Latin America & the Caribbean

Informal Workers Face Up to the Crisis in Latin America

Doris Martínez was a cook in a Venezuelan restaurant that closed its doors; she emigrated to Colombia, got sick from working long hours standing in front of a stove, and returned to her country where, together with her husband and children, she runs a busy fast food kiosk on a road in Valles del Tuy, near the Venezuelan capital.

Ethanol Not Enough to Heal Sugarcane’s Environmental Legacy in Colombia

As a visitor drives across the plains of the department of Valle del Cauca in southwestern Colombia, green carpets dominate the view: sugarcane fields that have been here since the area got its name.

New Constitution Would Declare Chile a Plurinational State

Chile could change the course of its history and become a diverse and multicolored country this year with a “plurinational and intercultural state” that recognizes and promotes the development of the native peoples that inhabited this territory before the Spanish conquest.

Changing a System that Exploits Nature and Women, for a Sustainable Future

"Pachamama (Mother Earth) is upset with all the damage we are doing to her," says Hilda Roca, an indigenous Peruvian farmer from Cusipata, in the Andes highlands of the department of Cuzco, referring to climate change and the havoc it is wreaking on her life and her environment.

Women Bear the Brunt of Post-COVID Employment Woes in Latin America

The COVID-19 pandemic did not hit everyone equally and employment has shown a clear gender-differentiated impact. Two years after the start of the pandemic, it is more difficult for women than men to recover their jobs, and this is clearly reflected in Latin America.

Young Argentine Women Forge a Future in Cooperative Factory

"We started making shampoos and soaps in the kitchen of a friend’s house in 2017. We were five or six girls without jobs, looking for a collective solution, and today we are here," says Letsy Villca, standing between the white walls of the spacious laboratory of Maleza Cosmética Natural, a cooperative that brings together 44 women in their early twenties in the Argentine capital.

The Anti-Corruption Compass in Mexico

For a country like Mexico, which in recent years has made the fight against corruption one of its highest priorities, a story published earlier this year fell like a bucket of cold water.

Cuba Steps Up Pace on Renewable Energy Expansion

Cuba has readjusted its plans to achieve at least 37 percent of electricity from clean energy by 2030, a promising but risky challenge for a nation that is a heavy consumer of fossil fuels and has persistent financial problems.

Pandemic Hit Domestic Workers Especially Hard in Brazil

"Woman, poor, black and illiterate" - most domestic workers suffer quadruple discrimination in Brazil, which made them more vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic, says one of their leaders, Gloria Rejane Santos.

Tension over Migration Awaits New President and New Constitution in Chile

The failure of Chile's immigration policy, with its toll of deaths, xenophobic sentiments but also shows of solidarity, will be a pressing matter for the incoming administration of Gabriel Boric, who takes office on Mar. 11, and for the drafters of the new constitution, who will include the issue in the text that is to be ready in July.

Mexico Needs a Mining Industry Model for the Energy Transition

The debate in Mexico and at an international level is focused on certain minerals that are fundamental to the energy transition, such as cobalt, lithium and nickel. But there are other indispensable minerals that remain in the background.

Struggle in Guatemala Offers Hope for Latin America’s Indigenous People

A struggle for the defense of their territories waged by indigenous Maya Q'eqchi' communities in eastern Guatemala could set a historic precedent for Latin America's native peoples because it would ensure not only their right to control their lands but also their natural resources, denied for centuries.

Agricultural Power, Waning Industry Dictate Brazil’s Future

With its accelerated growth agriculture has emerged as a key sector of Brazil's economy, but it is failing on its own to spread prosperity and reduce poverty and inequality, with industry in decline.

Spate of Water Projects in Mexico Ignore Impacts

The Mexican government is prioritizing the construction and modernization of mega water projects, without considering their impacts and long-term viability, according to a number of experts and activists.

Scholar Spotlights Early Role of Rastafari Women

The Rastafari movement, which began in Jamaica during the 1930s, has become internationally known for its contribution to culture and the arts, as well as for its focus on peace and “ital” living. Major icons include reggae musicians Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and Burning Spear, with the movement overall projecting a very male image.

Argentina Seeks a Way Out (Again) of its Economic and Social Labyrinth

Accustomed for decades to recurring economic crises, and hit hard in recent years by a steady loss of purchasing power, Argentines were informed on Friday Jan. 28 of a last-minute agreement with the IMF which, in the words of center-left President Alberto Fernández, takes "the noose off their necks".

Damaged Natural Infrastructure Exacerbates Urban Flooding in Brazil

People living in Jardim Pantanal, a low-income neighborhood on the east side of the Brazilian megalopolis of São Paulo, suffer floods every southern hemisphere summer. Many residents remember the three months their streets and homes were under water in late 2009 and early 2010.

Tap Community to Stop Human Trafficking, says Survivor

A single line at the end of the United States State Department 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report made headlines in Jamaica and had many perturbed. “Some police allegedly facilitated or participated in sex trafficking,” it read.

Heatwave and Drought Hit South America’s Crops and Economy

Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, the three major agricultural producers in South America, are currently experiencing a prolonged period of drought and low water levels in their main rivers. This is severely impacting harvests, as well as river transport of important summer crops, with maize and soybeans the main casualties. 

Community Organization and Solidarity in Peru Tackle Hunger in Pandemic

It's nine o'clock in the morning and Mauricia Rodríguez is already peeling garlic to season the day's lunch at the Network of Organized Women of Villa Torreblanca, one of more than 2,400 solidarity-based soup kitchens that have emerged in the Peruvian capital in response to the worsening poverty caused by the partial or total halt of economic activities in the country due to COVID-19.

Count Me in: Working Together for Disability Inclusion in Guatemala

“Persons with disabilities are capable and equal. It is time the world understands that,” says Antonio Palma, a UN Volunteer at the Resident Coordinator’s Office in Guatemala. Antonio, who has a visual impairment, expresses what many other persons with disabilities feel. Ignored, mistreated, misunderstood, underestimated, condescended to.

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