Mohamed Taghda is the person in charge of a project that almost has been around for 10 years. In this time, his brothers’, Khalid, Ismael, Abdou, Sofian and at the beginning of the project Lahcen, had developed a work that has been fundamental for the success of our Kasbah. Neither can we forget Angel, who from Spain decided to support this venture from the beginning. Fruits of this work was the creation in 2008 of a travel agency in Spain which allowed us offers to the travellers all of the legal guarantees that the European legislation in the matter of the organization of trips. This wonderful experience during these years has inspired us to transfer our project to other countries, first of them being Mali.
Kasbah Itran is a journey that began in 2000 when a Berber family, the Taghdas, decided to join forces with two Spanish friends to set up a small accommodation initiative in what was at the time a ruined home overlooking the Mgoun River, near Kelaa Mgouna in southern Morocco. From the outset it was clear to us that the same conditions would apply to those joining the company: the initial investment to start up the project, the work required to keep it going and any profits would be shared equally by all the partners.
We are still applying the same approach in the promotion of new establishments in small villages like Megdaz, where we have adapted two rooms in a tardat in conjunction with the Hassou family. For travellers, this provides a chance for close contact with the real Morocco.
AGENCIA DE VIAJES KASBAH ITRAN S.L.
Plaza Alonso martínez, 7-91. 09003 Burgos. España.
Código de identificación de agencia de viajes: CICI.09-50
Angel García, tel. 0034 620984000
KASBAH ITRAN S.A.R.L.
Merna, El Kelaa Mgouna, Ouarzazate. Marruecos
PET: 54415015 - RC: 1205/413
Mohamed Taghda, tel. 00212 662622203
The local people's friendliness and the fantastic landscapes often hinder our view of the real situation in the places we visit. This is particularly true on mountain treks through some of Morocco's most remote hamlets. Poor living standards for the local population often lie beneath the idyllic postcard scenes. Lack of healthcare, soaring illiteracy rates and harsh working conditions are part of the landscape that travellers ought to discover as well.
Tourism is a powerful tool that can provide solutions for critical problems, but it can cause them as well. In recent years we have witnessed profound changes in small Atlas communities: an excessive proliferation of hotels, concrete buildings with no respect for the local architecture, and, on a much more serious level, tourism, are all changing the behaviour of the population, especially amongst the most vulnerable sector: its children. Opening up areas to tourism where it barely existed before requires a serious commitment by the organiser and the traveller. The following recommendations will help you to avoid the mistakes that people often make due to misunderstood good intentions:
CHILDREN AND GIFTS: You must not give gifts or money to the children, and in this way you will avoid promoting an education in which one is asking ( i.e. better to request seems profitable that to study or to work.) This type to behaviour causes the traveller to be seen as a “machine” to give things therefore, losing the possibility of a spontaneous relationship without expecting nothing back.( and to not wait for anything in return). In the other hand, how would we see a tourist who visits our city, indiscriminately dedicating himself to give gifts to the children without the permission of their parents?
HELP: If you want to help, the best way is to donate money through organisations that work in the country. If you do want to donate educational material or clothes, a good channel to do so are the local schools and, if you are on a trek, the mule drivers and the rest of the staff who accompany you.
PHOTOS: It might seem obvious, but... please ask for permission before you take a photo. Women are particularly sensitive to being photographed, for a very simple reason: they want to safeguard their privacy and prevent their photos from appearing in travel magazines, postcards or websites.
LANGUAGE: Learning some basic words in Berber allows you to greet people, thank them, say goodbye, etc..
Download this practical vocabulary in PDF format.
BE NATURAL: The above-mentioned ideas are obviously not entirely inflexible: after a game of football with some village kids, inviting them to a soft drink or some sweets will do no harm. If you strike up a conversation with a family that has shown you how they make their own bread or work in the field, you will be welcome to ask them for a group photo.
There is nothing more useful for shedding stereotypes and prejudices than face-to-face contact: sharing tea, greeting people you meet as you walk through fields, joking with a group of children or sharing bread fresh from the family oven with women all quickly break down those clichéd cultural barriers. At Kasbah Itran, all the activities we organize strive to maximize your opportunities for these types of encounters.