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International Business Etiquette: Latin America

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International Business Etiquette: Latin America

What You Need to Know to Conduct Business Abroad with Charm and Savvy

Career Press,

15 min read
9 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Welcome to the land where punctuality doesn’t matter much, but personality does.

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Ann Marie Sabath, the Amy Vanderbilt of international etiquette, provides a concise, upbeat and authoritative guide to Latin American social and business etiquette. Her manual covers dos and don’ts and includes basic data about each country, including information on history, air travel, telephones, currency, holidays, language, religion, time zones and weather. Her compact volume presents an informative outline that will help you act appropriately at work and at play in 14 Latin American countries. getAbstract recommends this book to those who work with people from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, and to those who travel to these countries on business. Have a good, safe trip, or as they say in Latin America, Vaya con Dios.


Where Time Is Fluid, Just Say Salud! In South America, Salud is the most popular toast, whether you’re having a Pisco Sour in Quito or glass of wine in Rio. So when someone raises a toast, you know what to say. And it doesn’t much matter when you say it, because punctuality is not a big deal in Latin America. While other cultures put an almost arbitrary premium on punctuality, the Spanish culture doesn’t. The Spanish saying, El tiempo es como es espacio means “time is space,” and that aptly encompasses the prevailing attitude toward schedules and timekeeping. Many Latin Americans see time as fluid, and the situation at hand comes before scheduled appointments or punctuality.

Many Latin American countries are made up of a variety of native and immigrant cultures. The populations of many of the region’s countries include a majority of mestizos – that is, people whose heritage is both European – usually Spanish – and native Indian. Spanish is the predominant language spoken in Latin American countries, except in Brazil, where Portuguese is the predominent language.

While gift giving is a ritual in Asia, it is not in Latin America...

About the Author

Ann Marie Sabath is the author of Business Etiquette and Business Etiquette in Brief She is the founder and president of At Ease, Inc., which specializes in domestic and international business etiquette. She is also the author of two other volumes in the International Business Etiquette series, on Asia and the Pacific Rim and on Europe. She has trained employees of many major companies, including Fidelity Investments, the Huffy Corporation, Saks Fifth Avenue, Deloitte and Touche, MCI Telecommunications and the Marriott Corporation.

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