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Getting vaccinated in Puerto Rico. (AP)

Drumroll please. As another year of the pandemic comes to a close and we face an Omicron tsunami, it’s easy to lose sight of the headway we've made. In fact, despite setbacks and uneven rollouts, South America is closing out 2021 having vaccinated a greater percentage of its population than any other region globally. With that in mind, we wanted our last Chasqui of the year to celebrate some Covid wins. 

So, without further ado, we give you Latin America’s vaccine superlatives. What country is a booster champ? Who kept a vaccine promise? Where can we find the rebels *with* a cause? Check out our rundown for the answers.

See the overall progress of Latin American vaccine rollouts in our vaccine timeline

B3W vs BRI. Washington’s Build Back Better World project is still in its infancy, but it seeks to offer an alternative to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. Take a look at how the two programs compare in this explainer.

Listen here. AS/COA’s Latin America in Focus podcast is rounding out five years of production. We want to thank our ever-growing audience of listeners—we’d be nothing without you! Haven't listened yet? Check out our six most popular episodes of 2021 over on Spotify. Sign up now to get notified when our last episode of 2021, which covers the year’s untold stories, comes out next week.


—Pedro Francke, Peru’s finance minister, this week at our Lima Latin American Cities Conference 


On Wednesday, Brazil’s economy minister announced that the IMF will close up shop in his country by June. Per Bloomberg, the agency said it agreed with the decision as Brazil fully repaid its IMF loans in 2005. Still, the country’s recent economic indicators suggest it may be headed for a prolonged recession.


El Chasqui is about to take a break, but our team wanted to share our recommendations to kick back and relax after a strange and tumultuous year. (And look for the next edition on January 14.)

What to read. Nervous Systema novel by Chilean author Lina Meruane about a migrant and astrophysicist

What to watch. A Cop Movie: a Mexican docufiction with a plot twist

What to hear. Neoyorquinos: a Spanish-language podcast about Latin American artists in NYC

What to eat. Buñuelos: The fried dough treat beloved across Latin America

$25.6 billion

Proposed reduction in debt for Puerto Rico—from $33 billion of debt to $7.4 billion—under a restructuring plan that could pass and end more than four years of bankruptcy for the U.S. territory. 

ICYMI from Americas QuarterlyThe decorated physicist Mexico’s government wants behind bars. Gabriel Boric and the New Left’s old problem. Nayib Bukele’s split with Washington.

Did you know the beloved A Charlie Brown Christmas was directed by Mexican-American Bill (né Cuauhtémoc) Melendez? Learn about the history of this holiday classic.

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