1. Understand the significance of community.
It’s one of the first things I noticed in South America — community is everything. While in Ecuador, I joined a Hari Krishna community for the week. In Peru I sat in on five course meals with locals that spanned all the way from lunch to dinner, and in Colombia I joined a street party that lasted over 15 hours. The result of this emphasis on social interaction is that people are grounded in a foundation of love, and support something that makes the everyday much more manageable. From quickly-formed friendships to family meals lasting six hours, there is an emphasis on all things social.