Volunteers look through children's letters to Santa at a post office in Salvador in northeastern Brazil's Bahia state. The campaign is part of a more than 20-year tradition to help those less fortunate to have gifts for the holiday. Raul Spinasse/DPA /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Raul Spinasse/DPA /Landov

Brazilian fare from the restaurant D.O.M. in Sao Paulo is some of the best in the world — literally. It's currently ranked the sixth best restaurant in the world by San Pellegrino. Rodrigo Paoletti/flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Rodrigo Paoletti/flickr

Municipal guards with batons chase a mob of thieves that snatched bags and wallets from beachgoers on Arpoador beach, adjacent to Ipanema, in Rio de Janeiro on Nov. 20. Marcelo Carnaval/AP hide caption

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A lady with two slaves, in Bahia, Brazil, 1860. Moreira Salles Institute Archive hide caption

itoggle caption Moreira Salles Institute Archive

Batista appears with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff during a ceremony in celebration of the start of oil production by OGX, Batista's oil and gas company, in 2012. The company filed for bankruptcy Wednesday. Ricardo Moraes/Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Ricardo Moraes/Reuters /Landov

Demonstrators who are critical of the Catholic Church and favor abortion rights take part in a protest in Rio de Janeiro during Pope Francis' visit to Brazil on July 27. Abortion is illegal in Brazil with rare exceptions. Some lawmakers are attempting to make it even more restrictive. Tasso Marcelo/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Tasso Marcelo/AFP/Getty Images

Cuba is sending thousands of badly needed doctors to Brazil, but Brazil's medical establishment has sought to block the program. Here, Cuban Dr. Yocelin Macias treats a patient in the capital Brasilia on Aug. 30. Eraldo Peres/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Eraldo Peres/AP

An anti-government demonstrator dressed as Batman carries a Brazilian flag at a protest during Brazil's Independence Day celebrations in Rio de Janeiro earlier this month. The protesters called on the government to provide better security, education, health and public services. Ricardo Moraes/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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A couple review the work of Brazilian artist Victor Arruda during ArtRio, the International Art Fair of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sept. 5. Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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A woman looks at clothes inside a shop in Rio de Janeiro. Consumption has been a huge driver of the Brazilian economy, but the boom years are over, and economists say the outlook isn't good. Sergio Moraes/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Sergio Moraes/Reuters/Landov

Men possessed by orixas dance before getting dressed in orixa costumes. They are participating in an Olubaje party, a Candomblé ritual for cleansing life of bad things and healing. The main god at the party is Omulu (the one with straws), known for healing diseases. Marcello Vitorino/Fullpress for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Marcello Vitorino/Fullpress for NPR

Camila DeSouza, a 17-year-old Brazilian, shops for shoes at a mall in Sunrise, Fla., on July 16, 2012. During their winter, Brazilians flock to the U.S., mainly to shop. Even with the cost of airfare figured in, many products are far cheaper in the U.S. than in Brazil. Charles Trainor Jr. /Miami Herald/MCT /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Charles Trainor Jr. /Miami Herald/MCT /Landov

The Mare shantytown in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is one of the city's densest neighborhoods. Silvia Izquierdo/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Silvia Izquierdo/AP

Hundreds of thousands of people crowd Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday as Pope Francis celebrates the final Mass of his visit to Brazil. Security lapses, traffic chaos and other logistical snafus marred the visit. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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