I feel Gringos are just as bad as Panamanians – sometimes worse. Now when I use the word “Gringo”, I’m referring to ANY white person who comes to Panama to live. I don’t care what country they are from, but technically Gringos are only from the US.
If you are thinking about coming to live in Panama, beware that other expats may not be your friend/alley.
It took me a few months to realize this, but a lot of Gringos here are money hungry & they either scam newcomers trying to settle down or purchase in Panama, or they overcharge them.
I found out that the 2 rooms I rented when I first got here were way more than I should have been paying, but because they were Gringos renting them & not Panamanians, they overcharged.
They know you don’t know any better so they charge you high rates.
They of course will tell you, me, & everyone else that it’s because I was staying in El Congrejo, but that’s NOT TRUE. That’s just their excuse for ripping you off.
I found another room for rent in the same building as the first one I rented & although he didn’t have a desk which means you could maybe subtract money from the calculations, his price was $450/month & with the Gringos I was paying $600/month. It wasn’t even just that it was in the same building, it was also the same bloody room as I guess all of the rooms are the same. Plus his kitchen had been totally remodeled.
After I had been here 2-3 weeks, I was looking around at rooms to rent (you will find out later why), & a Greek woman who had also lived in the States had a to die for apartment. She had a room for rent which was HUGE, not to mention all her furniture & appliances were gorgeous. She was only charging $500 or $575 if you got the larger room with a veranda.
When she asked me how much I was paying where I was & I told her $600, she told me I was paying too much & she was right. The other 2 places I rented were NOT well kept & had issues with the toilet, fans, faucets, windows, etc. & yet they charged more. She was also in the El Congrejo area in fact on a quiet street which is worth a lot more.
The reason I didn’t rent from her is that she chain smoked & I couldn’t handle any smoke.
Remember, if they know you are a Gringo, the price goes up, not just from Panamanians, but from other expats too.