To See or not To See

How do you tell someone something that they don’t want to hear? How do you raise awareness in the minds of those susceptible to a very real danger? How do you make someone see that which he does not want to see? These are some of the questions that have been consuming me for a few weeks now.

What is obvious to others is often never seen by those that are in the midst of danger. Maybe they don’t care. Maybe they believe they are bullet proof. Maybe they think it only happens to others. Maybe they think they are a good judge of people and will never be involved with the wrong type. I don’t know the reason, but I have seen the results of being naive.

This is not the first time I have written of the dangers of a single senior male moving to Panama in search of starting over, finding romance with a young woman, and living happily ever after. For every fairy tail that comes true, I would venture that there hundreds or thousands that end in disappointment or tragedy.

Lets face it. There is no fountain of youth. Time takes its toll on all of us. When I look through my eyes, I see things pretty much the way I saw them in my youth. The sky is just as blue. The rain still smells as sweet. Pretty young ladies in short skirts and tight pants and blouses still raise the blood pressure. However, when I look in the mirror, I see the effects of the years in a more personal way. When I crawl out of bed in the morning, I feel the creaking bones. When I climb a flight of stairs, I realize that I am not as young as I once was.

If I were to take a photo, of one of these young things that I see walking around batting her eyes at anyone with a pulse, and pasted it on my mirror the differences would be obvious and would be exactly what others see without problem.

Why would anyone think that a woman in her 20’s or 30’s would want to be with a man in his 60’s or 70’s. I will tell you one thing. The main thing will not be for companionship, romance or anything philosophical. She will be looking at it as a business relationship.

As with all business relationships, they rise and fall with the profitability of the business. When times are good and the money is flowing in and there is a potential for a growth of income, then the partnership/relationship will flourish. However, if the business starts to fail and all parties are not being compensated to their satisfaction, then maybe the partnership will end.

When partnerships end some participants are able to move on to another opportunity and other participants may find that they have lost everything. Some may have lost money. Some may have lost the ability to dream. Some may even have lost their life.

Think this sounds a little extreme? I assure you it is not. Back in the days of the wild west there used to be mail order brides. Today is no different except now one doesn’t have to travel out of his house to find potential companions. For Panama there appears to be a new website called Some might consider this a dating web site. Some might look at it as a place to find a wife or husband. Some might look at it as a site to satisfy more carnal needs. Some might look at it as a way to advertise for customers.

I found about this site because of having to go through the personal files of a recently deceased gringo. One folder he had was on This folder contained about 20 or more printed pages of members from that site. They were from Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and at least 5 from Panama. I am sure the gringo’s mindset was that he wanted to meet someone and he was inclined to believe everything that they wrote in their bio. However, I become very suspicious when I see a 24 year old Panamanian woman that says she is looking for a person between the age of 30 and 65. There is only ONE reason that a 24 year old would be looking for a 65 year old and it is not a long term relationship.

I can’t imagine anything worse than having to go through the files of a person that has died of non-natural causes and having to be mindful that emails, photos, and other records might contain information of those who were involved in shortening the person’s life. Still it has to be done and in this case, I found myself in that position.

It did make me aware of some of the difficulties that the local police have in studying a crime scene in Panama and specifically Chiriquí. When much of the information is in English and the investigators are non-English speakers, quickly evaluating what information might be pertinent and what isn’t is an impossible task. As a result, I have provided the police with emails, along with translations, photos, names, cedulas and other information that would have taken them months to find if they ever were found.

This will probably not be the last time I will write on this subject. I feel that I understand a fair amount about what happened in this case and have spent a large amount of personal time with the authorities to insure that the case is not forgotten.

The police tell me that 90% of these types of cases are solved. When I asked for the percentage of gringo cases were solved, I could not get an answer. If family is not involved to put pressure on the authorities, it is very easy for the case to shelved. It is more difficult to shelve when someone is continually asking to see the progress that is made.

A single senior gringo coming to Panama by himself, getting himself killed for one reason or another, will most likely not have his case solved if there is no one left behind to be a nuisance and prod authorities for action. Sad but true. I hope that this will open some eyes, but as I said before, “How do you make someone see that which he does not want to see?”

