Return from Morocco
I just returned from Morocco. The purpose of my trip was to visit the cooperatives and to learn as much as possible about issues surrounding sustainability in the region. My visit took me from Casablanca to Marrakech, Agadir and Taroudant in the south with stops in remote villages in the Mid- and Anti-Atlas mountains. I saw numerous examples of successful efforts to aid the people of the country being undertaken by foreigners as well as locals, including a boarding house for teenage girls that provides safe housing in order that they may continue their education after the age of ten, associations committed to the development of the argan industry as a means of progress for women, individuals working toward environmental sustainability in the region, and strong Berber women working to help themselves in the cooperatives. I was pleased to see the women of the Cooperative Tilila busy cracking nuts for my next order who one year ago had no work because they couldn’t get their organic certification. As usual, wherever I went I was met with the Moroccans’ extreme hospitality. I return laden with gifts and with warm memories of my time there. I hope to shed light on some of the issues I have learned facing the women and the argan industry in general in Morocco in upcoming posts.