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Bitcoin Ethos

Orange Pilling the Youth: Bitcoin Education Transforming Roatan 

by: Zussel Ramos

In a picturesque island in the Caribbean, a transformative movement is underway, empowering the youth through Bitcoin education.

As the first teacher of the “Bitcoin Diploma” program in Honduras at AmityAge Academy, the first Bitcoin Education Center in the country, located in Roatan, I have witnessed the profound impact this initiative has on shaping the financial literacy of Roatan’s future generations. Our mission, driven by the belief that education holds the key to liberation from oppression, aims to educate 100 million people worldwide about Bitcoin by 2030.

AmityAge Academy, co-founded by Dusan Matuska, is leading the Bitcoin movement in Roatan.

AmityAge Academy has emerged as a leader in Bitcoin education on the island, our academy is pioneering the way towards a future where financial empowerment and freedom are accessible to all. We all are committed to expanding our impact globally, aspiring to establish a network of Bitcoin Education centers across the world. The curriculum we follow, known as the “Bitcoin Diploma,” was developed by the known organization “My First Bitcoin” in El Salvador.

AmityAge Academy’s collaboration with “My First Bitcoin” showcases our dedication to offering the highest quality Bitcoin education to our students. By aligning ourselves with this organization, we ensure that our curriculum is up to date and covers in-depth Bitcoin understanding. This partnership enables us to provide our students with an education that is backed by industry experts and respected within the Bitcoin community.

The Bitcoin education initiatives in Roatan are structured to ensure maximum engagement and comprehension. The “Bitcoin Diploma” program includes 10 interactive classes, each lasting around one and a half hours. Real-life examples are incorporated to facilitate understanding, making the learning experience both practical and enriching. The course typically extends over two weeks, with daily classes, culminating in a final exam where local Bitcoiners join to test the students’ knowledge. This collaborative approach facilitates meaningful connections between the youth and the Bitcoin community in Roatan.

I really appreciate the mentorship of Dalia, a remarkable individual contributing to the success of the Bitcoin Diploma. We had several meetings before starting the course only brainstorming ideas to make the course easy to digest and to keep the students interested. Definitely, it involved a lot of candy prizes and other fun activities. I remember one of the challenges that we came across was the skyrocketing fees associated with on-chain transactions at that time. As the final test consists of doing lightning and also on-chain transactions, instead, I proposed an alternative approach that offered the students an opportunity to “orange pill” others and this way avoid the on-chain transaction and pay $20 or more fees per transaction. I invited several teachers, a taxi driver, and other administrative employees.

This was a total success since they onboarded all these people and introduced them to Bitcoin, the invitees were asking questions and the students were answering them flawlessly under the supervision of me and other fellow Bitcoiners. I felt really proud of this alliance between My First Bitcoin and AmityAge, together we are really creating a multiplying effect for Bitcoin Education and pioneering this movement in Central America.

The primary objective of the Bitcoin education program in Roatan is to empower the youth with financial autonomy. By introducing the principles of innovation, decentralization, and censorship resistance, we aim to unlock a world where they possess greater control over their lives. Bitcoin represents freedom money, and our mission is to ensure that the youth understand its potential and seize the opportunities it offers.

Although the Bitcoin education program in Roatan is still in its early stages, we have already witnessed promising success stories. Upon receiving their Bitcoin diplomas, the students exhibit great enthusiasm and a desire to utilize their skills to seek employment opportunities that pay in Bitcoin. Witnessing this seed of knowledge take root and grow within the youth fills me with immense pride and optimism for their future.

I remember when I started my first group, I had conversations with the owner of the school who is a fellow Bitcoiner, he was very excited about having the first Bitcoin Diploma in his school, but he shared with me that the students he selected were the “troublemakers” of his school. At the beginning of the course, it was a challenge to keep them interested in it, but the format of having a lot of practical exercises and real-life examples woke an interest in them. At the end of the course, 3 of the best students were selected by me to give a speech about the whole experience. They talked passionately about how they wouldn’t ever have a chance to understand how money works without this experience and that they were happy to know that they could become their own bank without any other part involved. It was a surprise for
me that Jonathan, the owner of the school, told me that they were the most “troublemakers” in the school and that their overall behavior had even changed since they started the Bitcoin Diploma. Being a part of this transformative process fills me with deep gratitude. It is through experiences like these that we are playing a part in a profound shift in the mindset of Honduran youth.

Also, throughout the Bitcoin education program, we emphasize the importance of being aware of potential scams and risks associated with Bitcoin. Students are educated about common scams, and we emphasize, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.” By fostering a culture of vigilance and caution, our aim is to empower the youth with the necessary knowledge to navigate the Bitcoin landscape safely and securely.

Currently, our focus is on expanding the Bitcoin community and education initiatives within Roatan. With aspirations to become known as the “Bitcoin Island of the Caribbean” we aim to establish a solid foundation of financial literacy and Bitcoin in Roatan and then we see ourselves expanding our education endeavors in the rest of the country.

In Honduras, a crucial gap exists in financial education within schools. As a Honduran myself, who pursued higher education, I can personally attest to the fact that my knowledge about Bitcoin and emerging technologies has been a long journey with a lot of self-education.

However, not everyone has the privilege or opportunity to embark on such a learning journey. Our mission is to reach out to those individuals with a deep desire to learn but may not know where to begin.

Through AmityAge Academy, we envision ourselves planting the seeds of knowledge among Roatan’s youth, fostering a comprehensive understanding of how money functions and enabling them to make informed decisions. Bitcoin represents freedom—a means of detachment from the control of the state and other centralized institutions. Knowledge itself is a potent force, and by imparting this knowledge, we aim to restore power to the people.

Support Zussel’s educational work by zapping the AmityAge Geyser fund, here’s the link: Building a Bitcoin Future: Supporting Roatan

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