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Jonna Eriksson

Our residents: Larry Quinonez Gonzales

Larry came to Sorsele as a twelve-year-old and, despite never having seen snow before, immediately felt at home. Today, he’s a true Sorsele resident who contributes to a vibrant community and spends much of his spare time outdoors with his family. 

“One of the best things we have here is Easter, it’s the high point of the year! We get to sit outside on a reindeer skin, ice fishing and preparing food over an open fire.”

What brought you to Sorsele Municipality?

“In 2005, me and my family, that is, my mum, dad and two siblings, moved to Sorsele. We’re originally from Colombia but were looking for a safer place to live. My dad had been recommended Costa Rica, which turned out to be a slightly safer and better version of Colombia. We stayed there for four years, until one day my parents said, ‘We’re moving to Sweden, and they have snow!’ I was twelve years old and had never seen snow before, so I thought it’d be exciting.

I remember when we first arrived in Stockholm, with ten Colombians standing there, fascinated by a puddle that had turned to ice. Then we came to Arvidsjaur, which had one-and-a-half metres of snow that we started playing in, without feeling the cold.

We’d applied for asylum and been moved to Sorsele. My first thoughts when I came here were that it was different, quiet and calm. It was very different to Costa Rica. Here you didn’t need to have your wits about you or even lock the door.

I started school right away, and my parents adapted well. Many other people from Colombia felt that they needed something bigger, but me and my family really enjoyed living in Sorsele! We were quickly welcomed into the community and could carry on with our lives.”

Tell us about your daily life and your hobbies.

“I work as a crushing machine operator during the day. I’ve also recently started a company called Oh Larrys alltjänst AB, through which I create entertainment events in Sorsele. My goal is to spread joy and offer a meeting place for everyone regardless of age or background. Everyone should feel welcome! I’ve planned five events for 2023, all within Sorsele Municipality.

In my spare time, I love being with my family. I have my darling partner, who’s my ‘ride or die’. She supports me and helps me realise my dreams. Together with our two daughters, we spend a lot of time at Nalovardo, where we have our caravan parked during the winter months. We go skiing, barbecue over an open fire, hang out and get to know other seasonal campers.

Other than this, I like other types of outdoor pursuits, snowmobiling and weight training at Trim365.”

What does Sorsele Municipality mean to you?

“It’s an opportunity for a better future for me, my children and my family. There are opportunities for better finances because of the lower costs and good job opportunities. We’re close to nature, where we can recharge our batteries, and we have a strong sense of security.”

What’s your favourite place in Sorsele Municipality?

“Rankbäcken 10. Home is where the heart is! My partner and I both set our minds on a house in Rankbäcken, so we knocked on doors and asked if anyone was planning to sell. An opportunity to buy a house came up and it couldn’t have been better. We live within the community yet still outside, so we’re close to nature, the snowmobile trails and water.”

As a place, in what way does Sorsele Municipality help you realise your dreams?

“I have a dream, actually, which is to create the best possible future for my children. I want to give them a sense of security and a place they’ll never need to flee. I want them to have good opportunities to become strong and independent people with respect for other people and nature. Sorsele offers these opportunities, so this is how Sorsele Municipality is involved in realising my dream.”

What would you say to someone who’s thinking about moving to Sorsele Municipality?

“Just do it! There are good job opportunities, you’re close to nature and there’s always a helping hand just around the corner. If you come here alone, I’d also recommend finding a partner from Sorsele, they’re simply the best!”

Last edited: 06 March 2024