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Brazil’s Homeless Population Explodes in Wake of COVID

Social activists in Brazil say the coronavirus pandemic is causing an increase in the number of homeless people in country’s largest city, Sao Paulo. Many lost their jobs and found themselves risking their health by crowding into long lines for food distribution. At the Sao Miguel Arcanjo Church, volunteers try to help, but it's a tiny effort against a mountain of challenges facing the population.  Edgar Maciel reports from Sao Paulo.Camera: Edgar Maciel 

Indigenous Bolivians Honor Goddess of Earth, Fertility Before Spring Equinox

As the Northern Hemisphere prepares for colder months ahead, in the Southern Hemisphere spring is beginning to blossom.  Indigenous Bolivians in the Andes Mountains believe a centuries-old celebration of burnt offerings brings them closer to the goddess of earth and fertility.  In 2020, the ceremony includes asking the goddess to rid them of COVID-19.  VOA’s Arash Arabasadi has more.

Nicaraguan Government Threatens to Close Independent TV Station

Canal 12 is one of the few independent TV stations in Nicaragua. But it could be forced to shut down if the Nicaraguan Justice Department seizes what it says is some $350,000 the station owes in taxes. If that happens, observers say it will continue a trend by the government of President Daniel Ortega of censoring the media and harassing journalists who are critical of the government. VOA’s Donaldo Hernandez in Managua filed this report, narrated by Cristina Caicedo Smit. 

Brazil Reopening Despite Record COVID-19 Cases

After the United States, Brazil has the world's highest number of COVID-19 deaths and confirmed cases — turning the South American nation into a coronavirus hotspot. Despite this grim situation, Brazil’s biggest cities — São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro — have decided to reopen businesses, even as epidemiologists warn that the rising death toll from the pandemic could grow exponentially. For VOA, Edgar Maciel reports from Sao Paulo.
Camera: Edgar Maciel, Courtesy TV Brasil  Produced by: Rod James 

Divers in Mexico Discover Ancient Mining Operation

The practice of mining precious metals and stones from the Earth dates as far back as recorded human history. The prized possessions of previous eras give clues to a culture’s technological advancement. VOA’s Arash Arabasadi reports on a mineral-mining operation recently discovered in underwater caves in Mexico.

Colombia’s Street Vendors Adapt or Go Hungry  During Pandemic

Confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths have been soaring in Latin America, including Brazil and Mexico.  But the region faces another obstacle: lockdowns have already taken a massive toll on its very large informal economy as laborers, street vendors and domestic workers struggle to survive through the shutdown.  Megan Janetsky reports from Medellín, Colombia.Camera: Megan Janetsky  Produced by:  Barry Unger  

Experts Warn about Possible Health System Collapse in Nicaragua

Nicaraguan cases of COVID-19 continued to increase dramatically over the past three weeks. Doctors and specialists in the country warn that with winter, which is about to start in the Central American country will bring a bigger burden to the already weak health system. Donaldo Hernandez put together this report adapted and voiced by VOA’s Cristina Smit.Camera: Donaldo Hernández 

Quarantining in Colombia Town Where There's No COVID

The government of Colombia is allowing businesses to reopen is some parts of the country where there are no covid-19 cases.  But some small towns with no reported cases  -  like Toro in the southwest part of Colombia - are still implementing mandatory quarantine measures.  Voice of America Spanish reporter Angélica Trejos reports from Toro in this story narrated by Cristina Caicedo Smit.
Camera: Angélica Trejos  Producer: Cristina Caicedo Smit

Volunteers 'Adopt' New Grandparents During Pandemic

In Bolivia, elderly residents in poor neighborhoods are receiving surprise visits from strangers bearing gifts. As VOA’s Dora Mekouar tells us, the aim is to make life a little easier for the people most vulnerable to the pandemic.

El Salvador Government Slammed Over COVID Zero Tolerance Policy

The government of El Salvador is being criticized for its zero-tolerance policy of enforcing COVID-19 quarantine regulations. Following an extension of social distancing rules into coastal regions, where most of the most impacted people live, there are charges now of government overreach. Voice of America reporter Enrique López has more, narrated by Ben Cento.

VOA Films Illegal Logging Inside Mexico Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary

In the Mexican state of Michoacan this year, the suspicious death of a prominent communal leader at the Monarch butterfly’s World Heritage reserve rocked the conservation world. VOA’s Veronica Balderas Iglesias went to Michoacan and found that in this place of beauty, there was an underside of lawlessness, corruption and poverty that could threaten the sustainability of the biosphere.

Venezuela's Main Public Hospital Dangerously Unprepared for Coronavirus 

As countries around the world cope with the coronavirus outbreak, Venezuela is among some of the nations that is especially unprepared to deal with the potentially devasting impact of the pandemic. The South American country’s top hospital lacks almost everything to care for patients – a situation that has existed for some years because of the country’s ongoing political, economic and humanitarian crisis. Medical staff say their hospital isn’t prepared, while the mother of a sick toddler is scared for her baby. Cristina Caicedo Smit narrates this report from Caracas by Rafael Hernandez.

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