I recently had the occasion to get to know up close and personal one of the oldest residents of Panama. I considered this an experience worth sharing. Many of these older residents, because of their history and upbringing are very shy and usually stay out of sight.
When you do do bump into one, it is good if you see them before they see you. Sometimes they can be a little cranky, and while not singling out gringos, usually gringos are the most concerned by sudden introduction of these two diverse cultures.
The first one of these beauties, I found one morning in Boquete, when I went to put on my shoes. This one I found in the bottom of my shower, before going to bed.
They like dark places and will normally be where it is cool and damp. Bathrooms are obvious areas. Hiding in folded towels, shoes left on the floor, under sinks, beneath refrigerators, are all potential locations.
You will normally see them in more rural areas where there is new construction. Their homes will have been disturbed and they will look for new places to stay. New houses are always good candidates.
The one in this photo, will not be your friend, if he is in your shoe and you insert your foot. He will do his best to tell you to remove your foot. His announcement of displeasure, will not be a subtle. Any bite by these fellows should be seen by a doctor.
It would be wise to take the creature with you so that the doctor knows the species. I don’t think this one is of the extremely poisonous type, but a bite would be painful, none the less.
Normally, when greeting older inhabitants of Panama, I recommend politeness. In this case, I think you can be a little less polite.