Michael Peterson is the founder of Bitcoin Beach, a bitcoin youth program in two villages in El Salvador, Punta Mango and El Zonte. These villages have been predominantly using cash, but when Peterson moved to the area, he saw the potential for change, when he noticed that over 50 percent of the population had smartphones.
The program pays young people in these villages to do jobs that benefit the community. Young people can, for example, clean up the road side and get paid in Bitcoin. This way they help the community, whilst learning about Bitcoin.
They also help local businesses with the on-boarding process to accept Bitcoin, so it becomes a ‘circular economy’ of sorts. The shopkeepers are set up with a Wallet of Satoshi, and use mostly Lightning to complete payments. As of January 2020, Bitcoin Beach has now 100 new users.
Due to the current pandemic, the economy in El Salvador has been struggling. The program has been able to keep people in the community working.
If you would like to donate to Bitcoin Beach, read more about it here.