The Bayan Association is a non-profit organization created in 1987 by two families, the Smiths and the Sabripours, both motivated by the desire to contribute to social and economic development through the practice of universal spiritual principles.
These two families traveled to one of the most remote areas of Honduras, better known as “La Moskitia Hondureña”, where two indigenous populations, the Garinagu and the Miskitu, coexist.
These two families consisted of two doctors, a nurse and an educator. With their own resources, they began to build a small hospital in the village of Palacios to provide basic health care. Subsequently, they received financial support from the international community.
Over the years, as health services for the surrounding population improved, the Bayan Association realized the need for a more holistic approach to the problems in the region. They worked in areas such as: consultation-based community organization, support for formal education (including conducting annual training courses for primary school teachers). Some of these efforts were supported by government institutions and international donors.
Currently, the Bayan Association focuses its efforts on the implementation of the Tutorial Learning System (SAT), an innovative basic and secondary education program, relevant in rural areas of the country, developed by the Foundation for the Application and Teaching of Science -FUNDAEC- of Colombia https://fundaec.org/ . The broad scope of the academic, productive, organizational and moral processes promoted through the SAT curriculum has led to the implementation of a series of complementary efforts, among them the Community Banks and Holistic Education for Youth (HEY!).
Bayan Association began operations in the department of “Gracias a Dios” where the local population is very dispersed and geographically isolated from the rest of the country. The area had no telephone or road service; the only access was by single-engine aircraft and medium-sized coastal vessels.
These conditions did not allow the local population to complete their secondary education because the existing schools only offered primary education. As a result, the Bayan Association together with the local residents worked tirelessly to establish a secondary education center in the village of Palacios. However, this center did not offer education of relevance to rural needs.
From the beginning, education was always central to the vision of the Bayan Association because of its importance in human development. Once the Bayan Association became familiar with the potential of the Tutorial Learning System (SAT), it decided to implement it in 12 villages in the municipalities of Brus Laguna and Juan Francisco Bulnes in the department of Gracias A Dios and Iriona in the department of Colon, respectively.
SAT was not only a positive experience for the local community, but was also seen by educators and educational authorities as an effective alternative to broaden the scope and increase the quality of secondary education in rural areas of the country.
Currently, the Bayan Association offers the SAT program in 12 of the 18 departments of Honduras, with legal recognition from the Ministry of Education and implemented under a multisectoral model in which the community, social organizations and the State are all involved.
The construction, installation and administration of a hospital in the village of Palacios, municipality of Juan Francisco Bulnes, represented the first contribution of The Bayan Association in improving the living conditions of the population, thus reducing the occurrence of common diseases and, consequently, improving the health of the villagers.
After having been managed exclusively by the founders of the hospital, the Bayan Association promoted and succeeded in implementing an innovative model of participatory hospital administration (Administrative Committee) made up of community boards (patronatos), the municipal mayor’s office, public health and Bayan. With the passage of time, after determining that the Committee was functioning adequately, Bayan ceased to integrate it in response to its institutional mission.
Caring for the environment of La Moskitia had always been a long-cherished desire of the founders of the Bayan Association. Honduras has been deeply affected by deforestation, contamination of lakes, reduction of water sources and inadequate watershed management. Although all of this affects La Moskitia in general, the depletion of forests and the contamination of lakes near Palacios have become more worrisome.
The creation of a resource management plan for Laguna Bacalar as a result of participatory scientific research represents one of Bayan’s most important contributions, resulting in the establishment of the lagoon as a Ramsar Wetland site.
1987, The creation of the BAYAN Association by Resolution No. 4-87 was motivated by the implementation of the principle of Service to Humanity by its founders.
1996, Implementation of SAT in northeastern Honduras as a pilot project in the municipalities of Iriona, Colón and Juan Francisco Bulnes and Brus Laguna, Gracias a Dios.
1998, Management of the hospital was delegated to an Administrative Committee. Its members include the Municipal Director of Public Health, the Municipality of Brus Laguna, the Municipality of Juan Francisco Bulnes, the Patronato Associations and the Bayan Association.
1999, Mid-term external evaluation of SAT by a technical team composed of education experts from the Ministry, international consultants. As a result, the final approval of SAT by the Ministry and its expansion to the rest of the country was recommended.
2000, visit of the Minister of Education Ramón Cálix Figueroa to the Moskitia and the United Nations Officer to learn about SAT.
Through Executive Decree No. PCM008-97 and Resolution No. 126-SE-00, the Deputy Management of Human Resources for Teachers is empowered to handle the administrative management of SAT personnel.
2001, The British Ambassador visited the BAYAN hospital and made a monetary donation. Surgical equipment and medicines were received as a donation from the Irish Development Cooperation.
2002, Approval of SAT through transitional and permanent agreements at national level No. 1151-SE-02 and No. 4596-SE-02 respectively.
Cooperation Agreement between the Departmental Directorate of Atlántida and the BAYAN Association.
The Cuban government continued its support to the hospital by sending medical specialists and nurses, maintaining an average of 5 medical professionals.
Authorization for SAT graduates to enter higher education programs issued by Agreement No. 1117-159-2003 of the Higher Education Council.
2004, Expansion of Secondary Education Coverage through IDB loan to the State of Honduras.
2005, Framework Agreement with the Ministry of Education through which SAT is expanded to other departments.
Approval of the Regulations for the operation of SAT Tutorial Learning Centers.
2008, Addendum to the Framework Agreement with the Ministry of Education authorizing the creation of the Tutorial Learning System Training Centers (CEFOSAT).
2009, Preparation of Agreement No. 1090 authorizing the operation of SAT.
2011, establishment of the Community Banks in SAT centers, a grassroots organization that develops the habit of saving and fosters the development of values among its members.
2014, Agreement No. 1017-SE-2014 approves the amendments to the Operating Regulations of SAT centers.
2015, Initiation of the research phase for the SAT complementary project, Holistic Education for Youth (HEY).
2017, Creation of Basic Education Institutes and Centers (CEBSAT). Agreements were drawn up for the operation of Government Educational Centers with SAT modalities for the third cycle and middle level.