Special Report

Central America – Fertile Ground for Human Trafficking

Central America is an impoverished region rife with gang violence and human trafficking - the third largest crime industry in the world - as a major source of migrants heading towards the United States.

Solar Energy Transforms Villages in Argentina’s Puna Highlands

"On moonless nights it was very difficult to walk around this town," says Celia Vilte, a teacher from San Francisco, a highlands village of just 54 people in the extreme northwest of Argentina whose centre is not a town square but 40 solar panels, which provide one hundred percent of its electricity.

Combining Biogas and Solar, the Best Energy Deal in Brazil

"Biogas is the best energy, it has no contraindications," and if you combine it with solar it becomes "the best energy business," at least in Brazil, says Anélio Thomazzoni.

In Southern Brazil, Need Becomes an Environmental Virtue

The state of Santa Catarina in southern Brazil is the largest national producer and exporter of pork and this year it also leads in exports of chicken, of which it is the second-biggest producer in the country.

Producing Energy from Pig and Poultry Waste in Brazil

Romário Schaefer is fattening up 3,300 pigs that he receives when they weigh around 22 kg and returns when they reach 130 to 160 kg - a huge increase in meat and profits for their owner, a local meat-processing plant in this city in Brazil.

Mexican Women Use Sunlight Instead of Firewood or Gas to Cook Meals

Reyna Díaz cooks beans, chicken, pork and desserts in her solar cooker, which she sets up in the open courtyard of her home in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of this town in southwestern Mexico.

Solar Collectors and Solidarity Change Lives in Argentina

"This is the best thing ever invented for the poor," says Emanuel del Monte, pointing to a tank covered in black tarps protruding from the roof of his house. It forms part of a system built mostly from waste materials, which heats water through solar energy and is improving lives in Argentina.

Chilean Schools Recycle Greywater to Combat Drought

Children from the neighboring municipalities of Ovalle and Río Hurtado in northern Chile are harvesting rain and recycling greywater in their schools to irrigate fruit trees and vegetable gardens, in an initiative aimed at combating the shortage of water in this semi-arid region.

Against All Odds, Indigenous Villages Generate Their Own Energy in Guatemala

In the stifling heat, Diego Matom takes the bread trays out of the oven and carefully places them on wooden shelves, happy that his business has prospered since his village in northwest Guatemala began to generate its own electricity.

Rapa Nui’s Stone Statues and Marine Resources Face Threats from Climate Change

Social activists and local authorities in Rapa Nui or Easter Island are calling for urgent action to address rising sea temperatures, declining rainfall, and rising tides that threaten their fishing resources and their Moais, the mysterious volcanic stone monoliths.

Thermal Houses Keep People Warm in Peru’s Highlands

Thirty families from a rural community more than 4,300 meters above sea level will have warm houses that will protect them from the freezing temperatures that each year cause deaths and diseases among children and older adults in this region of the southeastern Peruvian Andes.

Cuba’s Only Semiarid Region Reinvents Agriculture to Survive

At a brisk pace, Marciano Calamato and Mireya Noa walk along the dry, yellow soil of their farm, where they even manage to grow onions in Cuba's unique semi-arid eastern region.

Women Make the Voice of Indigenous People Heard in Argentina

The seed was planted more than 20 years ago by a group of indigenous women who began to gather to try to recover memories from their people. Today, women are also the main protagonists of La Voz Indígena (The Indigenous Voice), a unique radio station in northern Argentina that broadcasts every day in seven languages.

Diversifying Crops to Help Overcome Drought in Brazil

Dozens of trucks used to leave São Gonçalo every day, carrying the local agricultural production, mainly coconuts, to markets throughout Brazil, including the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, more than 2,000 kilometers away.

Rainwater Harvesting Eases Daily Struggle in Argentina’s Chaco Region

"I've been used to hauling water since I was eight years old. Today, at 63, I still do it," says Antolín Soraire, a tall peasant farmer with a face ravaged by the sun who lives in Los Blancos, a town of a few dozen houses and wide dirt roads in the province of Salta, in northern Argentina.

Youth in Latin America Learn About Paths to Clean Energy

Young Peruvians plan to take advantage of the knowledge acquired in Brazil's semi-arid Northeast to bring water to segments of the population who suffer from shortages, after sharing experiences in that ecoregion on the multiple uses of renewable energies in communities affected by climatic phenomena.

Honduran Migrant Caravan Moves Northwards, Defying all Obstacles

A long chain of people is winding its way along the highways of Chiapas, the southernmost Mexican state. It is moving fast, despite the fact that one-third of its ranks are made up of children, and it has managed to avoid the multiple obstacles that the governments of Honduras, Guatemala and now Mexico, under pressure from the United States, have thrown up in a vain effort to stop it.

Venezuela’s Surname Is Diaspora

They sell their houses, cars, motorcycles, household goods, clothes and ornaments - if they have any - even at derisory prices, save up a few dollars, take a bus and, in many cases, for the first time ever travel outside their country: they are the migrants who are fleeing Venezuela by the hundreds of thousands.

The Sun Powers a Women’s Bakery in Brazil’s Semi-arid Northeast

“The sun which used to torment us now blesses us," said one of the 19 women who run the Community Bakery of Varzea Comprida dos Oliveiras, a settlement in the rural area of Pombal, a municipality of the state of Paraiba, in Brazil's semi-arid Northeast.

Even Rocks Harvest Water in Brazil’s Semi-Arid Northeast

Rocks, once a hindrance since they reduced arable land, have become an asset. Pedrina Pereira and João Leite used them to build four ponds to collect rainwater in a farming community in Brazil’s semi-arid Northeast.

Agroecology Beats Land and Water Scarcity in Brazil

"Now we live well," say both Givaldo and Nina dos Santos, after showing visiting farmers their 1.25-hectare farm in Brazil’s semi-arid Northeast, which is small but has a great variety of fruit trees, thanks to innovative water and production techniques.

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