18 thoughts on “To See or not To See

  1. I’ve noticed it isn’t just older gringos that have a young girl going gah gah over them here though they are the most obvious. Gold digging is probably the third oldest profession after prostitution and politics. And yesterday, after stepping out of the shower and looking in the mirror, it hit me that if I was a young woman I wouldn’t want to go to bed with me.

    I learned a long time ago that when it comes to women, men and money in a relationship…What YOU make is “OURS” and what SHE makes is HERS.

  2. Excellent. Let’s not forget the young woman most always has a young man lurking about. And foreign women of a certain age are not immune from young predators with a silver tongue telling her what she wants to hear. These men also have a chica or ten in the background. You won’t see him paying for dinner, drinks, gasoline, whatever…Same thing happens in U.S., but more prevalent when one
    is not in their own country because they are more vulnerable.
    Keep up the good work.

  3. Hi all,
    As a gringo with a Panamanian bride, I feel I have some insight into these situations and Don Ray is exactly correct. The best way for a 60 something gringo to have a gorgeous Panamanian bride is the way Nena and I did it, start when you are both 20 something!!

    We will celebrate our 40th anniversary in December!

    jim and nena
    fort worth, tx
    PS to Richard: Maybe your “birthday suit” needs ironing!? haha

  4. This is a very serious topic and kudos to Ray for bringing it up. Of course it won’t register with those that have projects in progress or are so hell bent on getting that young “girlfriend” (or five of them) they fail to STOP AND THINK.

    Plenty of these (younger) females already have a “real” partner, and she is willing to play both sides against the middle, because he probably not providing much if anything beyond an erratically timed sexual encounter or a “wash my clothes woman” visit. But these guys are territorial. WAKE UP !

    Read this carefully: a jealous boyfriend is dangerous, it does not matter if he comes from the low end of the income spectrum or the high end. You will always be viewed as the “greedy gringo” that got what you deserved.

    Do not think of or use Panama, Nicaragua, etc, as a platform to find young women for sexual escapades, it should not be the reason you move down there.

  5. No matter how hard you try to sell the most basic ideas and common sense to these older pita files who see fit to indulge in immoral conduct with young girls that could be there grand children’s age, they will keep coming.
    I tend to support the Panamanian point of view “ “greedy gringo” that got what you deserved”.

    Perhaps the family of the latest fool/victim should show a little decency and offer to reimburse Don for all the work he has done consider that SOB contributed to his own demise not to mention that his selfish conduct and that of ALL the rest of the grandpas who’s indecent relationships are giving the Local National a negative perception of us from the States and putting “All” of us at risk.

    It should be noted that this is not the point of view of Chiriqui Chatter rather just my own opinions and that of a lot of descent gringo residence who live here.

  6. In this case the woman involved was closer to the 43 year old range, so your concern really doesn’t apply here. However, in many other cases it does.

  7. Word Up,

    Rent, don’t buy in 3rd world countries. This applies to living quarters as well! LOL!!
    Anyhow, if you’re going to play the field, find a country girl with no living relatives.


  8. I’d like to weigh in on this discussion from another angle.

    I can understand the logic of the Don’s posting, and I’m sure that there are unwary and naive gringos (some of them along in years, but not all) who have gotten caught up in scams run by young, attractive Latinas. Some of these people have simply been robbed/defrauded, and few, a very few, have been murdered in the process.

    There are aspects of the intercultural/May-December relationships that need to be kept in mind, however:

    Old gringos coming down here to LA (I’ve lived down here 33 years, including four happy years in Panama City) aren’t necessarily naive/ignorant and they sometimes come down here expecting docile sex partners and/or housemaids as wives/girlfriends – and they often treat them as such. That’s not good. Not good, and not smart, because Latinas are like anyone else (including gringas, btw), and you push them far enough, and yes, they’ll blow up, to include physical violence. Point is, old gringos aren’t necessarily unwitting victims of scams down here, sometimes they’re the cause of their own problems.

