Day 20: Here comes the rain.
20 dicembre 2021

When it rains in the tropics, it rains. Seamlessly. A wall of water. 

Where we are is at high altitude. Over 1,200 feet high and we know that here, the mountains looming over us often create disturbances like this. We don’t worry much about it. In fact, after so many days of intense heat, it’s even nice to enjoy some cooler weather. We used the sweatshirts that were drying up at the bottom of our backpacks and that we were now convinced that we had brought in vain.

We used the day to get some rest. It’s been weeks of constant movement and never a moment’s rest. We then finished some work we had pending, added English subtitles to our video about the Vulcanode, and researched more about the events that have affected the area we are in. 

These heights were in fact the epicenter of the operations of the FMLN, the Farabundo Martí Front for National Liberation, a federation of rebel guerrilla groups that since 1979 has strenuously opposed the fascist military dictatorship that seized the country’s government in a coup d’état. This was their real headquarters and some of the most important, but also bloodiest, events of the long Salvadoran civil war took place right around here. But we will have a chance to talk about this more in detail in the coming days.

It is important, especially for us in the West, to understand how complex the world is and how the peace and prosperity we have enjoyed over the past seventy years is a privileged exception. There is a very specific reason why vast areas of the world today find themselves in poverty, under illiberal governments, and harassed by undignified living conditions. Understanding what are the chains of events that drag a country into chaos helps to fully understand how Bitcoin can facilitate the transition to a better society.

The beauty of this mission of ours in El Salvador is that it’s putting us in touch with so many other bitcoiners who see this in the technology we talk about every day. A tool to protect peoples, to offer them an opportunity for redemption, a protection for fundamental human rights. Frankly, a nice breath of fresh air compared to the speeches all oriented to speculation, leverage, earnings and capital gains that plague the narrative on Bitcoin at home.

Just tonight we participated in a Twitter Space organized by a group of activists who think exactly this way. The discussion was focused on the recent birth, here in neighboring Costa Rica, of a project called Bitcoin Jungle. A group that, starting from the bottom, uses the cryptocurrency to create a better form of economy that can also benefit local communities and protect them from the overwhelming status quo. An experiment not so different from the one started a few years ago in El Zonte, in Bitcoin Beach.

Joining us were activists who are spreading the word about the importance of this technological revolution in places like Vietnam, China, Indonesia. There is a real movement that, on a global scale, is coalescing under the banner of Satoshi Nakamoto, organizing and preparing to make a real impact on a multitude of different local communities. Their work often goes unnoticed, passes under the radar, or is even considered utopian and irrelevant. And that’s a good thing. All revolutions begin in the shadows. Quietly. But the difference that such a powerful tool can make in the hands of capable, determined individuals with a clear political and social vision is incalculable. To many of these individuals, Bitcoin also grants something that not all people’s movements can claim to have had. Economic power. The difference between Bitcoin and every other cryptocurrency is this. Its not being a direct expression of an individual, or a company, its not having marketing offices or boards of directors, makes it available to anyone, anywhere. Every time its price on the markets increases, the purchasing power of people with noble ideals, genuinely libertarian, not with trivial selfish ambitions of the first world, also increases.

Dealing with these people, empathizing with them, discussing with them, learning from them, supporting them and having them support us, makes us feel like we are on the right side of history. 

It is with them that we feel at home.