In the heart of El Zonte, El Salvador, a profound transformation is underway, captivating the global Bitcoin community. Bitcoin Beach, an innovative initiative, has not only changed lives but also paved the way for El Salvador’s historic Bitcoin legal tender law. The documentary „Dare to Dream: A Story From El Salvador,“ directed by Joe Delahunty, along with producer and funder Graham Rittener, unravels the true narrative behind this groundbreaking movement, dispelling myths and showcasing the transformative power of Bitcoin.
On a visit to El Zonte, Rittener was inspired by the work Bitcoin Beach and Hope House were doing to improve their community. He noticed that although there is a lot of technical and macroeconomic content, there was a gap in covering the human stories behind Bitcoin, especially regarding the rise of Bitcoin Beach. Rittener, especially saw the positive aspect that Bitcoin was having in changing people’s lives. He also wanted to make the content relevant not just to Bitcoiners but to the general public as a whole through qualitative stories that they could connect with.
To that end, it was important that the film took the audience through answering the question of „what is money?“ Here, Bitcoin philosopher and podcaster Robert Breedlove, in a friendly and accessible manner, guides the audience through this complex question.
The Genesis of Bitcoin Beach
„Dare to Dream“ illuminates the origins of Bitcoin Beach, dispelling the mystery that surrounded its inception. With meticulous precision, Delahunty traces the roots of this groundbreaking movement, unearthing untold stories that led to an unprecedented financial revolution in El Zonte.
The film vividly portrays Bitcoin’s potential, surpassing mere speculation. Through intimate vignettes, we witness the profound impact of Bitcoin as a tool, liberating El Zonte from violence and despair, offering a beacon of hope, and a chance for young individuals to remain rooted in their community.
As the legal tender law gained momentum, what began as a grassroots movement got entangled in political debate. The media frenzy threatened to misrepresent Bitcoin Beach, yet at its core, the project remained steadfast, apolitical, and a testament to the enduring power of community-driven initiatives.
Personal Journeys: Hopes, Dreams, and Love for Community
„Dare to Dream“ introduces us to the individuals who birthed Bitcoin Beach, giving voice to their aspirations and love for family, community, and country. Roman Martinez (Chimbera) and Jorge Valenzuela, lifelong friends turned trailblazers, candidly share why Bitcoin became a lifeline. The film also unravels the enigmatic story of the anonymous Bitcoin funder, shedding light on how Mike Peterson, in collaboration with Chimbera and Valenzuela, turned this vision into reality.
The educational efforts by Chimbera and Valenzuela went beyond Bitcoin, equipping the community with technical knowledge to navigate Lightning Bitcoin wallets and bridging the gap for an unbanked non-technical audience, tailoring the education and wallet solutions to suit unique community needs.
The educational facet became a catalyst for holistic empowerment, extending to English language classes and diverse skill-building initiatives. Surfing, soccer, art, and drama classes emerged as strategic investments in the personal development of the community’s future leaders.
Multifaceted Realities: El Salvador’s Bitcoin Adoption
„Dare to Dream“ features the testaments of renowned figures in the Bitcoin space, providing a unique perspective on the ongoing evolution of Bitcoin adoption. Max Keiser, who relocated to El Salvador and committed significant resources, shares some of his insights on Bitcoin adoption, while Nicolas Burtey, CEO of Galoy, emphasizes the role of Lightning as a means to empower communities. The documentary also shows podcaster John Vallis conducting interviews with locals and industry players.
Additionally, the film delves into a comprehensive exploration of how Bitcoin is integrating into the fabric of Salvadoran society. It reveals a tapestry of benefits beyond digital currency, from innovative remittance methods to a burgeoning tourism boom and merchant empowerment through reduced fees.
A Beacon of Possibility
While audiences are required to pay to view the film, it was created as a non-profit project, and if the film makes any profit, 90% of the proceeds will go directly to help the educational outreach efforts of Bitcoin Beach and Hope House.
„Dare to Dream: A Story From El Salvador“ is a powerful testament to Bitcoin’s potential to bring tangible change. It transcends borders, representing a beacon of possibility for a more inclusive and prosperous world. Every Bitcoiner and anyone intrigued by the potential of Bitcoin should witness this story, for it is not just about Bitcoin but about the people, their dreams, and the hope for a better future. The film is a reminder that just as Jorge and Chimbera are changing their world, we are also encouraged to dare to dream and change ours.
Note: „Dare to Dream: A Story From El Salvador“ can be streamed on Apple TV, Prime Video, YouTube Movies, Google Play, Vudu, and others in the United States; Apple TV, YouTube Movies, and Google Play in Canada; Apple TV in the Caribbean; Amazon UK in the United Kingdom; and Vimeo in all other countries. If you’re outside the US, Canada, and the Caribbean, you can purchase the documentary using Bitcoin. Inquiries on the film can be directed to Graham Ritter here.
This is a guest post by Jaime Garcia. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.