    Another point: There are, in fact, successful May/December (or, pick your own months) relationships down here, and I’ve seen them – and in fact, I’m the older partner in such a relationship (41 years vs. 63) that’s lasted for over five years now. I should say again, that I’m not alone in such an intercultural/inter-age (if such a word exists) relationship. The point here is that such relationships do exist here, and they’re not exploitive nor cynical in their origin. Put another way, not all old gringos down here are horny old guys looking to exploit younger women or putting themselves in harm’s way via dating webpages…

    Returning to Don’s point: Do gringos have to be careful in entering into intercultural/inter-age relationships? Yes, of course, but I’d submit that anyone/anyone entering into a relationship with another person, no matter their nationality or age, needs to take the same care. The fact that more than half of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce (and sometimes murder) causes me to wonder just how many gringos/gringas are taking care at in entering into relationships…

    Anyway, that’s my two cents to add perspective to the conversation on Don’s important posting… Regards from Quito, Ecuador, T

  9. Well, I guess I’m in the minority posting here. Me and my wife have been together several years and I’m in the process of adopting her young daughter. Having been living in Central America for 15 years, I can tell you that the Latin culture is completely different then the North American culture. The Latin culture is a lot more tolerant regarding age differences. It is possible to meet a younger women and be completely compatible however you won’t find that type of women on Internet sites, in bars, discos or large towns like David. You might meet her at some country dance in the boondocks, at church, or at some Panamanian social events. You will need to have a conversational ability to speak and understand Spanish. You will need to adapt to her kind of living (visiting family on weekends, doing things other Panamanian families do, staying away from all Gringo type events as those staring eyes make her and you feel uncomfortable. etc…). In my neighborhood, besides myself, there are two other older gentlemen with much younger wife’s and they both have been married very happily for over 10 years. So, in conclusion, if you are lucky and stay away from the Gringo bars, Internet romance web sites, Casinos and other trap places you may just get lucky. Just my two cents!

  10. Hi Tambopaxi and Patrick. I appreciate your taking the time to comment. I would also suggest that the local churches would be a good source to fine a nice and compatible lady.

    I still maintain that the larger the difference in age, then the greater the likelihood that the attraction is other than for a relationship.

    I am happy that there are exceptions and it definitely takes two people to make a relationship. If either party is looking for selfish needs then there is higher chance that thigs will not end well.

  11. Henry says:

    Jim is 100% correct. Nora and I celebrate our 35th this year, and she’s still beautiful. Me, not so much. LOL!

    Henry, me too, also with reference to beautiful! haha

    Amazing how Panamanian gals manage to stay so beautiful!

    Congrats on your anniversary!
    jim and nena
    fort worth, tx

  12. Just to prove Don Ray’s point. The gringo who got killed on his sailboat in the Gulf of Chiriqui last week was in his 60’s and had a Pana woman on board with him in her 20’s.
    Wonder what the back story of that incident is.

  13. Latest article below taken from Don Winners site and doesn’t mention anything about a ‘Pana woman’ on board with him in her 20’s. So I’m not sure just exactly what point Penny is trying to make!

    “Bond Olsen, 61, of Denmark, died early Tuesday when five gunmen attacked his sailboat the “Antares.” Also on the boat at the time of the attack were his son, 24 year old American citizen Zacarías Keiser Olsen and his 27 year old wife Sujey Rodríguez, a Panamanian woman from Chiriqui. The criminals shot Olsen in his right leg and he bled to death. The bullet hit an artery. The sailboat has been anchored for six months in front of the Bajo Pipón island in the Gulf of Chiriqui. (La Critica)”

  14. The information that Patrick posted is the most correct. I was contacted by the US Embassy yesterday and have been in contact with the family since that time.

    I spent much of Yesterday and today with Sujey, her mother and Sujey’s brother and sister. I visited with Sujey’s husband Zac who is in the regional hospital both yesterday and today and will go back tomorrow.

    This senseless murder was nothing similar to the theme of this post receiving these comments. If anything, this might be considered a racial murder from some of the derogatory things that the murderers said during the attack.

  15. And Don, lets not forget about the two cougars (middle aged American women) who

    got involved with a young Colombian Latino in Panama City where one of the cougars,

    in a jealous fit, assisted in murdering the other woman. So it is not always old gringo

    men involved with young Panamanians but also the old American women involved with

    young Latino gigolos who sometimes lose their lives. This was a horrible case where

    they cut the woman up, stuffed her in a suitcase, brought it to an unsavory part of the

    city and set it on fire. There are loads of these cougars coming down to Panama for

    romance and adventure, I’ve seen them with their young gigolos, and who usually end

    up getting robbed, taken to the cleaners and sometimes killed.


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