Doctor shares experiences from helping in Panama village | Local

Dr. Steven Stokes served some time in Viet Nam when he was a soldier back in the early 1970s. The look of the place came back to him in recent years as he stood in a muddy, impoverished community of Gnobe Indians in Panama. He was there on a mission of medical humanitarianism through his international Rotary affiliations.

He shared some of his experiences in that endeavor with other Marianna Rotary Club members this week at the organization’s February meeting. Stokes said he wasn’t one of those heavily involved in the hard labor but helped oversee some of the main projects that were taken on. Volunteers helped build a bridge out of concrete, creating the structure’s span little by little as they mixed the materials needed in five-gallon buckets. That took about a year-and-a-half, and it provided a safer route across the river to school for Gnobe children who lived across the water. They also built a well and tank for use at that school, and a delivery system that brought clean water through jungle terrain to the village. Without it, people there were constantly ill with various ailments brought on by consuming impure water. The team also supports a mission and clinic that provides general medical and dentistry to the village, and the work was coordinated through Rotary International.

Stokes has a stand-alone medical…

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