Electives was something that was very new to me, I got to choose which classes I would take beyond the core classes. So I could choose Arts or Music if I wanted to… and depending on the school, wood shop, small engines, home Ed and may others. In Colombia everything depends on the school that you attend and what they offer. Most school would have Art or Music, but to take anything else you have to go to a specific school that offers those courses. Cali, my city in Colombia has schools that specialize in Accounting, Engineering and such, but the majority of schools do not offer all the options that a US public school has.
My opinion is that the Colombian system is better socially because all students that complete high school would have achieved an almost US freshmen level of education, but I still think that you can get a better education in the US system if you use it to its full potential. The sad part is that most people in the US never do.