Cross-Cultural Solutions: Volunteer Abroad in Morocco

Video and Photos

Mint tea
Mint tea
Camel
Camel
Clean, fresh, local and the service was outstanding with a friendly helpful smile!!!!
Some of my wonderful happy English students!!! We learned "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" song and laughed every time we sang it with hand motions.
Dying leather in Fez - pigeon poop is used to clean and remove tissues from the animal skins
Here's looking at you!
English language and American culture students Farida, Zora and Muhamed.
English language and American culture students Zora, Chaimaa and Souad treating me to a boat taxi ride!

About

Four million people in Morocco live below the poverty line, three million of them in rural areas, yet many families living just above the poverty line also face severe inequalities in income distribution, health care, and living standards. In Morocco, the average years of schooling for a child is far below other countries in the region and even further below the global expected standards for children ages 5-16.

In Morocco, only 20% of girls have a secondary education compared with 30% of boys. Contribute to programs that encourage girls to fulfill their potential, while delivering public health solutions to improve overall well-being. Women undertake more than 7 times as much unpaid work than men. We’re working to empower women through education and support for economic activities.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.78 Rating
based on 18 reviews
  • Impact 9.4
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 8 of 18
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Michael
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Azrou, Morocco was amazing

I was blessed to spend two weeks in Azrou, Morocco with Cross Cultural Solutions. It was an amazing experience and something that I highly recommend to everyone. The country and people are so wonderful. I felt 100% safe the entire time and never had any issues. Everyone we interacted with had a big smile and a welcoming spirit. The volunteer experience they set up will leave a lasting impression in my mind. The whole team was great but especially Mohamed. He was the best. Morocco was fantastic and I hope to visit again. CCS was great!

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Naomi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Morocco - a wonderful and unexpected trip with CCS

I recently found myself in-between jobs and decided to do something 'big' with my time off. Two weeks in Rabat certainly fit the bill! It was an eye-opening, delightful trip. I had the opportunity to visit three volunteer sites - the children's hospital, the school (to teach advanced English), and the orphanage. It is clear that CCS volunteers are welcomed and appreciated at all sites. The CCS onboarding program gives you plenty of ideas to prepare for your volunteer assignment, but there are also many resources at home base that can be used to augment or adjust your plans.
As noted by other reviewers, you have afternoons to learn more about Islam, the Arabic language, cooking lessons, or visit local sites. Safety was a concern for my family... we simply didn't know a whole lot about Morocco in advance. There was no need to worry. There are ample security measures in place, but I felt safer in Rabat than I do in parts of my hometown (Houston). Safety extended to the personal trips I took on weekends (with a housemate). We were on our own but CCS checked on us daily, just to be sure our experience was going well.
I am thrilled to have visited Rabat. It's a beautiful, interesting city. I also had the chance to visit Fes, Tangier, and a few other sites on my time off. Now I can say I rode a camel!
Morocco is a fascinating place. Thanks to this program, I genuinely feel like a better world citizen!

What would you improve about this program?
No suggestions.
Default avatar
Danielle
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible

Morocco was so beautiful and different. Mohamed, the director of Morocco was there almost everyday. He really made everyone feel welcomed and safe. He tried to make sure that everyone had a great time. The staff was so warm and nice. I had a great volunteer site. I was at the children's hospital playing and doing crafts with the patients. The enclosed courtyard room we would use would be empty but the when me and the other CCS volunteer would come the children would leave there rooms and come. It was great seeing the smiles on their faces as well as their parents/grandparents. It was amazing how we communicated even with not having a common language. The parents would hug us and thank us when their children got to leave the hospital. Recommend going on a weekend trip to the Sahara but it will take up your whole weekend.

What would you improve about this program?
My two weeks were during Ramadan if they could let you be more aware when selecting weeks I would of liked to see the difference between when it was and wasn't.
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Carol
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Cross Cultural Solutions = Morocco A++++++++++++++

I highly recommend Cross Cultural Solutions for beginning – AND - experienced travelers.

Beginning travelers – are helped, advised and taught how to travel safely, how to love and appreciate differences and how to gain self reliance in the wonderful world of travel. Being met at the airport, driven to daily volunteering, taken on field trips, and served wonderful food give the volunteers a safe learning environment. Living and working together with new friends provides lifelong memories.

Both groups learn language skills, local customs, and knowledge about preparing and eating new foods – and both groups grow and expand new friendships, and life experiences. Teaching, helping and learning with local people give feelings of accomplishment and self satisfaction.

Experienced travelers - are allowed much more freedom. They may choose to travel alone on weekends, do extended solo trips before and after their volunteer experience and design their travel (solo or small groups) to expand special interests and skills. The staff usually makes helpful recommendations, useful suggestions and necessary information about “in country” dangers. There is usually a “blog” book of good and bad experiences of former travelers.

