One thing about Panama is that you are never going to starve because food is just growing wild, like mangoes, citrus fruits, and coconuts. There is hunting in Panama but I wouldn’t say that it is a hunter’s paradise. Fishing is abundant too. In fact the word “Panama” came from an Indian word meaning “plenty of fish.” There is both salt water and fresh water fishing here. So I would say, a survivalist, (if he spoke Spanish) would probably thrive in Panama because of the climate and the abundance of naturally growing food.
There are plenty of places where a survivalist can get water.
Panama is a fairly hilly country so you can go to high ground and you can set yourself up to defend yourself. There are places that you can go to. Especially if you have a native Panamanian as part of your group, there are national lands that you could just go in and claim. You have to pay a certain amount but not much. Conceivably, a group that came here with money, let’s say similar to the Mennonites or the Quakers of Central America, could negotiate with the government to buy a large piece of land which is relatively unpopulated.
They could go into the Darien, which is an area set aside for the indigenous people, sparsely populated and largely undeveloped, to the east of Panama City, running to the border of Colombia. In fact if you really want to go into a remote place, you could go to the river where the inter-American highway ends, and you will end up in the real jungle just right cross the river from a small town. You don’t have to drive down there. Your best course is to go by boat. You can go to the town on the Columbian border and go inland from there.
In the Arien up until that point, most of the jungle has been cut down from coast to coast. If you go down across the river there are areas that are sparsely populated. There are Columbian guerillas there, too. So you have to go to a place that either the guerillas wouldn’t bother you or to a place where they aren’t and then you can set up your defensible position in case they show up.
There have been attempts at colonizing down there. There used to be a Scottish colony down there but they didn’t prosper. And as a matter of fact, where the Spanish started was in the Darien.