June 29, 2016 02:02 ET

Diamond Resorts International® Timeshare -- Outlines South American Culture Differences

LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwired - June 29, 2016) - Diamond Resorts International® is one of the world's leading global resort network of vacation ownership properties with destinations in over 35 countries, including more than four dozen in Mexico, Central and South America. One of the great joys in traveling is discovering the cultural differences of a new place. To help vacationers from North America prepare and understand some of the ways they may be surprised by cultural norms in Central and South America, Diamond Resorts timeshare experts have put together a top-line look at our neighbors to the south.

Perhaps most obvious to new visitors in Latin America is the different perception of time, sometimes popularly referred to as "mañana" ("tomorrow") which has jokingly been defined as "anytime between tomorrow and never." In anthropological terms, the cultural difference is called "monochronic" vs. "polychronic," a description coined by famed American anthropologist Edward T. Hall in 1959. Essentially, monochronic societies such as Europe and the United States, perceive time as fixed and unchanging, where people tend to complete tasks sequentially, while the polychronic societies of Latin America and Asia see time as fluid with the people more easily adaptable to changing circumstances and new information which frequently leads to due dates being readily pushed back. (Although certain European nations, most notably Italy, Spain and Greece, famously lean towards polychronic themselves). Diamond Resorts International® timeshare specialists want to emphasize that for many people, especially business people attuned to deadlines and the pressures of time, this can create some confusion and frustration at first but it should not be considered an affront and the traveler should do their best to adapt to their environment.

Another major characteristic of Latin America versus North America is the use of greater physical contact and closer interpersonal space. While a businessman from the United States might value a solid handshake as a sign of respect and friendliness, a Latin businessman may offer a gentler handshake along with a hug or kiss on the cheek to an acquaintance of the same gender, particularly in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. A conversational partner may stand close, look directly in the eyes as well as hold an elbow while talking or even walk down the street arm-in-arm.

In the United States, we tend to think of weight as a taboo subject, with a preference for not talking about it, outside of conversations with doctors or personal trainers. But Latin Americans are much more open and even less judgmental about an individual's weight. A common expression of affection is the term "gordo/gordito" which technically translates as "fat." It is also quite acceptable to comment more directly on someone's weight, whether to say that they look thinner or fatter -- remember that it is always said with respect and as a compliment to mention that someone looks well-fed and healthy.

About Diamond Resorts International®

Diamond Resorts International®, with its network of more than 420 vacation destinations located in 35 countries throughout the continental United States, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America, Central America, Europe, Asia, Australasia and Africa, provides guests with choice and flexibility to let them create their dream vacation, whether they are traveling an hour away or around the world. Our relaxing vacations have the power to give guests an increased sense of happiness and satisfaction in their lives, while feeling healthier and more fulfilled in their relationships, by enjoying memorable and meaningful experiences that let them Stay Vacationed.™

Diamond Resorts International® manages vacation ownership resorts and sells vacation ownership points that provide members and owners with Vacations for Life® at over 420 managed and affiliated properties and cruise itineraries.

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