|Home | Contact | About Us | Volunteers | Programs | Finances|
About Us: HistoryVision and principles / History / Collaboration
Bayán Association and the Hospital
The Bayán Association started in the mid-1980s when two Bahá’í families, the Smiths and the Sabripours, traveled into the heart of the jungle in search of their dreams. Their desire was to put into practice the spiritual principle of service by applying spiritual principles to social problems in order to effect real and lasting social and economic development.
The Smiths and Sabripours traveled to one of the most remote areas of Honduras; the meeting point of two indigenous societies: the Garifunas and Miskitos--the reason for which the area is named "La Mosquitia." The Garifuna peoples are descendents of Black Caribbean people with a West African culture. The Miskito people live in areas of northern Honduras and Nicaragua. The Access to La Mosquitia is limited to sea or light aircraft. Inside the area 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 other 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 Misquitos with little 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 schoolteachers), training of community health workers, and building up the Hospital's infrastructure (accommodation, solar energy, engineering work, etc.). Some of these efforts were supported by state institutions and international donors.