An agreement was signed in 1982 between the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Palmira, and two official Panamanian institutions for agricultural research: the Panamanian Institute for Agricultural Research (IDIAP), and the University of Panamas Agricultural Sciencies Faculty (FCA). This project was carried out between 1982 and 1988, and its main purpose was to obtain improved rice germplasm under the irrigation and normal conditions prevailing in the zone. The development and achievements of this project are discussed in this documento Key sites for evaluations of segregating genotypes (F2-F8) were identified, and a gene flow was established which joined the different selection sites in Panama with the CIAT rice projects and the international rice experiments in Latin America and the Caribbean. A total of 38.305 segregating lines were evaluated, including international nurseries. The selection average percentage was 13%. Susceptibility to the main diseases and drought stress were the most selective important factors for germplasm failure. These results show the importance of interinstitutional cooperation. The results obtained went beyond the borders and time-frame that were initially established for this project.