He has taught classes for sick children.

He was a teacher in hospitals and centers with disabled children.


It has always seemed important to me to go to those who cannot come to me. It is also the reason why I have taught for twelve years in prisons.

explain it to me

When I started I was a young teacher, I had very fixed ideas about what society was, good and bad. Working with prisoners opened my eyes to the complexity of human nature and personal trajectories.

What did he discover?

They weren’t monsters, they were like me, sometimes we take the wrong path, we make bad choices, and it’s hard for us to control our impulses.

You were dealing with criminals who had murdered your own family.

Yes, there were 18-year-olds who had killed their parents. My first reaction was astonishment, before I met them I imagined them as monsters, but once there they seemed the same as my students at university.

Don’t our actions define us?

I didn’t understand what could have happened to them to do those horrible acts, parricide and matricide were intelligent people, but it was very important for me to stay in my role as a teacher.

And what did that entail?

Not rejecting them or showing too much empathy, staying neutral. Many, after class, had the need to tell me about what they had done.

Why do you think they did it?

They were looking for some kind of apology. Sometimes he left prison full of hope for humanity and at other times depressed by the gravity of some crimes and the impossibility of finding a solution so that those things would not continue to happen.

Did it affect him?

A lot, especially with the younger ones, boys between 14 and 16 years old who had committed rapes and murders and who didn’t seem to understand the gravity of their actions, and who considered me an enemy.

What do you not forget about your conversations?

After years of imprisonment, the inmates told me that they no longer dreamed of life outside, only of life in prison. Some no longer had desire or erections.

What was life like there?

I worked in a pre-trial detention center and the conditions were very difficult. Time doesn’t pass like it does outside, it seems to stretch infinitely, and people live crammed into very small spaces.

Does prison have its own morality?

Yes, he often gave classes exclusively to rapists because the other prisoners did not want to be with them and assaulted them. Rape among prisoners is less accepted than murder.

Does the prison reflect the world?

Almost all ages are represented: babies with their mothers in the cell, the elderly, teenagers. Throw away all the statistics, the stereotypes, the columns of reassuring numbers. It just reflects the world. The prison changes with the world.

What smell do you remember?

A mixture of sweat simmered by the breath of hundreds of crowded men who were only allowed to shower once or twice a week. So I would come home and put all my clothes in the washing machine as if I needed to forget.

what sounds

The sounds were very important, the sound of the keys, of the bars that the guards touch to check that they had not been cut, screams, televisions on 24 hours…These are very characteristic noises that no one forgets.

Are there fashions in prison?

The track suit with socks and pool sandals was the prisoner’s new uniform. The purchasing power of the prisoners was seen in whether the model they wore was fashionable.

Was the outside world reaching them?

Since they were not exposed to the outside gaze, there was a lot of neglect, which is why in the women’s part of the prison there were hairdressers and beauticians so that the women continued to take care of themselves and their self-esteem did not sink.

Describe to me your feeling of the place.

The prison resembled a large factory that produced nothing, only time consumed, annihilated. The inmates looked like strange workers, without machines, but they obeyed guidelines and schedules.

How did you start your classes?

Good morning gentlemen, he said, and shook hands. The new ones handed it to me with shame, mistrust or disgust. The veterans included in the gesture an infinite number of human things. There was a lot of life in our handshakes.