Northeast Brazil used to be known for poverty and migration south. But locals like Maria Joelma da Silva, who the Monitor first met in 2008, are redefining the region.
Brazil's favelas are often associated with violence and crime, but that's only part of the story.
Income inequality has bred gaps in public health in Brazil where a community-based program first piloted in the 1980s now offers health services and advice to those most in need.
After troops stormed Maré favela over the weekend as part of Rio's security strategy, Brazil's 'pacification program' is coming under increased scrutiny.
With a new generation of Brazilians entering college and the working world, many see fresh challenges to accepted class lines.
Reactions in the region have ranged from name calling to accusations of Russian meddling to observations of declining world powers.
Striking trash workers in Rio were able to pressure the government for better wages during Carnival. With the World Cup quickly approaching, other sectors may try to follow their example.
Whether it's chasing after a thief, hunting down a suspect, or seeing a criminal nearly getting lynched by a crowd, you'll find examples of vigilantism even in Brazil's biggest cities.
Unleashing soldiers across Latin America may seem like an incongruity in a region that suffered from decades of military dictatorships and wars, but with drug-related violence on the rise, some nations say there's no other option.
Some 400 displaced squatters from an informal settlement razed in downtown São Paulo this month will be funneled into motel rooms and state-run treatment programs.
In recent months, Facebook-organized teen gatherings at malls in São Paulo have caused protest that's fractured Brazilians along class lines.
From elections to transportation fare increases and potentially renewed protests, 2014 promises big stories to watch across Brazil.
Organized crime is adaptable and profit-driven, and in 2014, that could mean moving beyond Mexico and Colombia to a more diverse set of nations.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden wrote in an open letter to Brazil that he can't speak freely unless he has political asylum. Snowden is currently living in Russia.
This week's roundup of Good Reads includes nostalgia for Chicago of the 1980s, why Americans are failing to see they still rule the world, the stability beneath the chaos of democracy, the Awá tribe of Brazil, and the rise and fall of Blackwater.
Bolsa Família provides small stipends to families in exchange for kids going to school and getting regular checkups. It's been globally imitated, but some Brazilians say 10 years of welfare is enough.
Programs trading cash for behavior change now reach nearly a quarter of all Latin Americans. How do they work?
Brazil's landmark welfare program stipulates kids go to school and visit doctors regularly. But what happens to a family's government stipend when neighborhood violence keeps kids at home?