Traveling to Morocco will give you an opportunity to experience a unique hybrid of Berber, Arabic, and European culture. And it is due to this mix of different culture that one needs to be vary of their actions and behavior while their trip. Volunteering Solutions has its presence in Morocco for more than 8 years now and understand this uniqueness quite well. In order to make sure a great volunteering experience, Volunteering Solutions has few essential suggestions to follow in Morocco. Here is the list:
- Although, a significant population speak French, learning few basic and commonly used Arabic words can be real helpful.
- When meeting someone for the first time, do greet with a firm handshake along with inquires about their health, happiness, and family pleasantries.
- Do wear clothes conservatively, especially, when visiting a mosque. Western wear is acceptable in Morocco, but a protocol needs to be followed.
- Use your right hand for eating, greeting, and exchanging things. The left hand is considered unclean in Morocco.
- Do leave some food on your plate while eating, else the hosts will keep refilling your plate thinking you haven’t had enough.
- Do remove your shoes when entering your hosts’ house. This is a sign of being a well-mannered and well informed guest.
- Tipping is an integral part of Moroccan life. A tip of, anywhere between, 5% to 10%, of your bill will suffice.
- Try and carry more of plastic money (credit cards) or traveler’s checks to make payments. Keep as less money in cash with you as possible.
- Do get complete understanding of the local culture and traditions of the country from your in-country coordinator.
- Do inform your local coordinator about your plans for the day, in case planning to explore the city on your own.
- Do not offer alcohol to a Muslim, unless you are in a bar or they are already consuming it.
- Ramadan is a sacred festival for Muslims and people keep fasts for the entire day. Avoid eating in public in such situation; it looks rude.
- Do not accept a ride in a taxi that does not has a meter in it.
- Do not take pictures of women or government setups without prior permission.
- Avoid involving in using any kind of drug while your stay in Morocco. The penalties for possessing even a small amount of drug is very harsh.
- Avoid giving gifts in the form of liquor, pork, items with logos, figures of dogs/owls, etc.
- Do not make any kind of comparison from your home country and Morocco.
- Do not refuse if you are offered with a cup of hot mint-tea. It’s a signature beverage in Morocco and is offered as a sign of hospitality.
- Avoid moving out alone at night, especially, if you are a women volunteer. If it’s too urgent, inform your local coordinator and/or take a partner volunteer along.
- Do not forget to keep your essential documents in a safe place, so as to not to misplace them. You would need them for the entire trip.
Just a few simple travel etiquettes to follow and you are all set for a great volunteering experience in Morocco. Get more details about volunteering projects available in Morocco from our program advisors at firstname.lastname@example.org.