Mexican and foreign artists draw chalk works at the central plaza of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas state, Mexico, during Colors of Chiapas, the third international festival of street painting. The festival was organized by the group Bonbajel Mayaetik, which translates from Tzotzil, an indigenous language of Chiapas, as Mayan Painters. The festival's theme was Chiapas's biodiversity.
In Haiti, voodoo dancers entertain the crowd during festive celebrations dedicated to the voodoo spirits. Groups from different regions performed traditional folk dances during this event, in which practitioners gave thanks to the voodoo spirits.
Juana Chuj, 32, spins yarn on the patio in front of her home in a small community in Cunén, in Guatemala's Quiché department. She is joined by her two children, Elena, 10, and Ciriaco, 3. Juana Chuj begins spinning every morning at 9 a.m. to prepare the yarn for blouses and other clothing she will make, a practice common among people in this area.
From left: Catarina Bernal, Margarita Ramírez, Catarina Cedillo and Margarita Matom, all members of the Viucalvitz community in the municipality of Nebaj in Quiché, Guatemala, clean and prepare rabbit meat for a dish called faenado de conejo, fried rabbit served with rice. Their goal is to learn and share how to cook this healthy meal that takes advantage of the community's resources.
From left: Bárbara Cruz, 14; Ana Copa; and her daughter Candela, 3, paint LEDs at the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art during a workshop called "I Want My Flag Bright," organized by Espacio Nixso, an artists' collective that holds free workshops on art and technology for children. At this session, the kids learned how to create LED flags and their electrical connections.
Guadalupe Álvarez (right), 24, and Muriel Holzer, 25, members of the bicycle collective Rueda Libre, or Free Wheel, repair and assemble bikes at the collective's workshop in the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas state, Mexico. "Many people are surprised, and they ask us if we know how to fix bicycles or not," Álvarez says. "Fixing bicycles is not something from another world. We're capable of using tools, inflating tires."
Micaela Vázquez Ton, 38, and her daughter Teresa Martínez Vázquez, 14, carry water in clay pots from a nearby well in Chilil, a community in Chiapas, Mexico. The well is a public resource for the whole community, and families turn to it during the dry season or when the water pipes are not working and local springs don’t have enough water to go around.
The band of the Asociación Trabajadores del Estado, the state workers’ union, plays a protest anthem on Jan. 16 during a march in the capital demanding the release of activist Milagro Sala. She was arrested two years ago and has been charged with embezzling state funds and inciting criminal acts. Sala is the leader of Tupac Amaru, an organization that provides housing through government funding. Her arrest has received public outcry from groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, as well as from Pope Francis.
María Elena Morales Osorio, 50, (kneeling) and Israel Salinas Ortiz, 25, (standing) welcome new dancers to a weekly dance performance in Mexico City’s Zócalo, or city center, that celebrates the people and traditions of the eras that precede the Spanish colonization. The group meets on Fridays and Saturdays. Every 20 days, participants dress in traditional clothes, in accordance with the Aztec calendar’s 20-day month. Morales Osorio has been the dance’s caretaker for 20 years.
Rodrigo Aguilar Martínez displays a document that was issued by Pope Francis and that names Aguilar Martínez bishop of the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas, in Chiapas state, Mexico. Aguilar Martínez took office on Jan. 3 with a public religious ceremony and a Mass attended by thousands of mestizo and indigenous parishioners. The ceremonies were conducted in a variety of languages, including Latin, Spanish, Tzotzil, Tzeltal and Chol.
Following a free concert by Ricky Martin, workers from a company called Nueva Imagen disassemble the stage at Mexico City’s Zócalo, or center square. The concert was attended by some 100,000 people. Martin was originally scheduled to perform in September but was forced to postpone because of the deadly earthquake that devastated Mexico City. Nueva Imagen, a sales and rental company that specializes in event structures, used 60 workers and took four days to remove the stage.
An ice resurfacer cleans and smooths out the 4,000-square-meter (43,055-square-foot) skating rink at the Zócalo, the main public square in the center of Mexico City’s historic district, after closing time. Skating is free for 40 minutes per attendee from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and the facilities provide safety equipment for all attendees and access for people with disabilities.
Haitian makeup artist Jerry Benoit applies special-effects makeup to Claudens Thermé for a parade to protest violence in Port-au-Prince. Benoit and other artists use parades and carnivals to show off their creativity.
Armando Tejas, 48, secures three Christmas-themed piñatas to the roof of a customer’s car at the Mercado de Jamaica in Mexico City, where he and his wife have sold piñatas for the past 28 years. The colorful, hollow papier-mâché sculptures are often associated with Mexican celebrations, where they are filled with candy and fruit, and partygoers are blindfolded and encouraged to break the piñata to release the treats for all the attendees.
Lucía Esperanza Martínez, 12, (standing) dressed as the Virgen de Santa Lucía, or St. Lucy, and road a float in honor of the virgin’s feast day in San Cristóbal de las Casas, in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Seated are María Leticia López, 3, in the lap of her cousin Santiago López, 15, and Marío Pérez, 8 (right). Worshippers in the city honor the saint annually; floats are common sights during the celebration.
Carolina Urrutia Maravillas, 35, cleans and arranges Christmas decorations outside the tent where she and her family have been living after the Sept. 19 earthquake that struck Mexico City and damaged their home in the La Planta neighborhood.
Leonardo Juárez and his wife, Nora, prepare chorizo, a type of pork sausage commonly eaten in Argentina, during a march near Argentina’s Congress building, in Buenos Aires, on Dec. 14. The march protested a measure that would tighten pension and social welfare benefits. The bill was approved on Dec. 19.
José Noé Pérez, 37 (left), and Héctor de la Cruz Flores, 39, push a load of old iron on an avenue in southern Mexico City. The two buy old iron used in construction and transport it on foot to resell it, Pérez says.
A statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe watches over pilgrims who spent the night on Dec. 12 at the atrium of the Basílica de Santa María de Guadalupe, a Catholic sanctuary in the north of Mexico City, dedicated to the Virgin. Every year on that date, the eve of the saint’s feast day, thousands of the faithful come to the basilica to express gratitude to the Virgin. Many camp out until midnight, when a serenade is sung to her and a Mass is celebrated.
Welder Ricardo López, 25, works at the central Mexico City site of a historic building that is being restored. The building dates to Mexico’s viceregal period, the architectural era encompassing the nation’s colonial history, beginning with Hernán Cortés’s conquest of Mexico in 1521 and ending with the Mexican War of Independence, which concluded in 1821. Artifacts, remains and temples belonging to indigenous Mexican culture before the Spanish conquest have been found underneath several buildings in the surrounding area of Mexico City’s historic center.
Juan Velásquez, 31, washes the windows of the two-story MacStore at the base of the Torre Reforma, a 57-story skyscraper in Mexico City. Using a harness, a bucket, a brush and rags, Velásquez and the other window washers will take two days to finish the two-story building, after which they will clean the other 57-stories of the main tower.
José Alfredo Ramírez Pérez, 52, a local shaman, waits in central Mexico City for a passerby to request one of his cleansing rituals, which he says remove negative energies. Ramírez Pérez also gives life advice to people who seek it, using his knowledge of pre-Hispanic gods, ancestors and rituals. As a child, he learned the indigenous language of Náhuatl from his grandparents.
Nazli Regina Torres, (second from right) 7, plays amid lights and fog at an installation celebrating the 10th anniversary of the designation of the Central University Campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Mexico City as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Nov. 23 event was organized by UNAM’s architecture faculty.