Maria Victoria Agostinho, 5, walks outside her home in the Vila Autodromo area of Rio. Her family is slated for eviction, along with others in the area, to make way for building projects related to the 2016 Summer Olympics. Lianne Milton for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lianne Milton for NPR

The ground outside Sao Paulo is cracked and dry. It was the hottest January on record in parts of Brazil, and the heat plus a severe drought has fanned fears of water shortages and crop damage. Nacho Doce/Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Nacho Doce/Reuters /Landov

Local authorities celebrate a demolition explosion that's part of Rio's Porto Maravilha urbanization project, in Rio de Janeiro, on Nov. 24, 2013. The state- and federal-supported project is part of the city's redevelopment ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Pilar Olivares/Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Pilar Olivares/Reuters /Landov

Viviane Araujo, a Salguiero samba school queen, performs at a rehearsal for Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Marcello da Cunha Freire, vice president of the popular samba school, was murdered last month in a drive-by shooting. Lianne Milton for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lianne Milton for NPR

Residents enjoy a meal at the Quilombo Sacopa in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. Brazil has some 3,000 quilombo communities, which were formed by runaway slaves, dating to the 19th century. Residents have been promised ownership of their land but say the legal process has moved slowly. Victor R. Caivano/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Victor R. Caivano/AP

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff speaks in Sao Paulo on Dec. 19, framed by posters held by protesters calling for asylum for National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. Andre Penner/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Andre Penner/AP

Brazilian chef Alex Atala, whose restaurant, D.O.M., is ranked among the top 10 in the world, was named one of the most influential people by Time magazine this year. Cassio Vasconcellos/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Cassio Vasconcellos/AP

Social media is booming in Brazil, which has become a major market for both Facebook and Twitter. But Brazilian law is still in flux, and legislation is only just being created to deal with the rise of social media. Christophe Simon /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Christophe Simon /AFP/Getty Images

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

itoggle caption Marcelo Carnaval/AP

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