Brazil's largest trading partner is no longer the US – it's China. Beijing is investing billions of dollars and filling a vacuum left by the United States.
Leaders agreed that warming must be stopped, but few specifics were reached on how to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
The nations meeting in earthquake-devastated L'Aquila are also likely to consider what actions to take on Iran, North Korea.
US backs Costa Rica's Arias to mediate the crisis, wary of being seen as interfering in the region – as it has in the past.
Choosing the right seed and creating an inviting habitat that will attract flocks of birds to the backyard.
A sluggish economy and raging drug war shook confidence in President Calderón's party.
Unrest has also erupted in Guatemala and Nicaragua in the past year, and the region is dealing with powerful organized crime and drug traffickers.