One of the things I love, and maybe it’s my own cultural preference, is the difference in the food from country to country. I grew up in a Colombian household, so when it comes to regional cuisine, a lot of my preferences stem from there. However, there is nothing better than having the opportunity to experience new and exciting cuisines in different countries and getting to experience what they are particularly famous for.
There have been great episodes of travel shows done by chefs such as Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern showcasing all that the region has to offer, but nothing substitutes having the opportunity to try them for yourself. You can say beef is beef, but it sure differs from Argentina to Brazil to Colombia. Sancocho (a broth based hen soup) is common throughout the region, but every country does it their own way. Ceviche takes on its own twist depending where you get it.
My greatest suggestion for every program going to the region is to incorporate the local cuisine into the program. While many travelers may have issues in trying something new, it never hurts to give a sampling. At breakfast, try adding a local dish (i.e. chilaquiles in Mexico) which may have people scratching their heads. You never know, it might be a pleasant surprise. But it definitely adds more flavor to the overall program (pun somewhat intended).