As is always the case, the closer you get to an issue, the more complex it is. Chileans are arguing about how to make their society a more equitable one. Peruvians worry about a pause in the country’s spectacular growth, and public opinion polls show that Peruvians think corruption is the biggest challenge facing the country. The Colombian government is both negotiating with the FARC and dealing with an agrarian sector that feels it has been left out of the boom.

The Korean dumplings in your grocer's freezer, the new Thai restaurant on the corner and that Burmese curry you ate for lunch are doing more than satisfying your craving for an exotic and flavorful meal. These foods are also helping to foster international relations.

Just outside Lima, Peru, a billboard provides drinking water to whomever needs it - mainly, its neighbours. The panel produces clean water from the humidity in the air, through filters. Researchers at the University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) in Lima and advertising agency Mayo Peru DraftFCB joined forces to launch it.

"We also carry out online campaigns to boost sales of TVXQ albums here so that they can visit here and have a concert," said Nicole, a 20-year-old education student. She is not alone. Her group is only part of what she called OurGame, a Latin American network of the boy band's fan clubs stretching from Mexico to Peru to Argentina. In Chile alone, there are about 20,000 members of 200 clubs also for Big Bang, 2PM, CN Blue, SHINee, MBLAQ and other artists.

"Peru is a source of pride, a great country. We must begin to show it. Along with Promperu [Peru’s export and tourism promotion board] we will hold a cocktail party for 100 countries in London to promote the Peru Brand," COP President Jose Quiñones said on Thursday.

The next assistant secretary needs to mainstream these twenty-first century tools into our statecraft and public diplomacy—and coordinate activities across the department. In other words, pick up and expand where former Assistant Secretary of State Arturo Valenzuela left off.

Brazil may enjoy a cuddly image in Lima, thanks to its football and carnival, and its social-democratic economic model...Yet many Peruvians are asking whether they really want their country to be “Brazilianised”...It speaks to the might of Brazilian “soft power” – and the country’s huge gravitational pull on a continent where it accounts for half the landmass and its neighbours cannot help but spin into its orbit.

For Peru's outgoing president it is the realisation of a personal dream. Alan García says the construction of the world's tallest statue of Jesus, on a hill in the capital overlooking the ocean, will "bless Peru and protect Lima". Its resemblance to Rio's Corcovado statue is no coincidence, but the unexpected gift has generated anger.