While 2016 was a historic news year for Latin America and Caribbean, Associated Press photographers also dug beneath the surface to tell the human stories with feature images. The end of war in Colombia, anger in Mexico over Donald Trump's comments on migrants and the pain of Venezuela's economic crunch were all reflected in this year's photographs.
As Colombia celebrated the end of a 52-year conflict between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Juliana, a 20-year-old rebel fighter for FARC's 36th Front, rested after a trek in the northwest Andes of Colombia. Her path to the FARC was born as much from personal tragedy as political ideology. After being raped by her stepfather, she fled an impoverished home at age 16 and followed in the footsteps of an uncle.
At the Mexico-U.S. border, a demonstrator carried a mock coffin representing migrants who have died at a detention center in Eloy, Arizona, and Colombian musician Juanes and singer John Legend performed for a small crowd outside the facility.
In central Mexico, a man dressed a donkey to resemble Trump in preparation for the costume competition at the annual donkey festival, reflecting anger at the now U.S. president-elect's comments about Mexican migrants.
Venezuela's economic crisis and food shortages are often presented in statistics. But an AP image showed the plight of 16-year-old Madeley Vasquez, who breastfed her year-old son Joangel while waiting in line outside a supermarket to buy food in Caracas. Vasquez once ran down the block to avoid getting caught in a knife fight that broke out when a woman was accused of cutting the line.
In villages almost 5,000 meters (16,500 feet) above sea level in Peru's Puno region, temperatures dropped to minus-23 degrees Celsius (minus-9.4 Fahrenheit) during the winter, producing deep snow and killing thousands of alpacas and sheep, which are the only livelihood for the area's indigenous farmers and herders. An AP image showed Rosa Carcabusto, 29, and her daughter Maria Luque, 13, standing outside their house before preparing a soup of wheat and desiccated potatoes.
At a tourist camp in Mexico's Tlaxcala state, fireflies seeking mates put on a spectacular light show by flashing in synchronized bursts while photographers took long-exposure pictures.
And in Brazil's Pernambuco state, a collection of photos showed mothers and relatives posing with their babies who had been diagnosed with microcephaly linked to the Zika virus. AP photographer Felipe Dana has followed these babies from hospitals to their cribs, from brain exams to bath time since the outbreak began in Brazil, trying to show not only the difficulties but the mothers' pride for their children.
Nat Castañeda is an interdisciplinary visual artist based in Brooklyn, New York. A California native, Castañeda works primarily in video and collage, with an emphasis on tactile intimacy with her materials remaining an important aspect of all her projects. Common issues in Castañeda’s work are the conflating of iconography and pornography, the questioning of traditional gender binaries, and the role of technology within personal narratives. She received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts and has shown at venues such as El Museo del Barrio and Electronic Arts Intermix. In addition to her art practice, Castañeda currently works at The Associated Press where she leads a team that curates AP's online archive of historic and contemporary photojournalism. Castañeda’s photography has appeared in the New York Times,U.S. News & World Report and USA Today.