We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
If you haven't used them, please given them a try. They give you the history, the climate, the local culture, the local foods to try, shopping ideas, good advice on how to get around, plenty of ideas off the beaten track - in short, a great introduction to a place you haven't visited before - with tons of photos for all of us ADD survivors.
Here is a link for the South American Handbook, a.k.a. backpackers' bible. The same company has good guides for other places. Though once you get familiar w a place, no need to bring the guidebook along.