Building upon the insights of Judith Carney and Walter Hawthorne, this chapter assesses a crucial, previously missing piece of the puzzle of the adaptation of rice and rice-growing technologies in the Americas. Discussing different routes for the global spread of rice, it distinguishes, in particular, between wild rice present in America before contact with Africa and Europe, processed rice taken to Tierra Firme from Seville (probably Oryza sativa) and unwinnowed domesticated rice that Mandinga, Wolof and other experts cultivated in the Gambia River and mangrove river system along the coast of present-day Senegal and Sierra Leone (O. glaberrima). The essay also considers the complementarity of rice-growing and cattle-raising on the upper Guinea coast, which slaves and free Blacks may have transferred to the Isthmus of Panama during the sixteenth century. Finally, in light of the extension of rice cultivation and cattle herding, this chapter reconsiders the impact of the Columbian exchange on the isthmus as well as the relevance of its enslaved and free Black and mixed populations to the “Black rice debate”.