ETH Latam @ San Pedro Sula 2024 Recap (EN)

On March 13th and 14th, the third edition of ETH Latam took place in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. With over 1100 attendees and more than 50 speakers from 18 countries, this event marked a milestone in the growth of the national ecosystem. It brought enthusiasts from across the Central American region together. In this article, we will review part of the history of the Honduran community, the pre-event activities under the slogan "#RumboaETHLatam," and the strong participation of students and university professors.

You can find the photo gallery here

Why San Pedro Sula, Honduras?

The decision to organize ETH Latam in San Pedro Sula had two main motivations.

The first was to bet on geographical decentralization and concentrate efforts on holding a quality event in a country with solid use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain development. After the first edition of ETH Latam in Argentina and a second edition in Bogotá, we understood that a Central American country should be prioritized as the venue. And that leads us to the second motivation: to recognize and make visible the work of the Honduran community.

Attendees waiting for the opening of the doors of the Copantl Hotel
Attendees waiting for the opening of the doors of the Copantl Hotel

The human group of Ethereum Honduras has worked uninterruptedly for more than 5 years in different cities. They have promoted different activities ranging from face-to-face onboarding meetings to being pioneers in organizing "Quadratic Funding" rounds for their community. These community spaces have played a key role as multipliers of Honduran builders and users.

The OGs of the Honduran web3

The genesis of the crypto community in Honduras began in a Facebook group called "Geeks Honduras," led by Roberto Brevé, in 2013. At that time, the price of Bitcoin ranged between $50 and $100, and Vitalik was just starting to write the Ethereum whitepaper. There were still two years to go before the genesis block of the chain.

Roberto held face-to-face meetups to discuss various technology topics: programming, mobile development, and video games, among others. The in-person meetings took place in Tegucigalpa (Tegus, for locals) and San Pedro Sula in northern Honduras. Brevé was the driving force behind those meetings, and he soon became interested in Bitcoin. His enthusiasm focused on blockchain - not on the financial aspect of the protocol - which was crucial for attracting other developers to the meetings. Gradually, several members of the community became interested in Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and later, Ethereum. Brevé was the one who onboarded Ahmed Castro, Cris Garner, and other valuable members of the Honduran community who still contribute to the ecosystem today, 11 years later.

Over the months, "Blockchain Honduras" emerged. Under that name, in 2014, Ahmed Castro and other community members organized an exclusive event with a cryptocurrency theme. It was called the "1st meeting of cryptocurrency users and enthusiasts." It was the first of several. The format of those events sometimes combined open mic sessions and, at other times, a pre-planned agenda, but they all ended with a relaxed space among the participants.

A timestamp of the web2: unfortunately, there are no pictures of that meeting, but you can still read the information about the event in the group "Blockchain Honduras".
A timestamp of the web2: unfortunately, there are no pictures of that meeting, but you can still read the information about the event in the group "Blockchain Honduras".
The Eléutera Foundation organized meetups where crypto issues were analyzed from political points of view.
The Eléutera Foundation organized meetups where crypto issues were analyzed from political points of view.

Ethereum in Honduras

If we make a giant leap of 4 years, we can focus on the enthusiastic Ethereum community, which began to grow strongly from 2018 onwards in Tegucigalpa. At that time, the chain had been operating for 3 years, and a trend in protocol development was beginning to emerge, later known as "DeFi" (Decentralized Finance).

Roberto Brevé - Tegucigalpa, 2017
Roberto Brevé - Tegucigalpa, 2017
2018: The Honduran community remained at the forefront of web3 innovation with constant trainings.
2018: The Honduran community remained at the forefront of web3 innovation with constant trainings.

Thanks to these antecedents, the Buidl Honduras community emerged, attracting more web3 enthusiasts. Mostly technical profiles. Building tools, training, organizing, and participating in hackathons became the pillars of this group.

2020 was particular for the whole world, and in-person meetings were impossible. But this, far from frustrating the community's efforts, boosted virtual gatherings. A year and a half later, with the lifting of post-Covid-19 restrictions, the community was more alive than ever. We can even mention a particular post-pandemic story: today, El Salvador enjoys excellent media attention and is cited as a reference case for implementing Bitcoin as a legal tender. However, in Honduras, there was a previous precedent, led by Juan Mayén: he placed the first ATM for the purchase and sale of BTC and ETH in Honduras (and the 2nd in Central America) in August 2021.

Juan Mayén was a pioneer in his country
Juan Mayén was a pioneer in his country

Thanks to his work, Hondurans had the opportunity to buy their first cryptocurrencies from 100 Honduran lempiras (equivalent to US$4).

The year 2022 found the community consolidated and mature on the eve of Devcon VI (Bogotá). More than 25 Hondurans flew to the grand event in Colombia. They all wore white hoodies with the logo of "Ethereum Honduras." The impact was crucial, as after the collective experience, the community sub-nodes of ETH Tegucigalpa, ETH San Pedro Sula, and ETH La Ceiba would finally be consolidated during 2023.

Ethereum Honduras in front of Devcon VI's "La Chiva", a meeting place for communities from Latam
Ethereum Honduras in front of Devcon VI's "La Chiva", a meeting place for communities from Latam

#RumboaETHLatam: Pre-event

As an analog to the #RoadToDevcon slogan, the communities of Honduras, El Salvador, Panama, and Guatemala announced their events and activities for Q1.

The road to ETH Latam also had its in-person instances: Ahmed Castro and Ă“scar Fonseca toured multiple universities in the days leading up to the event, providing Solidity introduction training.

