Morocco High School Service Program
International Volunteer Trip with a Social Justice focus for teens
Looking for a high school service trip that is a truly unique and immersive experience? Join our Morocco summer program and awaken your senses with a journey through the vibrant markets, walled cities, and dramatic landscapes of Morocco. This country’s compelling and complex cultural history offers a fascinating introduction to Northern Africa. Get hands-on community service experience working with local artisans on this volunteer travel program. From riding camels through the Sahara Desert to cooking Moroccan food, this is the adventure travel trip of a lifetime!
We arrive at the Casablanca airport and then transfer by private bus to Fes, where we settle into our hotel in the old medina of Fes. A location like nowhere else in the world, Fes is the perfect spot to hold our orientation. Over the next two days, we jump into learning about Morocco’s culture, history, and current economy, as seen through the lens of entrepreneurship, artisanship, and tourism. We will take an Arabic class of essential words and expressions, as well as tour the old medina, which is a UNESCO world heritage site!
From Fes, we head south into the Middle Atlas mountains, the heart of the Amazigh, or indigenous territories of Morocco. We stop in Sefrou to visit with local artisans and learn about the diversity of craft in Morocco. In just one street, we can find fabric weavers, embroiderers, blacksmiths, woodworkers, shoemakers, rug weavers, and many other types of exceptional artisans! During this portion of the trip, we stay in a hostel in Ain Leuh, a small Amazigh mountain town, which serves as our base as we conduct our community service work. We work alongside local Moroccans on a community development project in a village outside of Ain Leuh.
We also have the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the local culture! We eat meals with local families, learn to prepare Moroccan food, hike to a local waterfall and continue to improve our Arabic, while learning a few words from the local dialect, Tamazight. On our last night in Ain Leuh, we prepare a feast for a final dinner that the village is invited to, which commemorates our time in the community.
On this next phase of our journey, we leave the Middle Atlas mountains and descend to the Sahara Desert in Merzouga, where we trek into the dunes at sunset for an overnight stay in a desert camp. We eat under the stars and the next morning wake up to see the sunrise in the distance! After taking in these vast views, we pack our bags and head back to Merzouga, where we resume our journey south.
As we leave the desert, we continue towards Ouarzazate, learning about the legacy of the Glaoui Tribe, which was one of the most affluent and important Amazigh tribes in the south. They derived their wealth from controlling the Trans-Saharan camel caravans and were credited with uniting the southern Amazigh tribes. They are also responsible for the Kasbahs that we see on the Route of 1,000 Kasbahs, and, as we travel from the edge of their empire into the heartland of it, we tour the palace that was at the center of their dominion for hundreds of years. We also visit another Kasbah that factors heavily into the Moroccan film industry where many movies and TV series have been produced, including Game of Thrones.
For the last phase of our trip, we leave the bled, or rural areas, behind and arrive in Marrakech, where we settle into our hotel in the medina. We tour the hustle and bustle of this marvelous city. We also visit the souks, explore a new contemporary African art museum, and learn to cook tagines. During this part of the program, we have the opportunity to participate in a round table with local Moroccan university students.
The night before we leave, we transfer to a hotel in Casablanca where we wrap up our time together with a final dinner and celebration. As we say goodbye to our new friends and a country we’ve come to love, we take home memories that will stick with us forever!
The Global Works chaperoned Group Flight departs from New York (JFK) for this program. Airfare is not included in the tuition. Please contact us for the latest airfare pricing or visit our Flight & Travel Arrangements page for more information about travel days.
Community Service Projects
We begin our program in the historical city of Fes, famous for being one of the world’s largest car-free urban areas. We stay deep within the walled medina in a nice, locally run hotel. With its courtyard, open meeting space, and central location, this is the perfect spot to start getting to know one another, have our orientation, and get our first taste of Moroccan culture! Participants stay in rooms of 2-3 people with private baths.
As we journey to a smaller town, we stay in a quaint, local hostel. We will have this property to ourselves as we venture out during the day getting to know the community and doing service. Two to six students will share a room.
After trekking by camel, we will arrive at a desert camp, where we will be the only guests. This gives us the unique and unforgettable opportunity to sleep in the Saraha Desert. Students will have the option of sleeping outside on mattresses under the stars or within desert tents.
During our time in Marrakech, we will stay at a traditional Moroccan riad, a palace with an interior garden and courtyard. Nestled in the old medina’s historic district, this riad has a beautiful large terrace for gathering together as a group, as well as foosball tables to play as we unwind! Students stay 2-4 per room with private baths.
On our final stop on this journey, we stay in Casablanca’s old medina at a locally run hotel that has ocean views! Students will stay 2-3 per room.