Morocco has an allure that will grip you from the start. Maybe it’s the natural beauty of the country - the vibrant blues, striking buildings and diverse landscapes. Or, maybe it’s that everything is steeped in a history and culture that holds tradition, family values, delicious food and hospitality at its core. IVHQ’s Morocco volunteer program based in Rabat enbales international volunteers to experience this vibrant country through a rewarding and culturally immersive experience. Keep reading to learn more about the program and find out where you should volunteer in Morocco…
IVHQ’s Morocco program is based in Rabat, but also has placement locations in neighboring cities: Salé and Casablanca. Rabat has an approximate population of 1.2 million people.
Morocco has a Mediterranean climate that is generally hot and dry for most of the year, with cooler, yet still mild, temperatures and rainfall during the winter months between November and March. Temperatures usually reach an average high of 27°C (80.6°F) in the summer months and an average high of 17°C (62.6°F) in the winter months. However, temperatures can drop to an average of 7°C (44.6°F) in the winter.
When volunteering in Morocco with IVHQ, you can choose to volunteer for durations ranging from 1 to 24 weeks with start dates available on the first and third Monday of each month - so it’s easy to coordinate a program to fit into your travel schedule.
Volunteers in Morocco can choose from a diverse range of project options, including Teaching English, Teaching French, Childcare and Women’s Education. There are also options to work on a Sports Development project, which aims to alleviate delinquency among young Moroccans in developing communities by introducing various sports activities to students, and a Ramadan project, which allows volunteers to experience several projects combined during the month of Ramadan.
Accommodation and meals:
Volunteers in Morocco are accommodated in homestays and live alongside a local family in their riad (a traditional Moroccan home), and share rooms with 2 to 4 other volunteers of the same gender. The host family prepares 3 traditional (and delicious!) meals per day, which include a variety of Mediterranean fruits and vegetables, and meats with spices. But don’t worry, vegetarian options are available too! A typical Moroccan meal begins with a series of hot and cold salads, followed by a tagine (Moroccan stew) and bread is eaten with every meal. Lamb or chicken dishes are common, as is couscous topped with meat and vegetables. The consumption of pork and alcohol are prohibited as per Muslim dietary restrictions and drinking the delightfully sweet mint tea is a daily tradition.
Travel and tour options:
There’s certainly no shortage of travel and tour opportunities in Morocco and many volunteers choose to take the 4-hour train ride from Rabat to Marrakch, where some of the most popular travel and tour activities include:
- The Medina of Marrakech: the Marrakech Medina was founded in 1070-72 and was considered the political, economic and cultural center of the city. Today, this area is a lively, compact area made of maze-like streets, showcasing the most extraordinary handmade clothing and jewelry, food, ceramics, and other items that are ideal gifts to take home to family and friends. Within the walls several historical monuments can also be found, including: the Koutoubiya Mosque, the Kasbah, monumental doors and gardens, the Bandia Palace, Saadian Tombs, Jardin Majorelle, as well as the Ben Youssef Madrasa.
- Sahara Desert: there’s no shortage of outdoor adventure, and volunteers can participate in multi-day treks on 4x4s and even by camel!
- Atlas Mountains: volunteers who love the outdoors should strap on some comfortable shoes to explore the neighboring Atlas Mountain range, which stretches from the Atlantic Coast to Tunisia. Qualified mountain guides are available to lead you on treks through ancient paths, terraced pastures and through traditional Amazigh villages. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about local customs and traditions of the Berber decedents, indigenous to North Africa.
Alternatively, in Rabat volunteers will find a plethora of historic sites, picturesque landscapes, as well endless choices for their inner-foodie! Some of the most popular travel hot spots in Morocco include:
- Rabat Medina: bustling with visitors and locals, bursting with colorful designs and the intoxicating smells from street vendors, it’s a must see!
- Hassan Tower and Mausoleum of Mohammed V
- Sahara Desert: like I said, an absolute Mecca for outdoor adventure!
Some volunteers even choose to travel further afield in their spare time, visiting Fes, Meknes (imperial cities), Volubilis (Roman), Tanger, and the south of Europe (Italy, Andalusia, Portugal, and the south of Spain).
We hope to see you in Morocco soon!