What would you improve about this program?
Encourage people to stay longer.
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Elizabeth
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Visit Morocco

I went to Morocco in May of this year. I must say that if there is anything one must do is visit Morocco. May is a beautiful time of year, to be able to go out and interact with people and take in its mystical air. A wonderful experience. It is sad to see the poverty, one can only do what they can. I had the ability to be with children at a hospital. A part of you will stay there in Morocco. What will leave with one is perhaps a few pounds from the delicious food they have. ;)

What would you improve about this program?
It's perfect!
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Sandi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Morocco turned out to be my Second Home

I signed up with CCS to go to Morocco and learn about their culture. My goal is to be a volunteer in Afghanistan. I felt the Moroccan culture was the closest to that of Afghanistan that CCS had to offer. I took my 17 year old grand daughter, Tana, with me. I have been back to Morocco seven times and plan to go again. Tana has been back four times, with friends and family, and plans to go again We fell in love with the people and the culture.
The Staff at Home Base are 'our family' now.
I volunteered in the Special Needs Wing of the Orphanage.
I met Nancy there and we are now Best Buddies. We love 'Our Kids' at the Orphanage. Tana loved working with the Street Kids and the challenge of holding their attention while trying to teach them.
For anyone wanting to Give Back a little and Learn A Lot....I highly recommend CCS. For anyone wanting to learn about TRUE Islam and an amazing culture, I highly recommend Morocco and the Staff at Home Base. They are the Real Deal. I love them. :)

What would you improve about this program?
I realize that no program is perfect, but I am at a loss as to what I would change about Morocco. As I have mentioned, I have been in Morocco seven times. And plan to return.
I know that times are rough and there is a lot more attention on Cuba and less on volunteering in an Islamic country. Funding is difficult. But I would not tighten the budget to much. Morocco is a must for staying Open and Relevant. We need our world countries to learn the True Islamic religion and Home Base Morocco is a warm and safe place to learn. With warm, intelligent, spiritual and inspiring staff.
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Dana
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Immersion of Mind, Body and Spirit

Shokran, Shokran, Shokran (thank you) Cross-Cultural Solutions for providing an easy, heart and mind opening opportunity to delve into the vibrant culture of Morocco. From the friendly, fun, well-informed, professional staff and wide-ranging programming (cooking, language, history classes and outings), to my placement as a teacher of English and American culture at a women's center, I couldn't have been more fulfilled. And, I'm now completing a book, Unveiling Morocco; Discovering Ourselves, filled with questions inspired by images of Morocco’s exotic geography, people and culture that together, invite readers to create deeply mindful, passionate, connected lives.

What would you improve about this program?
I'd add more fresh fruit and salads and a greater quantity of food at each meal. That said, when requested, CCS did provide more of both these things! One has to be willing to sleep in bunk rooms and my friend and I each requested and got rooms of our own (bunks yes, but private). That option may or may not be available depending on # of people volunteering. I'd also make sure that the blankets are washed between guests. (I'm not sure if that's already done; just want to make sure that all is as cleanly as possible and expected).
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Kristy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Better than any vacation week

The CCS van dropped off me and my partner in front of a small storefront in Rabat, the capital of Morocco. Two or three people were already waiting outside for the door to be unlocked. They were to be our English students. My sister-and-law came with me to Morocco for a week to teach English to adults in a program for women, to give them the tools to advance their careers. What a surprise to find we had three men among the group of 8 students!

On the first day, we stuck mostly to traditional rote-learning teaching methods. By the end of the week, the lessons had evolved to mostly conversation, with occasional breaks to spell an unknown word on the whiteboard. We learned that Mohammad #1 (for there were two in the class) was going that weekend to ask his girlfriends' father for permission to marry. A big deal! Fatima#2 (another common name) was raising 10 children, and was herself one of 12. Zakia never had formal education and was the worst at English, but flashed the biggest smile and was the most cosmopolitan and stylish, a rare single woman in the city, and hosting an American abroad student in her home.

The way the students gently ribbed each other and laughed, yet always brought us into the joke, made us fall in love with Moroccans. Just a week, and they are part of my life. We're penpals, continuing to work on English.

CCS provided wonderful support, with a comfortable safe home base, amazing food, great schedule, and time for cultural training and field trips. The talk on Islam and the talk on reading/writing Arabic were my favorites.

I look forward to crossing paths again, and am glad I know this little outpost of wonderful Muslim people on the African continent. Can't wait to try more of CCS's African programs in Tanzania, Ghana, and South Africa. Thanks to CCS for providing a wonderful home base with welcoming efficient staff, fantastic food, and a safe neighborhood.

What would you improve about this program?
That's a toughie. I wouldn't change the food. I wouldn't change the staff, or the placement, or the schedule, or the cultural training and field trips. I guess I would ask that there be someplace with a proper desk and chair, for working on a PC. All the tables are lap-level, so work was done on laps.