BAYÁN ASSOCIATION - ITS BEGINNINGS
The Bayán Association started in the mid-1980s when two Bahá’í families - the Smiths and the Sabripours- travelled into the heart of the rainforest in search of their dreams. Their desire was to put into practice the spiritual principle of service by applying spiritual concepts to social problems in order to effect real and lasting social and economic development.
These two families traveled to one of the most remote areas of Honduras; the meeting point of two indigenous societies: the Garifunas and the Miskitos--the reason for which the area is called "La Mosquitia." The Garifuna people are descendants of Black Caribbean with a West African culture. The Miskito people live in areas of northern Honduras and Nicaragua and access to the area is limited to sea or light aircraft. Within la Mosquitia people travel using canoes.
The two families included two doctors, a nurse and a teacher. They began building a small rural hospital in the small town of Palacios (which became the project headquarters). It was then when they began providing basic health care to a people who, at the time, had no health services.
The hospital and its beautiful infrastructure were established using the money and talents of its founders, and afterwards through the collaboration of the international community. Approximately seven to ten thousand people benefit from the services of the hospital, most of them being Garifunas and Miskitos with scarce financial resources.
Over the years, while improving the range of health services to the surrounding population, Bayán Association realized the need for a more integrated approach to the region's problems. They worked in areas such as: community organization based on consultation, support for formal education (including running annual training courses for school teachers), training of community health workers, and upgrading the Hospital's infrastructure (accommodation, solar energy, engineering work, etc.). Some of these efforts were supported by state institutions and international donors.
Our vision is to be an organization committed to the individual and collective well-being, through excellence, innovation and transparency; with a solid ethical, moral and spiritual background; coherent in its actions, with a learning attitude and practice.
To contribute to capacity development of individuals, communities and institutions; to promote values and principles for social transformation, focusing our efforts and work towards the most vulnerable population in order to strive for a united, prosperous and just society.
Principles and Values
Bayán Association's decisions and activities are guided by the following organizational principles and values:
- Unity in diversity
- Unity of vision and action
- Belief in the innate nobility and latent richness in all human beings
- Individual and institutional integrity combined with purity of motive
- Spirit of service towards humanity without distinction