The Older Men
At the start of Survivor: Panama the contestants were shocked to learn that the tribes would be divided by gender and by age. The La Mina tribe consisted of the seasons oldest four male contestants, namely Terry Deitz, Bruce Kanegai, Dan Barry and Shane Powers. At the first Reward Challenge Terry was selected to compete for La Mina. La Mina came in first place, winning flint and making camp life easier. The tribe bonded well, built a strong shelter, and made fire early on. The tribe went on to win the Immunity Challenge, finishing in second and keeping the Older Men safe from the first Tribal Council. On Day 4, Viveros and Bayoneta were dissolved, which was followed by a Tribe Switch, meaning the Older Men were no more.
The New La Mina
The tribe switch moved Bruce and Shane to the opposing Casaya tribe along with ex-Viveros members Nick Stanbury and Austin Carty, ex-Bayoneta members Misty Giles and Sally Schumann, and ex-Casaya member Ruth Marie Milliman. Almost immediately the men of the tribe formed a tight alliance. The tribe won the Immunity Challenge.
La Mina continued their winning streak by winning the Reward Challenge in "Crazy Fights, Snake Dinners", but lost the Immunity Challenge, sending La Mina to their first Tribal Council. Before Tribal Council Nick and Austin made an alliance with Sally and Misty, while Dan and Terry made an alliance with Ruth Marie. Dan and Terry managed to convince Austin and Nick to go against their new alliance and vote off Misty for her strategic game-play.
La Mina lost the next Reward Challenge and the next Immunity Challenge. The men's alliance deemed Ruth Marie to be too much of a physical liability and she was voted off. La Mina's losing streak continued, losing the Reward Challenge in "For Cod's Sake". They were able to win the Immunity Challenge though. In "Salvation and Desertion", Casaya won the combined Reward and Immunity Challenge and won the right to choose a member from La Mina to be sent to Exile Island, thus becoming safe at the Tribal Council. Casaya chose Sally because they thought she was the weakest member of the tribe, causing La Mina to vote off a strong member. Since Sally was safe from Tribal Council the men's alliance was forced to turn on itself. After a tough decision Dan was unanimously voted out because he was the weakest member of the tribe.
On Day 16, La Mina and Casaya merged into Gitanos. The former La Mina members went into the merge with a 6-4 disadvantage.
- In a rather interesting coincidence, each of the four starting tribes have produced a representative in the final four. Terry Deitz became the representative for La Mina.