Ever since the foundation of our agency, our number-one objective has been, and still is, connecting the people of Atlas and Sahara with travellers from all corners of the world and making sure that both benefit from the cultural encounter.
Our travellers discover beautiful places and the local inhabitants show great hospitality in receiving them in their own homes. The travellers immerse themselves in a completely different culture that carries them, baffles them, and surely changes their perception of the world, of the other, of Amazighs. Not only that, but children and adults in the remote villages of Atlas gradually learn to see the “Roumi” as a friend, as a member of the tribe and no longer as the tourist from whom they receive few pennies. Strong bonds are being forged; the cultural exchange is authentic and profound. We constantly experience this miracle, and that gives us immense pleasure. Thanks to the enormous power of such an encounter and the positive impact it has on people, our agency has been involved for many years in social development and environmental conservation programs in partnerships with several associations in the Atlas mountains, Essaouira region and in southern Morocco:
R’Bat village in the Ait Bougmez Valley (Central High Atlas) is our laboratory where magic happens. We receive many volunteers and associations who would like to help (families, individuals, organized groups: scouts, student associations, schools).
Just recently Homeopaths Without Borders has come to train the villagers in first aid procedures and techniques. Also, Terre d’Eveil has organized soap and cosmetics workshops for women and initiated a project to collect and promote wild plants.
Not only that, but children from several villages have benefited from the Arno Stern Painting Game workshop (awakening and psychological reinforcement through painting). And many young volunteers and families from France have been organizing leisure activities and French lessons for the children of the village all summer long. Last but not least, a medical team came to treat hundreds of villagers free of charge.
Atlas Outdoor has signed a partnership agreement with the local NGO in the village of El Kebbaba in Skoura (southern Morocco). The aim is to improve the conditions of education for children. Our agency is working with Chamaeleon Reisen, a German Tour Operator, to build a nursery and a women’s cooperative on-site. This project is almost finished, and the nursery will be ready to receive the children in the coming months.
Atlas Outdoor will also finance classrooms with necessary equipment such as chairs, tables and school supplies.
In addition, Atlas Outdoor participates in the preservation of the oasis of El Kebbaba by planting a date palm tree for each group of travelers staying in the village.
Atlas Outdoor got involved in a new project with Assafar Cooperative which is located in the small village of Imi n’Tagant, 8 km from the city of Essaouira, founded by the women of the village in 2005 with 46 members. The aim to improve the lifestyle of the members and the traditional production of Argan oil. The first step after signing the partnership agreement was adding bonuses to the association by offering the ladies a soap and cosmetics workshop that will help them to benefit from different and various plants they have in the area and based on the Argan oil to produce new products that will help the growth of the association. As a travel agency we advise all our tour guides to take the groups for a visit in the association, as support and to get some of their products or buy souvenirs if the clients wish to.
This partnership is based on planting Argan trees to combat desertification and protect the Argan tree endemic in southern Morocco. This project, in collaboration with Chamaeleon Reisen, also aims to support local women’s initiatives by purchasing Argan oil that the cooperative produces.