Bitcoin brings smiles back to 60-year-old patients in El Salvador

Key facts:
  • The Diente Zonte clinic is the main beneficiary of the Bitcoin Smiles project

  • Doctor Enrique Berrios uses Bitcoin to bring back smiles in El Zonte, El Salvador.

17 years ago, Dr. Enrique Berrios left his life in the city of San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, and decided to move to the town of El Zonte, in the west of the Central American country.

Since then, the dental doctor has dedicated himself to helping selflessly to the inhabitants of that and other nearby towns to recover their teeth.

However, it was in 2014 when he discovered Bitcoin, while on some work and study trips in the dental industry in the city of San Francisco, United States.


I started as an enthusiast, knowing about Bitcoin, but I started to work fully [con Bitcoin] 2 years ago, almost 3 years ago, when the circular economy based on bitcoin began here in El Zonte. There I decided to make my professional dental service available to people who already received their salary in bitcoin, but it is specifically thanks to a single patient who encouraged us to make this initiative a little bigger.

Enrique Berrios, dental doctor.

Berrios mentions that this person had saved in bitcoin (BTC) and used it to pay for the medical intervention that would fix his teeth, after long decades of suffering, and this was an important income for the clinic.

henry berrios
Dr. Enrique Berrios is the dentist at the Diente Zonte clinic. Source: Luis Esparragoza for CriptoNoticias.

Thus, more people joined in supporting the work of the clinic Tooth Zonte, from where dozens of people have been able to recover their teeth without paying a penny, due to the donations in BTC that Berrios has received in his office.

This has been thanks to the alliance with the payment processor BTCPayServer and BitcoinDesign. Together they managed to raise almost 1.96 BTC from 170 contributors around the world, 90% of these donations sent via Lightning.

With this amount collected, it has been possible to subsidize the restoration of the denture to 25 patients over 60 years of agethanks to large donors such as SwanBitcoin, Bitrefill, OkCoin, Square, Blockstream and individual donors.

Berrios explained that people with dental problems suffer a lot, they have nutritional problems due to not being able to chew food well and self-esteem problems due to their personal image being affected.

The causes of this problem are in the difficult access to medical services, unemployment and low wages, in a cycle of poverty of decades in disadvantaged communities in El Salvador. This reality is changing now with the arrival of Bitcoin to the town and the country.

Enjoy of the full interview with Enrique Berriosa dental doctor from the DienteZonte project, in El Salvador, on the CriptoNoticias YouTube channel.