An initiative in El Zonte, El Salvador is seeking bitcoin donations to help provide the community with proper dental care.
In El Salvador something special is brewing. An initiative by BTCPay Server and Bitcoin Design is seeking to raise 1 BTC to provide up to 50 people in need of dental checkups, dentures and critical care. This is Bitcoin Smiles.
Seventeen years ago, dentist Enrique Berrios traveled to El Zonte for his dental internship and ended up staying there long term. After aiming to stay away from big cities so he could settle down and establish a small dental practice in El Zonte to help those in need of care, he saw that the elderly there had been forgotten and were in dire need of dental care.
Being able to afford dentures and have other dental care is a pipe dream to many of the elderly in El Zonte. Because of the lack of dental care, many of their teeth have rotten and fallen out, making it difficult to eat food. Many have had to center their diets around soft tortillas and even have to swallow food whole because they cannot chew. Also, many of the elderly in rural areas cannot make the long trip to Berrios’ dental office.
“We are trying to focus on people that really need the help and it’s a lot of elderly people,” said Berrios. “As I said, they are forgotten and are by themselves in this rural areas.”
All proceeds will go towards Berrios’ dental practice, Diente Zonte, to help patients get the dental care they need to improve their lives. If their 1 BTC goal is exceeded, then all further proceeds will go towards new portable equipment and supplies to help reach more patients in rural and isolated areas.
“The chance we have to restore dignity and restore the confidence of these people in health; investing in them as a human being and providing them with love and the chance that we could improve their lives,” Berrios added.
At the time of writing, the fundraising campaign is currently 29% of the way towards their 1 BTC goal with a total of 13 donors. If you would like to donate or find more information on Bitcoin Smiles, check out their website.