From the Desert to the Sea: Students Thrive During Their Travels in Morocco
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From the Desert to the Sea: Students Thrive During Their Travels in Morocco

The Moroccan Wanderer program includes stops at some of the most famous sites in the northwestern African country. From the beach town of Essaouira with its white-washed homes to the scenic gorges amid the Atlas Mountains. Along the way, it also includes community service and lessons about the local Amazigh indigenous culture for both high school and college students.

In the summer of 2022, students took full advantage of these opportunities, making a difference while having a blast at the same time. Here is a look at some of the highlights from this summer:

Service & the Amazigh Culture

Students helped build a site where women in the village of Tizi can use native plants to create herbal tea bags to sell in different cities. The service gave the students the opportunity to interact with local community members and make a local impact.

The students toured a village while staying in the Atlas Mountain region. They learned about the way of life for the Amazigh indigenous people. And, they took part in bread-making workshops with local families and a soccer match.

Scenery in the Mountains & Desert

After the students spent time in the community at Tizi and did service, they headed south to start their journey towards the Sahara. Their first stop was the fortified village of Ait Ben-Haddou. The 17th century site is known for its earthen clay architecture and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Another fortified village they visited was Kasbah Amridil.  Likewise they viewed the Dades and Todgha Gorges before they camped in the Sahara Desert. The drives through Tizi N’tichka were scenic and breathtaking.

The adventure wasn’t over yet. The students headed to Ouarzazate, a city south of Morocco’s High Atlas mountains. It is known as a gateway to the Sahara Desert.

Afterwards, the students traveled to Marrakech, which was their home for two nights. They took a historical tour of the old city center or medina. They were introduced to Islamic arts with a calligraphy workshop and a cooking class with a local chef. They learned to make tajine.

Other stops included a synagogue to learn about Jewish history in Morocco and Madrassa Ben Youssef, which is an Islamic college.

Later the students headed to the laid-back beach town of Essaouira, but on the way they made a stop to zipline over the majestic Atlas Mountains. They also took time for some surfing lessons.

The students ended their programs with the traditional Rustic Ties discussion. They got to talk about what they learned about Morocco, its people and each other. It’s always a touching way to end a memorable journey through another land.

To learn more about our programs in Morocco, please visit our program page.

About the Author

Mary Rogelstad

Content Writer