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Trip update: Morocco - April 2024

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Jun 5, 2024 | Latest News, Morocco

Morocco Trip  |  April 2024    

We were delighted to be back in Marrakech for another VoluntEars trip to Morocco in April 2024!

The trip was run by VoluntEars director Richard Clowes, and interpreter Mel Demetriou who has previously helped on VoluntEars trips to Sri Lanka, Morocco and Nepal so Mel knows exactly what to expect on our trips. Mel also has the most amazing sense of humour so she is guaranteed to liven up any group.

Before our group arrived, VoluntEars staff did all the final checks on accommodation, restaurant bookings, places we would visit during the trip, plans for activities with local deaf students, Moroccan Sign Language class, local transport, entrance tickets, camels and quad bikes in the desert and so on.

Our group was 11 people; 8 D/deaf people and 3 hearing people. Just over half this group had been on other trips with VoluntEars.

Group of volunteers at a Sign Language café in Morocco

Our group at the Sign Language Café in Marrakech during their Morocco trip with VoluntEars

Day 1 – Thursday

The group arrived on 3 different flights in the morning and another flight on Thursday afternoon. Airport collections are included in all Voluntears trips so everyone was collected from Marrakech airport by Richard and Mel and taken by private air-conditioned minibus back to the riad so they could meet each other, unpack and relax.

You might be wondering “What’s a riad?”. It’s a traditional Moroccan house built around an internal courtyard with bedrooms leading on to balconies which overlook the courtyard. There’s also a roof terrace with views of the neighbouring area. It’s a guest house with a family feeling.

Dining tables in a traditional riad in Morocco

Dining tables in a traditional riad in Morocco

After their first Moroccan lunch at a local restaurant our group explored one of the many souks in Marrakech.


A souk is a narrow street lined with all kinds of shops, cafes, restaurants where you can buy everything imaginable, from handmade leather bags to bright coloured clothing, freshly squeezed orange juice, natural perfumes and all sorts of tasty streetfood!

Dinner was in a restaurant with a photo of Jamie Oliver attached to the front door because the owner is a fan! They had a selection of tajines, cous cous with vegetables, meat cooked on a charcoal BBQ. Yum.

Day 2 – Friday

The day started with a lovely breakfast!

It included different types of Moroccan bread, pancakes, strawberry jam, apricot jam, freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee and of course Moroccan mint tea.

We then took taxis to Bahia Palace, arriving before the crowds to avoid queues.

Bahia Palace is a sprawling single storey palace complex comprising several inner courtyards and large cool rooms with highly decorated tall ceilings and whitewashed walls. There’s also a famous blue and white tiled courtyard which leads to a walled garden with beautiful plants and shady trees.

Bahia Palace internal courtyard with blue sky

Relaxing at Bahia Palace courtyard, Marrakech, Morocco

Lunch was in a restaurant specially chosen for it’s view of Jemaa el fnaa where you can get some of the best fresh fruit juices and see snake charmers and henna tattooists.

Later this afternoon the group visited Jardin Marjorelle.

Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech is a vibrant botanical garden designed by artist Jacques Majorelle. Renowned for its stunning cobalt blue structures, it features exotic plants, serene water features, and an art museum. Purchased by Yves Saint Laurent, it blends Moroccan culture with artistic elegance, attracting visitors worldwide.


Then it was off to dinner at a rooftop restaurant on the main square again to watch it come to life as day turned into night and even more stalls set up around the square for the evening. After sunset the air temperature falls from mid 30s (Celsius) to mid 20s (Celsius) so it’s much more comfortable for walking around and exploring everything.

Day 3 – Saturday

After breakfast, today was a totally different type of day!!

First of all, a lovely deaf lady called Fatima, who works at a local Deaf Association, visited our riad to give our group a lesson in Moroccan Sign Language. Wow! Fatima’s energy and enthusiasm is infectious! And Mel’s interpreting was tested for the next couple of hours as Fatima covered topics like signs for different Moroccan city names, how to say your age, weather and much more. This helped everyone communicate with the local Deaf students when we started doing activities with them.

Fatima teaching Moroccan Sign Language to the VoluntEars group in Morocco

Fatima teaching Moroccan Sign Language to the VoluntEars group in Morocco

VoluntEars had arranged for 35 local deaf students from one of the local deaf schools to visit the riad for activities for the morning. They were divided into small groups, each with a volunteer or two, and did lots of activities, from learning how to play digital pool on an iPad to a lively game of spoons!


Doing activities like these is alwayys a highlight of any trip with VoluntEars as it combines doing educational games and fun activities with communicating and learning each other’s Sign Languages which are a big part of local cultures.


After a huge lunch of tajines and fresh salad provided at the riad, our group left the busy city of Marrakech behind and travelled into the countryside to get a taste of what life is like outside the hustle and bustle.

Some people explored the countryside by quad bike for two hours, others rode camels through the desert and some chilled in a big traditional tent while watching the sunset over the Atlas mountains in the distance.

4 people on quad bikes in the countryside in Morocco on a deaf volunteering trip with VoluntEars

Optional quad biking in the countryside near to Marrakech on a Morocco trip with VoluntEars


What an experience it was in the desert, and then having dinner with a big wood fire to keep warm.

Day 4 – Sunday

VoluntEars loves to make connections between Deaf communities across the world so this morning was spent at a Sign Language Cafe in the suburbs of Marrakesh. It’s run by Amal Non-Profit and Nora, who’s the overall manager, had arranged for their staff to kindly come into work during their Eid holiday to spend their morning teaching us all how to make Moroccan food.

We prepared the ingredients and cooked a huge batch of “msemmen” before sitting down to eat it with honey and mint tea. It’s lucky there was so much because this was the last meal before heading to the airport for flights home, after stopping to see the famous La Koutoubia mosque on the way.

What an amazing 4 days in Morocco!

Thanks to everyone who joined our trip. We loved having you with us in Morocco and look forward to seeing you on another VoluntEars trip in the future.

Join a VoluntEars trip!

If you like the idea of using or improving your Sign Language skills while volunteering at a Deaf school and exploring a new country and culture then join a trip with VoluntEars.

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Some more photos from the VoluntEars Morocco trip in April 2024:

Photos of volunteers in Morocco

Read aboout our next Morocco trip here.


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