As Latin Americans prepared for Christmas this past week, a llama in Ecuador was fancied up with tinsel for a "novena," a tradition leading up to Christmas Eve when families and friends gather to pray, eat and sing holiday carols.

Players on Ecuador's Emelec soccer club celebrated winning their nation's soccer championship title by taking selfies.

Solange Ferreira bathed her son Jose Wesley, who suffers microcephaly, in a bucket of water that she says he enjoys and calms him down at their home in Poco Fundo, Brazil. Health authorities suspect a mosquito-borne virus infecting pregnant women has caused an outbreak of such cases of babies being born with unusually small heads.

Elsewhere in Brazil, a firefighter lost his life while battling a huge blaze at the Portuguese Language Museum in Sao Paulo.

Necklace pendants shaped like weapons, crosses and hearts were for sale at a shop in Iguala, the southern Mexico city where 43 students disappeared at the hands of police and a drug gang more than a year ago. The economy has plunged, and jewelry sales are down 80 percent.

Chilean students marched again to protest against what they consider "improvisation" in the government's proposal to provide free university education.

In Cuba, cruise ships began docking for Havana's winter season, disgorging hundreds of travelers at a time into the adjacent colonial quarter.

Argentine actress Moria Casan wrote notes calling out for help from her late father as she sat in a courtroom in Paraguay. She was freed after having been accused of keeping jewelry worth $80,000 that she'd been loaned for a 2012 performance at the South American soccer confederation headquarters in Paraguay.


This gallery was curated by photo editor Leslie Mazoch in Mexico City.


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