Latin America joyously welcomed in 2015 as fireworks exploded over Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro and people across Cuba roasted pigs over live coals — a delicacy many on the island traditionally enjoy on the last night of each year.
Masks were sold on a street in Quito, Ecuador, for New Year's Eve celebrations. In Mexico City, the families of 43 missing college students marked the holiday more somberly, marching silently to the Los Pinos presidential residence to demand that President Enrique Pena Nieto's government find out the truth about their loved ones.
Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano expelled a plume of ash that billowed up 2.5 kilometers (8,200 feet).
In a national address, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro confirmed that the South American nation's economy fell into a deep recession during 2014, and he blamed the slump on opponents who he says are trying to sabotage the oil-rich nation.
The 15-kilometer (nine-mile) Sao Silvestre run held annually in Brazil on the last day of each year was won by Ethiopia's Dawit Admasu. On the first day of 2015, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was sworn into her second term in office.
Argentina, meanwhile, began preparing for the start of the Dakar Rally 2015.