Honduras - Child Marriage Ban - According to The World Bank, 15 million girls marry before the age of 18 globally. It's a phenomenon that's common in many poor nations around the world. One of the countries with the highest rates of underage marriage has been Honduras. But in 2017 lawmakers passed a landmark ruling which raised the marital age from 16 to 18. The new law is a big adjustment for Honduras where marrying very young has always been part of the culture. Correspondent Harris Whitbeck takes a look at how difficult banning a practice can be when it's so steeped in tradition.
Chile - Church Scandals (Joel Richards) - When Pope Francis visited Chile in 2017 he received a lukewarm reception. Once one of the most Catholic countries in Latin America, Chileans' perception of the church has been challenged by revelations of widespread sexual abuse scandals dating back decades. There are hundreds, possibly thousands of victims. And prosecutors say the cover-up reaches the highest level of the Chilean church. The Pope is now taking action against members of the clergy in Chile. And he even invited three abuse survivors to Rome to speak with them and take their advice.
Argentina - White Gold (Joel Richards) - The stunningly beautiful salt flats that span the north of Argentina and Chile as well as the south of Bolivia form what's known as the Lithium Triangle. More than half of the world's reserves of lithium are found there. The metal is a vital component in batteries and with the electric car market growing at a rapid rate, demand for lithium is expected to triple by 2025. But there are environmental concerns. Especially the effect extraction could have on local indigenous communities.
Colombia - Microfinances (Michelle Begue) - According to Colombia's National Statistics Department, 12.4 million people were living below the poverty line in Colombia in 2017. That translates into living on less than 88 dollars a month. For many of those residents dreams of having their own business seem impossible. But some industrious women, with some innovative ideas, have found support in the form of a financial service. And it's helping produce a long-term change in their lives. Correspondent Michelle Begue has the story from Bogota.
Mexico - Housing Nightmare (Mike Kirsch) - Back in 2001 some in Mexico called it a "miracle." Millions of low wage, factory workers were promised new, affordable homes under an ambitious residential construction boom. It was set in motion by then-President Vicente Fox and the World Bank. Today that "miracle" is being described as a social and financial catastrophe. According to a recent in-depth investigation by the Los Angeles Times citizens in these developments have been dealing with daily hardships and hazards across Mexico.
Ecuador - Venezuela Exodus (Harris Whitbeck) - South America is experiencing its largest mass migration in recent history. Tens of thousands of Venezuelans are fleeing the economic hardship and political instability in their country...arriving at the borders of neighboring countries each day. Peru, Colombia, Argentina and Brazil are all coping with intense pressure from the influx. Correspondent Harris Whitbeck reports from Ecuador, another country feeling the strain of the crisis -- and one that's already seen its share of mass migrations.
Costa Rica - Plastic Ban (Harris Whitbeck) - The Central American nation of Costa Rica has long been at the forefront of progressive environmental policies. But it's lagged behind in one crucial area, the safe disposal of solid waste. But that could all change with their goal to end "single use" plastics by the year 2020 along with a new motto, "Say no to plastic". Our correspondent Harris Whitbeck reports from San Jose, Costa Rica. Brazil - Samba Empire (Lucrecia Franco) - Some call it the greatest show south of the equator: the Samba parade in Rio.
Brazil - Children of Zika (Lucrecia Franco) - Between 2015 and 2017 some 3000 babies in Brazil were born with a rare condition. Their heads were much smaller than normal and their brains weren't fully developed. Doctors diagnosed those babies with "Microcephaly," a disorder caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors. And these cases were linked to Zika. Correspondent Lucrecia Franco visited the city of Recife, one of the country's most affected areas in the world for what is now called "Congenital Zika Syndrome", and brought us the story of the Zika Children.