When traveling to South America, the locals find importance in qualities that attributes to physical looks, clothes, style and social graces as a way of exemplifying a social role in society. You may find yourself in a working business situation or social dining experience and find that South Americans don’t stress the urgency of the clock. There are tendencies toward hierarchy and stratification of social structures and often a focus on human differences rather than similarities. South America is extremely diversified and unique and while there are plenty of conceived notions that countries are all the same you will find some of the countries don’t even speak Spanish as their first language. That custom can come from the desire to develop strong human relations and not hurt feelings of those involved in the discussion.
South Americans tend to be more intimate, compassionate and are not aware of the social boundaries in the United States. It’s quite common that Latin Americans tend to communicate less directly than those in the United States. If you are considering traveling abroad to South America, you must take into consideration some of the cultural differences. Expect a very open and less reserved culture that will be extremely courteous and polite but also not afraid to discuss taboo topics. Do not mistake this for someone who is walking on eggshells but more so someone who respects your opinion and does not want to leave a bad impression. It is never a slight or intended to be harmful, in fact it is usually met with a compassionate and honest suggestion. You never want to rush anyone in those circumstances as it can be seen as rude. A topic like the weight of a man or woman is usually a taboo topic in the United States.
As a radio personality for many years for Hispanics, Jesus Salas, Radio professional says that following these guidelines is a sure way to do well on your travels.