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Positive Economics, Cultural Values and Travelers Spur Self-Storage Development in Latin America

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Divorce is more commonplace as well, now that it has become more socially and culturally accepted throughout Latin America. (Chile was the last country in the region to legalize divorce, in 2004.) Temporary storage is again rented in this situation.

Foreign Visitors

Groups from all over the world are visiting Latin America for myriad professional and personal reasons. Foreign companies need to rent secure storage to house their equipment. Foreign travelers need temporarily storage for their belongings.  

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games will be in Brazil. Scores of global companies are currently involved in the preparation for these games, with the anticipation of thousands of international athletes and their families arriving in a few short years.

The newly elected Catholic Pope Francis hails from Argentina. His first official trip as pontiff was to Brazil, with more trips to the area expected in the future. This has made South America a land to which many devout Catholics wish to pilgrimage.

Machu Picchu is in Peru. Built by the Incas circa 1450, it is a bucket-list destination for history buffs and archeologists alike. The Panama Canal is also in Central America. It’s an important maritime passage with worldwide business interests.

Beautiful beaches are found throughout the Caribbean. Honeymoons, business trips and second homes are popular in this area.

Mexico has its close proximity to the United States and leads the way in Latin America for its number of self-storage facilities, with approximately 200 of them. Compare that to the 55,000 storage facilities in the U.S.

The scarcity of storage space available for rent, the increase in potential renters, and the lack of competition are all catalysts for self-storage growth in Latin America. Imagine what we can expect for this industry in the next 20 years!

Lucia Darnell is the assistant vice president and Spanish business director for PhoneSmart, an off-site sales force that provides self-storage operators with call-center services and employee-training programs. She was previously a secretary for the Latin American Self Storage Association as well as a liaison for Latin American operators. She's also an expert in operations and offers training in Spanish to self-storage owners and managers. To reach her, e-mail For more information about PhoneSmart; visit

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