last hours while the rain falls around us and find a place to watch the lightning storm. I stopped drinking and starting doing pushups and planks by the pool to condition myself for surf class. I’ve done a lot but document the beach much… but I promise I’m getting to it.

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