Tigueraje in the Dominican Republic

I talk a lot about tigueres and sanky-pankys and I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for a while now, so here it is!

Randy and Aneudy at playa Oasis in Juan Dolio

No these boys aren’t tigueres or sanky-pankys (at least to my knowledge) but the mark of a truly successful tiguere or sanky-panky is to not be discovered by the females they proposition for what they do. The terms “tiguere” and “sanky-panky” are not interchangeable, though someone who is one can also be the other one, so I will start by explaining them separately.

Everyone has their own definition or understanding of the word tiguere, but the definition I like to use is a Dominican who is good at manipulating people, usually women, to get what they want. Typically, tigueres display their sexuality in an almost aggressive manner, demonstrating their sexual prowess and masculinity. Some people describe tigueres as moochers who live off other people, but always look good, wearing nice clothes and the latest styles.

A Sanky-Panky on the other hand, only has one real meaning; a Dominican man who looks for foreign women to make them fall in love with him, wire him money when they go back to their country, and eventually marry him. Once a Sanky-Panky gets married and leaves the country he will live with his new wife maybe two months or more and then ditch her for either another girl, or to move to a part of the country where there is a large Dominican population.

Both tigueres and sanky-pankys are experts in the manipulation of other people. If you call one out on being a tiguere he will get offended, say things like “how could you think something like that!” and then act sullen in an attempt to shift guilt away from him onto the girl.

Some local boys we met in Bayahibe

While tigueres you can find in almost any part of the country, Sanky-Pankys usually are found on the beaches, and specifically the beaches near big resorts where there are lots of tourists. Though they are something to watch out for while you’re visiting the country, don’t think that every guy who approaches you in the bar or starts talking to you on a bus is a sanky-panky. A lot of Dominican men are honestly curious to meet foreigners, and many love to talk about their country or give you advice. So don’t be afraid to meet people here, just be aware of the phenomena….and maybe don’t marry anyone you haven’t known for too long…

For additional research there’s a famous Dominican comedy called Sanky Panky which I highly suggest watching if you’re interested

Sanky Panky


One comment on “Tigueraje in the Dominican Republic

  1. mom says:

    Sammy, your blog is terrific!

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