EDUCATION AND FOCUS ON SAT
When Bayán Association began its operations in the department of “Gracias a Dios,” the local population was very diverse, and separated from the rest of the country both geographically and ethnically. The area had no access via telephone nor highway; the only access was by airplane or boat.
These conditions would not allow for people to complete their studies since local schools provided only an elementary education. As a result, Bayán worked towards the establishment of a secondary educational facility in Palacios. However, this center didn’t provide an education relevant to rural needs.
The area of education was commonly associated with the Bayán Association as our primary focus because we always considered education as one of the most important factors for the development of communities. For this reason, once the Association became acquainted with the potential of the SAT program, it decided to implement it in the surrounding area.
Not only was the program a positive experience for the local population but it was seen by educators and educative authorities as an effective alternative to expand the coverage and increase the quality of secondary education in the country.
Currently, the Bayán Association offers the SAT program in seven departments of Honduras with the approval of the Ministry of Education and the support of other NGOs. The SAT program has become the most important undertaking of the Bayán Association.
The Bayán Association emerged from efforts launched in the area of health and through the establishment of the Bayán hospital.
These efforts significantly helped reduce disease and improved the overall health conditions of the people of La Mosquitia. Through its presence and efforts, Bayán created a positive impact upon the municipalities and communities nearest to Palacios.
The experience gained in forming the hospital gave Honduras a model for participatory management styles in their Centres for Primary Care and Health. It also helped reach conditions for the the municipality of Juan Francisco Bulnes to be ranked a “Healthy Municipality.”
Attention to the environment of La Mosquitia was always a cherished wish of the founders of the Bayán Association. Honduras has been deeply affected by deforestation, pollution of lakes, reduction of water sources and the improper management of basins.
Though all directly affect La Mosquitia, the reduction in forests and the contamination of the lakes near Palacios are of special concern. Bayán's most systematic undertaking in this area resulted in the completion, at the beginning of the 21st century, of a study to better the management of and create a management plan for the water resources in the area of Bacalar Lagoon. Perhaps most importantly, Bayán played an important role in establishing the lagoon as a Ramsar Wetlands site, thus being protected by an international treaty.