What was your big culture shock when visiting South America?

More than 2x USA and 13 countries,  so size distance to travel, you need to plan to be cost effective.

Diversity,  deserts,  volcanos reflecting in lakes,  ice blocks falling into the ocean.

Some crazy big cities

Iguassu water falls,  over 3km long

Machu Picchu,  3 day Inca trail hike

Lapaz city and a 2 hour bus ride to 16,000 feet,  simple skiing can done.

The possibility to find "Eternal Spring"  places to live.

The importance of knowing some Spanish

Happy travels

I haven't been to South America; the closest I've been is Panamá, in Central America.

I have been to Mexico several times, where I was surprised by the sometime lackadaisical food sanitation.   From my seat in a bus stuck in traffic, I once saw a pickup truck carrying a load of raw chicken in the hot sun with no ice or other refrigeration.  In markets when I asked about different spice mixtures (mole) sold in bulk, I was told to just reach in and try them. 

Is Berlin still a safe place to live today (2017)?

I moved to berlin to continue my study. It's been 4 months and nothing bad happened to me. Except seeing all the homeless people wanted to kill themself in the ubahn station. Twice. Saw old man died in front of me, because of some guys running towards him. got mocked