By clothing-bag, 09/02/2022

Viewpoint / Life Stories - Galeria Magazine in Montevideo Portal

By Giovanna D'Uva and Rosana Zinola

By Giovanna D'Uva and Rosana Zinola - Galeria Magazine - Montevideo Portal

Norway, Dubai, the United States, France, Italy, Israel and Singapore are some of the destinations to which Uruguayans have decided to emigrate for different reasons. Some of them alone, and others with their families, adapt to the culture of each place, making some of their customs their own.

Leandro Furest Key Biscayne, United States

Security, calm and a family atmosphere are the characteristics that Leandro Furest highlights in Key Biscayne, a community located in Miami where he has lived for seven months with his family.

Moving to this island that combines calm with paradisiacal was not a difficult decision. "Probably the most difficult thing was to communicate it to family and friends. We took it as a family project, as a great challenge", says Leandro who, after making several business trips to the United States to evaluate the opportunities in development of real estate investments in the country, found in Key Biscayne a community with an ecosystem of young entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs from all over the world and an ideal place to live.

The strong presence of Latinos in this community and its hospitable environment have favored the rapid adaptation of the family to this new environment, both in terms of work and education. "Almost all adults speak Spanish and use English in the workplace. The children are bilingual, with English as their native language. Our children with us speak Spanish and with their friends they speak English. At school they are in a bilingual program "says the businessman.

In addition to the almost zero language and cultural barriers, what most impacted this family upon arrival was the cleanliness and security of the place, as well as the academic demands. "Public schools are of a high standard and have a close follow-up of the children's evolution. Fortunately, the adaptation has been incredible and our children are doing very well," he says.

Although it is difficult to have his family away from him, Leandro assures that this decision has changed their lives, especially in terms of security and tranquility. "Our children have freedoms in terms of being able to go out on their own, meet their friends and enjoy outdoor activities. It is very common to see children alone everywhere and that small community atmosphere means that practically all parents know each other," Explain.

The Furest family spends the quarantine in their apartment facing the sea, with evident changes in routines. "The greatest impact for us has been in the education of children. Distance education was already highly developed here, with all the online tools, but even so, it is extremely demanding of time and energy. With regard to work, as around the world, we have had to stay at home longer. We do what we can online and what we can't, is postponed. In any case, the restrictions around here are beginning to gradually be lifted gradually, "he explains.

Leo Nuccio Tricase, Italy

When in 1982 his father decided to return to Italy with his family, after 33 years, Leonardo Nuccio did not think it was the best time to move. He was 18 years old, friends from Liceo Zorrilla Hermanos Maristas and an audio and lighting business for parties. He worked as a DJ at the Pachá nightclub, in Punta del Este, and played with Daniel Podestá at Zum Zum, "the temple of night clubs in Montevideo, which for a disc jockey was like touching the sky."

Once in Italy, his passion for music helped him "settle" in his new homeland "despite nostalgia." In Tricase, the largest town in the area with 18,000 inhabitants, he made friends who encouraged him to experiment with radio. His Italian with "a South American accent despite nine years at the Scuola Italiana di Montevideo" was the "hook" for his success as an announcer.

But his life changed completely when he met Mimina, a girl he later married. "Today she is still my life partner and mother to my two beautiful daughters, Melissa and Vanessa," he says.

He started working in the family tie production business, which in the late 1990s became a fine Italian tailoring business. Today, Leonardo Nuccio Showroom has its own line of men's suits, shirts and accessories, "all Made in Italy", says its owner.

The routine of serving clients and organizing production presentations, both prêt à porter and bespoke, were suspended. "The quarantine turned our lives into endless Sundays. It just fell during wedding times and everything stopped. It is estimated that it will take seven years to return to the economic level of before," he said.

The first two weeks "were used to reconsider": he spent with his music, restored a record player from the 70s and organized a free home delivery service together with the City Merchants Association. "We gave a clear signal of reaction to the community. Tricase opened the doors of its businesses virtually with the slogan Te lo porto io (I'll take it to you)," he explained. They promoted it on networks and in five days they delivered 100 orders.

In their business, in which their daughters are in charge of the image and social networks, they implemented new forms of purchases, with vouchers, coupons for gifts, shipments and a proposal for masks made with pure cotton Italian shirting fabrics. In Italy, Commerce will reopen on May 18, but beauty centers, bars and restaurants only on June 1: "An unprecedented economic catastrophe is coming in Italy, but we will surely overcome it."

Alexander Stawsky Haifa, Israel

He moved to Israel a year and a half ago to do a master's degree in Applied Mathematics. "I chose to study at the Technion Institute in Haifa because of its good reputation in biotechnology," explained Alejandro, 23, who lives in Hadar, a mixed Arab-Jewish neighborhood.

He had visited Israel twice, but in Haifa he was struck by the diversity of cultures and separate communities that live there. "On every block there are signs in English, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic or Ethiopian, and while Tel Aviv is undoubtedly the metropolitan center of the country, Haifa is a potpourri of people I hadn't seen before," he said.

