Me volvió a suceder ayer. Me habían invitado a dar una conferencia sobre gestión de impactos en una escuela de negocios de Ginebra (Suiza), donde vivo. Tras la sesión, uno de los estudiantes se acercó a mí y, con una sonrisa pícara, me preguntó si era pariente de Pablo Escobar. “Vuelve y juega”, pensé. En los treinta años que llevo viviendo fuera de Colombia, he escuchado esta pregunta innumerables veces.

En Colombia nadie lo preguntaría, el apellido Escobar es bastante común, como Davis o Parker en Inglaterra o en Estados Unidos. Sin embargo, fuera del país, la pregunta me la…

Type Escobar on a Google search engine

It happened again yesterday. I had been invited to give a lecture on Impact Management at a business school in Geneva, Switzerland, where I live. After the session, one of the students approached me and, with a roguish smile, asked me if I was related to Pablo Escobar. “Here we go again,” I thought. In the thirty years that I’ve been living outside of my home country, Colombia, I have heard this question more often than I care to count.

No one in Colombia would ask this because the last name Escobar is quite common, like Davis or Parker in…

For Camille, and for parents of LGBTQ children

Note: This personal essay was first published in Keeping It Under Wraps, an Anthology edited by Louise Bryant, Tracy Hope and Alnaaze Nathoo (2021)

Photo: Mirjam Wirz, 4th LGBTQ Diversity March, Cicuco, Bolivar, Colombia, July 2021

Another massage session with Li Hua is over. I feel relaxed, oxygenated, content. I’ve been coming here for years now. Pear blossom is the meaning of her name. This fine, middle-aged woman has a firm touch; her hands offer the right pressure. Chinese, as she is, I believe her to be the gifted recipient of a millennium of knowledge. Skills passed down generation to generation. …

(Confessions of a voyeuse)

I bike away from cars, buildings, cement

Into nature

I crave the connection, the experience of the spiritual

I sit, camouflaged, surrounded only by trees, birds and minuscule species

Ready to tune in to the energetic, the primal current, the breathing earth

No human voice, just the distant sound of water, the touch of the wind, the smell of soil

And then I spot them

A man and a woman lying naked under the sun

Intertwined in a sensual dance behind the bushes across the river

They caress, safe from the gaze of others, or so…

Elles ne se connaissent pas. Elles sont assises autour d’une grande table garnie de fromage, de pain, d’olives et de thon à tartiner. Au début, personne ne touche à la nourriture. La lumière est chaude, il n’y a pas de musique ; ce serait une distraction. Onze femmes d’âges, de couleurs, de tailles, de milieux, de professions, de caractères différents sont présentes. Elles ont une chose en commun. Elles ont toutes été victimes de harcèlement sexuel de la part de professionnels de la santé. Pour certaines, l’incident s’est produit il y a des années, voire des décennies, pour d’autres très…

They don’t know each other. They sit around a table set with cheese, bread, olives, and tuna spread. Nobody touches the food. The light is warm, there is no music; it would be a distraction. Eleven women of different ages, colours, sizes, backgrounds, occupations, characters. They have one thing in common. They have all been a victim of sexual harassment by healthcare practitioners. For some, the incident happened years, even decades ago, for others very recently. The host sits at the table and wonders: Do we have a collective purpose? Is this a movement? Will this lead us somewhere?


u r 10, (with inventory) KAFFEEZIMMER. „Wir sitzen, trinken Kaffee und schauen einfach aus dem Fenster“, Rheydt 1993

Georgetown, Washington DC, 1988

Along with “pass me the salt”

And “we have to take the car to the garage”

Let me just say,

You’ve made me happy all these years

Before lightning ends your life or mine

Let me whisper in your ear

That I crave your embrace

That you’re the mast I gladly cling to

I, an untameable animal, lover of my freedom and the confinement of your arms

Let me tell you, lest the moment slip away,

Between “we haven’t finished the tax return” and “the printer’s run out of ink”

That I love you beyond all limits

With the certainty…

Ximena Escobar

Colombian, Swiss, and Spanish, mother of three, volunteer tutor in prison. Impact advisor, co-founder El Boga Foundation, apprentice storyteller, dog walker.

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