How we’re giving back in the Atlas Mountains

Morocco has always held a special place in our hearts. Not only for its remarkable experiences and mesmerising landscapes, but because of the truly inspiring people who live and work there.

In the wake of last September’s earthquake, we wanted to support the people who have been such remarkable and long-standing partners and friends – and to give back to the communities that our travelers have been falling in love with for years. We also wanted to spend more time with them on the ground, going even deeper under the hood of places – like the Atlas Mountains – that have always meant so much to us. That’s why, only short weeks ago, we packed our bags and set off for a euphoric and, at times, very humbling journey into Morocco. We set off to give back and help out.

hiking in the atlas mountains in morocco

The arrival

We headed east, driving along winding roads to reach the Atlas Mountains. Among one of the hardest-hit areas from September’s earthquake, we arrived in Al Haouz province for a day of volunteer work organised with our partners to help support remote and rural communities affected by the earthquake.

We hiked across red, rocky terrain, between dry riverbeds and sloping hills. Led by Nouri, our guide, we eventually reached the village of Aghzane.

volunteering in the atlas mountains in morocco
volunteering in the atlas mountains in morocco

The community

Working alongside Afoulki pour les Femmes, a women-led association undertaking vital relief efforts in the Atlas Mountains, we sorted through medical and clothing supplies and helped with a gite development project funded by the Afoulki Association. The aim of this project is to boost tourism in the region, a place for hikers and travellers to rest and stay, and a means of providing economic support for the nearby villages.

For us, that meant a lot of heavy lifting; moving earth and stone that is quickly being fashioned into new structures and walls.

volunteering in the atlas mountains in morocco
volunteering in the atlas mountains in morocco

Ways to help

As we worked, we discussed ways we could contribute to developing creative tourism in the area, thinking of ideas to help communities whose livelihoods depend on travel. Going forward, we’ll be supporting them as much as we can, and we encourage those with the means to contribute in turn; whether through monetary donations or by spreading word about their vital work. You can donate here.

charity project in the atlas mountains in morocco
village in atlas mountains in morocco

The future

Despite the devastation caused by the earthquake, the Atlas Mountains are now safe, and as beautiful, as ever. A lunar-like landscape of red peaks, almond blossom, small Berber villages, and vast river canyons, they’re unlike anywhere else on earth. And it was our honour and privilege to spend time with the people and communities who live here.

Our research trip to Morocco enabled us to see and experience firsthand the process of recovery that is fast underway after the earthquake. It also enabled us to witness the spirited energy of the people of Morocco themselves, and their love for their country. It is a feeling we share.

Morocco has many tales to tell, many treasures to discover. No one trip will ever be the same. Whether you choose to camp beneath the stars between the rocky dunes of the Agafay desert, hike through riverbeds and climb unexplored cliffs in the Atlas Mountains, or wish to lose (and find) yourself in the spice-scented souks of Marrakech, there will always be something left for next time.

If you’d like to get involved with volunteering in Morocco, simply let us know. In the video below, co-founder Tom shares a little about our work with Afoulki pour les Femmes. 


Our Travel Experts are ready and waiting to plan your own tailor-made journey into Morocco – from the Atlas Mountains to the Agafay Desert.

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