Chilean Mauricio made Joensuu his home

An international family enjoys Joensuu

Chile-born Mauricio Acuna, 51, moved to Joensuu for work. He works as a professor of forest operation and technology at Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). He has successfully made Joensuu his home, and would not want to move anywhere else anymore.

“I already knew Joensuu and some people here, so it was not difficult to decide to live in Joensuu.”

Mauricio’s family consists of his wife Marlene and 17-year-old daughter Angelina.

“I earned my doctorate in the United States and, before coming to Finland, we lived in Australia for 16 years. Angelina, my daughter, was born in the United States. We’re all Australian citizens as well.”

You can walk to school and there are no school uniforms

Mauricio’s daughter goes to the international upper secondary school in Joensuu.

“She’s made many friends from different nationalities, and she really appreciates the high-class upper secondary education in Finland. The school gave her all the textbooks and a laptop,” Mauricio says with admiration.

Integrating into the Joensuu school community has been easy for Angelina, as all the courses in the upper secondary are in English.

“The move from Australia has been quite easy. Angelina also appreciates the fact that she can walk to school and she doesn’t have to wear a school uniform.”

The move from Australia has been quite easy.

Mauricio has a five-year contract with Luke but, if the Acuna family is given the opportunity, he would like to stay in Joensuu.

“I don’t know the whole city yet, but I like the riverfront, the botanic garden, the Kuhasalo route, Linnunlahti and Ilosaari.”

Joensuu offers sports events befitting an international taste, and Mauricio likes to go to these events with his family.

“We have been to a few of Kataja’s basketball games.”

Although the winter scenery is beautiful, Mauricio thinks summer is the best time in Joensuu.

“I love summer in Joensuu. The temperature is very nice and the scenery and nature of Joensuu are beautiful. I enjoy going to Koli National Park and to Nurmes and beaches like Linnunlahti and Kontiolahti with my family,” says Mauricio.

Mauricio also mentions walking the riverfront as a shared family pastime.

“In the summer we also had lunch on the riverfront on one of the restaurant ships; both the food and the scenery were very enjoyable.”

Mauricio Acuna works as a professor of forest technology. The work environment is a beautiful wooden Metla house.

Ski lessons in the future

Mauricio enjoys being close to the river in wintertime as well, and the Kuhasalo nature trail in particular is a family favourite. The next item on Mauricio’s agenda is to learn to ski.

“We are planning on taking skiing lessons at the beginning of next year and enjoying other winter activities.”

Mauricio has nothing negative to say about Joensuu.

“I like everything here in the city.”

“We are planning on taking skiing lessons at the beginning of next year and enjoying other winter activities.”

Mauricio does have one tip for anyone moving to Joensuu, especially if they are moving from a warm country.

“You should get good and warm clothes for winter.”

Mauricio also thinks it is good to learn at least some Finnish.

“It’s not always easy to communicate, it’s a good idea to learn something about Finnish culture, and to get an apartment beforehand.”

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