Susie Reilly has maintained unwavering faith in the future of El Salvador and its ongoing experiment with Bitcoin adoption, despite a turbulent couple of years marked by economic instability and international criticism from organizations such as the IMF.

Focused on her mission to create a medical and dental center with a pharmacy in El Zonte, Reilly has also observed how El Salvador’s government deals with economic issues and crime. She has noted an increased confidence in the government among the people she wants to serve.

Regarding her “medical mission,” Reilly told BTC Times in an interview:

“Our plan is to build a state of the art healthcare facility which will serve expats as well as locals so it isn’t necessary to go to San Salvador for every health need. The clinic will also provide well paying jobs in the area,” says Reilly.

“We have also formed a foundation which along with visiting volunteers will provide free care for locals who are unable to afford care,” she added.

It couldn't be a better time to invest in El Salvador.

El Salvador’s Bitcoin Volcano Bonds, the first of their kind anywhere in the world, have received regulatory approval from El Salvador’s Digital Assets Commission. They are set to be launched in early 2024 into a promising market.

El Salvador’s Bitcoin mining operation, which is volcano-based and renewable with emissions-free mining, is thriving. This success follows its recently announced partnership with Tether and the launch of its own mining pool, Lava Pool, in partnership with Luxor Technology.

Construction has begun on the first phase of a renewable energy and mining park in Metapan.

On December 1st, 2023, Nayib Bukele stepped down from his role as President of El Salvador after the country's legislature approved his bid for reelection, scheduled for February 4th, 2024, which he subsequently won.

Claudia Rodríguez — a close collaborator who previously worked for the Bukeles’ family business — assumed the presidency during the interim period.

“Bukele continues to enjoy sky-high, really unprecedented approval ratings,” said Risa Grais-Targow, a director at New York-based think-tank Eurasia Group. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this election effectively turns El Salvador into a single-party state.” 

Regardless of international opinions, Reilly is confident that the people of El Salvador support what Bukele is trying to achieve.

“I don’t think Bukele has ever been out of favor with locals, only outsiders who are not impacted by his policies,” she says.

Ocean Health is born: A Medical and Dental Center for El Zonte

Reilly is working with three sisters who are hoping to bring three different medical services together in El Zonte. 

As Reilly explained, the sisters were born and raised in El Zonte:

Dr Violeta Gonzalez (a physician), Miriam Gonzalez (runs an epidemiology lab), and Yamil Gonzalez (currently in dental school), are all incredibly driven with a dream to give back to their community. Through them I learned that while they were excited about my dental clinic idea, there was an even greater need for a medical clinic and pharmacy in the area. This is how Ocean Health, a combined medical and dental clinic was born.

Reilly and her associates have initiated a fundraising campaign to gather the necessary funds for renovating a cottage they've acquired. She shared a common narrative about the current occupants, highlighting the ongoing struggles faced by some families. 

Originally, the cottage was rented out, but due to financial constraints, the residing family could not afford it. Reilly is now assisting them in finding a new place to live.

“There is a family on the property who have lived there for over 35 years in exchange for caretaking of the property. Now they see this do-gooder Bitcoiner come in and they will need to leave their home. It’s tough and there are many stories of people like this in the area kicked out with nowhere to go. We are working to find the family a new home and won’t displace them until we do, but it’s still a grueling situation. I think overall people are hopeful, but also suspicious, mistrustful, and worried they will be priced out of their land and homes,” she explained.

“First we need to raise funds to build the clinic and second even if we had the funds to complete the construction, we will not start until we have a suitable living alternative for the current tenants,” she added.

Susie Reilly, a qualified professional dentist, offers dental treatment during an El Zonte “Medical Mission Day”

People lined up for the last Medical Mission Day, which was held in a local school in El Zonte in early December 2023

Regarding the previous mission day, Reilly noted:

It was a terrific turn out and I could feel the apprehension and skepticism for me and my motives dissipate as the day went on… The response from the community was overwhelmingly positive that day and ever since according to the sisters. We think our April mission day will be farther reaching and address more medical and dental conditions.

Not everyone can afford dental care but Reilly and her team are committed to using Bitcoin as much as possible in their practice:

We absolutely plan on accepting Bitcoin for payment at the clinic. Although the clinic isn’t a Bitcoin project, Bitcoin is what brought me to El Salvador and I am always looking for ways to increase Bitcoin awareness, acceptance, and adoption.

Reilly has come a long way from her comfortable life as a dentist in Atlanta. She is anticipating an exciting year ahead in 2024, with Bukele's re-election and the realization of her clinic. 

She added:

I think Bukele and Bitcoin have been overwhelmingly positive for El Salvador. He is enormously popular and will win reelection easily, but progress always comes with a price. My hope is that the foreign investments and economic growth in El Salvador leads to poverty reduction and an improved standard of living for Salvadorans without a loss of their culture and community… I view Bukele as a benevolent dictator similar to Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew or Park-Hee and believe he will transform the country into shining examples of prosperity and development in the same way.
Share this article
The link has been copied!