In the last 15 years, Latin America and the Caribbean have met several key targets included in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), such as reducing extreme poverty, hunger and child mortality, incorporating more girls in the educational system, and expanding access to clean water.
Chile’s altiplano or high plateau region, pounded by the sun of the Atacama desert, the driest place in the world, is home to dozens of indigenous communities struggling for subsistence by means of sustainable tourism initiatives that are not always that far removed from out-of-control capitalism.
The inhabitants of the northern Chilean mining region of Antofagasta have the highest per capita income in the country. But some 4,000 local families continue to live in slums - a reflection of one of the most marked situations of inequality in this country.
Liliana and Luisa Terán, two indigenous women from northern Chile who travelled to India for training in installing solar panels, have not only changed their own future but that of Caspana, their remote village nestled in a stunning valley in the Atacama desert.
Chile, a land of volcanoes and geysers, has started building South America’s first geothermal plant, which would open a door to this kind of renewable energy in this country that depends largely on fossil fuels.
Latin America should assume a position of global leadership by adopting effective measures to protect the oceans, which are threatened by illegal fishing, the impacts of climate change, and pollution caused by acidification and plastic waste.
The already precarious situation of pensioners in Chile will get even worse if a controversial initiative is approved. Under the new plan, the elderly would mortgage their homes to increase their meagre pensions, most of which come from prívate pension funds, and which average 230 dollars a month.
Millions of families on South America’s Pacific coast have long depended on artisanal fishing for a living. But they have been increasingly being pushed aside by the industrial fisheries that have made this region a major player in the global seafood industry.
The progress that Latin America has made in reducing child mortality is cited by international institutions as an example to be followed, and the region has met the fourth Millennium Development Goal, which is to cut the under-five mortality rate by two thirds.
The Latin American and Caribbean region is the first in the world to reach the two global targets for reducing hunger. Nevertheless, more than 34 million people still go hungry.
Family farmers in Chile are pushing for the reinstatement of water as a public good, to at least partially solve the shortages caused by the privatisation of water rights by the military dictatorship in 1981.
Chile expects to have a more efficient and stable electricity market, with a more steady - and above all, less expensive – supply, when the country’s two major power grids are interconnected over a distance of more than 3,000 km.
Chile lives under the constant threat of spillage from tailings ponds, which became even more marked in late March after heavy rains fell in the desert region of Atacama leaving over two dozen people dead and missing and thousands without a home.
More than 100 women small farmers from Chile’s southern Patagonia region have joined together in a new association aimed at achieving economic autonomy and empowerment, in an area where machismo and gender inequality are the norm.
Victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Latin America are taking the first steps towards grouping together in order to bolster their search for justice – a struggle where they have found a new ally: filmmaking.