Among the positive aspects of living in Israel, Alejandro highlights the Mediterranean coast, the Roman ruins or historical sites, and, of course, the level of research and professors at the institute. However, some difficulties arise in daily life when in the markets one does not have the practice to negotiate good prices, or with the language if the translations from the Hebrew are not totally accurate. His days are spent with his classmates, some second uncles who live in Raanana and Beit Shemesh, and some members of the large Uruguayan community, but there are also Israelis who know Spanish and others of "Mediterranean origin who speak an old dialect of Castilian mixed with Hebrew that is called ladino".

A custom that he adopted was to drink Turkish coffee in the morning and, during the day, optionally with cardamom.

The arrival of Covid-19 brought certain complications beyond health. Alejandro was unable to present at the 2020 EMBO Bacterial Cell Biophysics Workshop. "It would have been my first lecture as a graduate student and I was very excited to immerse myself in the scientific community for five days," he laments about the cancellation.

While he can't make it to the lab, he takes the opportunity to focus on other parts of his work and holds meetings via Zoom.

He considers that the measures taken by the Israeli government are paying off, considering that the commemorations of Holocaust Day, Remembrance Day for Dead Soldiers, Independence Day and Pesach (the Jewish Passover) occurred during the quarantine. "Usually people are taking care of themselves, but in extremely religious cities like Bnei-Barak and Jerusalem, many take risks by gathering to pray. According to the Jewish religion, there must be at least 10 men present to fulfill the commandment to pray," he explained.

This year will be very difficult, for Israel and for the world. As a student, Alejandro considers himself lucky to continue his project from his home, but he worries about the financial repercussions after isolation.

Sergio Juan Abreu Singapore

In February 2019, Sergio Juan Abreu, together with his wife and his two children - two and four years old - moved to the Republic of Singapore for a job offer in the field of the pharmaceutical industry, for which he works. more than 10 years ago. "It is always difficult to make the decision to leave the country, but when one feels that the personal and working conditions to do so are given, it becomes more natural," he says from his apartment located in the center of the city. "It is the first time that we live outside of Uruguay and Singapore seemed interesting to us because of the experience that the culture and its customs represent, so different from ours."

One of the characteristics that surprised Sergio Juan when he arrived in the city was the peaceful and harmonious coexistence among the citizens, as well as cleanliness, order and security. "Seeing children circulating freely, waiting for the bus and walking to school without adult supervision is possible due to the security that exists here and the application of very severe penalties against those who break the rules," he explains.

Living in Singapore has changed the family's routine 100%. Currently, the family dynamics changed again with the quarantine. "My children enjoy having their parents more available at home and that also benefits because there is more time to spend with them and watch them grow," he says.

Customs in Singapore are "varied and curious," says Sergio Juan, and the family has incorporated some of them, such as not entering the apartment with shoes: "All the houses have a piece of furniture at the entrance so you can leave your shoes on."

Living in a different culture such as that of Singapore gives another perspective: "it helps a lot to better understand the diversity of customs and take the positive. My children go to a school where they have classmates of all nationalities. There they learn English (mother tongue Singapore) and Mandarin Chinese," he adds.

Regarding the future of the family, Sergio Juan is clear that they will remain in Singapore until March 2021, since his intention is to return to Uruguay. "We would like to go back, but we may go through some other country first. We are going to define how we continue, but without a doubt we want our children to do Primary in Uruguay and grow up there," he concludes.

Lucas Antonaccio and Elisa Besozzi Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

In December 2012, Lucas Antonaccio from Duraz was still studying Veterinary Medicine when he first traveled to Dubai. He returned several times until he graduated and, in March 2016, jockey Ignacio Sanguinetti offered him a try at Ajman Stable. His girlfriend, Elisa Besozzi, a native of Mercedes, visited him regularly until they got married in 2017 and settled together in the Emirates. She, who has only three pending exams to finish her Business Administration degree, opened an Instagram account ( to promote and sell her desserts with "family recipes" and Crandon's book.

Currently, Lucas works with enduro and Arabian racehorses at Al Wathba Stable, in Abu Dhabi, a huge experience because "enduro in Dubai is comparable to Formula 1 in motorsport".

The most impressive thing is that "Dubai was built on a desert and they also have the tallest building and the largest fountain and shopping center in the world," Elisa said. She is also surprised that they eat on the floor and with their hands, or that men greet each other by touching their noses. In Abu Dhabi you can get all kinds of food. In some supermarkets there is a sector where sausages are sold that Muslims are not allowed to enter, because they cannot eat pork. Friday is the day of prayer, so the weekend becomes Friday-Saturday and the week begins on Sunday. To visit the Abu Dhabi mosque, women must cover their heads and shoulders, and shorts and tank tops are prohibited in shopping malls.

The family routine varies depending on Lucas' work season. At the end of each stage of an enduro race, the vet does a metabolic exam and checks heart rate and trotting. With the appearance of the coronavirus in March, the races at the racecourses were held without spectators and the Dubai World Cup, the most important of the year, was suspended.