ETH Latam: An event filled with students

If Ethereum is a protocol for human coordination, the social layer of the ecosystem can be seen when organizing an event like ETH Latam. The success of the third edition was made possible by the hard work carried out jointly by ETH Kipu and the members of ETH Honduras for months.

ETH Latam was held at the Convention Center of the Hotel Copantl. The event consisted of a conference + hackathon for two days. Over 50 speakers from 18 different countries took the stage. Topics ranged from essential to intermediate-advanced levels, covering Ethereum, DAOs, NFTs, and scalability. More than 10 workshops were led by different specialists from Latin America.

The participation of the educational community of San Pedro Sula

Every event is different, and there is no rigid mould to follow. If we think of events like ETH CC, ETH Denver, or even Devcon or Devconnect, insiders know that the audience consists of people working and investing in the industry. Previous editions of ETH Latam showed similar percentages of onboarding and intermediate-advanced audience. But ETH Latam San Pedro Sula was undoubtedly a meeting with strong participation from students and teachers from high schools and universities.

Volunteers from ETH Latam Honduras.
Volunteers from ETH Latam Honduras.

Local universities' support was crucial to spreading the word about the event among students and teachers interested in learning more about development and other opportunities in the Ethereum ecosystem. Many students were even accompanied by their parents, creating a family atmosphere different from what those of us accustomed to more niche audiences usually experience.

Receiving so many students reminded us of the importance of onboarding in new territories and the importance of redoubling our efforts to add plurality and new voices to our ecosystem.

Vitalik interviewed by Cris Garner, a member of ETH Honduras
Vitalik interviewed by Cris Garner, a member of ETH Honduras

The Conference

The talks and panels focused on various topics, but above all, they focused on the importance of building tools for everyone and the opportunity to receive financing in Ethereum to carry out ideas. This sought to convey to students and the general public the importance of the collaborative spirit of development.

Cris Lema, from Scroll, main sponsor of ETH Latam
Cris Lema, from Scroll, main sponsor of ETH Latam
NFT Panel: Central American artists sharing their opinion about NFT ecosystem
NFT Panel: Central American artists sharing their opinion about NFT ecosystem
Julian Morla, from Li-Fi, explains the role of bridges between blockchains.
Julian Morla, from Li-Fi, explains the role of bridges between blockchains.
Cristina from SEED Latam talking about governance in DAOs
Cristina from SEED Latam talking about governance in DAOs

The Hackathon

For two days, 12 teams gathered to brainstorm, code, and build initiatives in different tracks. ETH Latam had over 20,000 DAI in prizes. For many participants, this was their first hacking experience, and there was an atmosphere of excitement.

The percentage of women, adolescents and girls at the event was the highest of all editions of ETH Latam.
The percentage of women, adolescents and girls at the event was the highest of all editions of ETH Latam.

Financing for Central American Projects

The organizing team of ETH Latam, together with the Quadratic Funding team (part of Privacy + Scaling Explorations, driven by the Ethereum Foundation), co-hosted a funding round for local projects. It was aimed at supporting public goods that generate a positive impact in the Central America and Caribbean region.

The financing model through Quadratic Funding allows the community to support initiatives through votes and small donations. Projects with a higher number of votes benefit the most, as they access a larger percentage of the total fund. For this particular round, a budget of $30,000 DAI was allocated. The round took place on the Optimism chain. This significant amount reflects the commitment to innovation and technological development in the region.

The round consisted of 25 projects from Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, and other countries. These range from technological solutions to social impact projects.

To encourage active and democratic participation, attendees of the ETH Latam event who had completed their identity verification process through Zupass were invited to cast their votes. In order to ensure broad and barrier-free participation, voters were provided with 5 DAI and the necessary gas.

A fortunate coincidence for this funding round was the reduction in fees thanks to the implementation of the Dencun fork in Ethereum, a measure that further optimized the voting process and allowed the funds allocated to the projects to have the maximum impact possible.

At the close of voting, 63 people exercised their right to vote, demonstrating an active commitment to the future of technological and social development in their region. The projects that stood out and achieved the best results were: Ethereum San Pedro Sula, Ethereum Tegucigalpa, ETH Volcano, Powart to the People, Ethereum Guatemala, and Fortaleza Circular, each representing unique initiatives with the promise of transforming their communities and environments.

Leaderboard
Leaderboard

The final results can be viewed at the following link.

We congratulate all participating projects for their dedication and effort, and extend a special thanks to those who voted; with their vote, they help shape the ecosystem of Public Goods for Central America.

Acknowledgments

We deeply appreciate the support of all Central Americans and people who traveled from different parts of Latin America to accompany us.

We thank the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH and UNAH-VS), the University of San Pedro Sula (USAP), the Central American Technological University (UNITEC), the Technological University of Honduras (UTH), and the Technological University Center (CEUTEC) for opening their doors, supporting us, and being a fundamental part of the event.

We warmly thank all the volunteers and hostesses, who silently did the best job, helping to make the attendees' experience orderly and smooth.

We thank the production team, who helped make ETH Latam a top-level event and made many people realize this and be inspired to promote their own events in their countries.

To the sponsors, who accompanied us by betting on the vision of the organizing group and honored us with their presence, even having to travel for more than 12 hours.

To the community partners, who helped us amplify the message and were in contact with the attendees, opening a window to the ecosystem.

And finally, we thank the ETH Honduras community for their dedication, patience, and conviction to carry out ETH Latam. The success of the event is all yours.

The ETH Latam team

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