However, the most particular situation was when the delivery of his daughter was brought forward. One morning three months ago, Lucas left for work when Elisa broke her bag. As he arrived, an Argentine veterinarian from her neighborhood caught up with her at the hospital. Pilar María was born by natural childbirth and the scare of the first moment was diluted thanks to the Indian nurses, the Lebanese doctor and Lucas.

The first three months passed quickly and with high temperatures. In the quarantine, going out after eight at night is prohibited because the city is fumigated.

Pilar María continues to grow,'s orders add up and Lucas's work continues while waiting for the end of the pandemic. "Our goal is to come back, always, but we don't know when the time will be."

Andres Sanchez Bergen, Norway

In Bergen, a city surrounded by mountains and fjords located in the southwest of Norway, he lives with his wife and his three children Andrés Sánchez, a Uruguayan who decided to leave his comfort zone to explore the possibilities offered in the outside.

Despite having a good job in the pharmaceutical field, at the age of 28 he decided to embark on a new experience motivated by the desire to travel and with the help of a friend who worked the summer seasons in Norway. "I left my job in Uruguay despite everyone telling me it was crazy to be a good job, and I came to another country. It was not difficult to make the decision, but I left with the feeling of disappointing my family and friends ", Explain.

Today, as a chef at the Fjellskål restaurant and after 15 years living in Norway, Andrés admits that when he arrived, what struck him the most was the culture and the climate. "Everything was strange and new, it seemed that I was on another planet and not in another country. Culturally, they are very cold people, who do not greet each other with a kiss. There is not much social life, it is rather poor," he says.

This Uruguayan living in Bergen, one of the rainiest cities in Europe, was struck by the difference in hours of sunlight in summer and winter. "In June the Sun sets super late and rises very early. The days are long. You can see a sunset at 0.30 at night and a sunrise at 3 in the morning. You practically live during the day. In December, January and February, During winter, the nights are eternal. The sun rises at 10 in the morning and sets at 2 in the afternoon."

However, Andrés points out that the weather does not prevent Norwegians from carrying out their activity normally. "In Uruguay, no one would go for a walk one day when it's raining cats and dogs, but here there is snow and rain and people go about their lives. They go for a walk in the forest or in the mountains, even if the weather is horrible. They have a saying that prays that there is no such thing as bad weather but bad clothes, referring to the fact that with the right clothes you can face the weather," he says.

Living in Norway was for Andrés a radical change in his life. In addition to meeting his wife and starting a family, he allowed her to travel and meet people and places. "I learned to value things that are normal in Uruguay but are not here, as well as to see that there are negative things in Uruguay that are done differently here and that it is not so difficult to do them better," he says.

What he highlights as positive about living in this country is economic stability, tranquility and security. "Here you live very well. One alone, working, can afford to travel, have the basic things resolved and others not so basic as well. There is no insecurity and one lives very calmly," he concludes.

Francisco Ameglio Paris, France

In this situation of global health crisis, Francisco Ameglio has more work than ever: he works as commercial director of Ryssen Alcools, a company dedicated to the production of alcohol and biofuels. In contrast to the drop in fuel demand, there was an explosion in the use of alcohol and the government asked to contribute to the supply of alcohol to pharmacies and hospitals. "The production plants are automated and with the minimum number of operators, and those who can carry out their work remotely do so at home," he said.

Chemical industries dedicated to perfumery or beverages such as Louis Vuitton or Pernod Ricard have also transformed their production to hydrogel to support sanitary measures.

In France there is a curfew at six in the evening and to go out you need an authorization from the Ministry of the Interior that is granted only for work reasons, to help family members, go to the doctor or the supermarket and exercise once a week. hour a day. Without this authorization the police can impose a fine of 135 euros. President Emmanuel Macron extended the strict lockdown until May 11. "If the measures had not been so strict, the result would have been worse," says Francisco.

With his wife Monique and his four sons, Alexis, Thomas, Nicolas and Sébastien, they live in an apartment where they have set schedules to work and study. "Parents partially replace teachers who send homework online, communicate via WhatsApp and teach classes via Zoom in groups of 10," he says from the balcony, precisely so as not to disturb the students.

Having "four musketeers" locked up is not easy, but in the building there is a small garden where they "exceptionally" play ball. Living near the Paris Saint-Germain stadium, where Salta's Edinson Cavani plays, is a great advantage for keeping one's oriental roots. He speaks Spanish to his children and tries to get them to practice it, especially Alexis, who dreams of being a soccer player like his idol Antoine Griezmann.

Francisco went to the Lycée Français. His mother, Frédérique, is French, and at 24 she had already traveled to that country 10 times, so there was no "cultural gap." "France is my second homeland," he says.

Fate led him to repeat the history of his parents with a Franco-Uruguayan marriage. In 2004 he traveled to Paris for an internship, he met Monique and two years later they were married. In his house they drink mate and there is always dulce de leche.