Location scouting for OpenVillage in Morocco!!

In this topic we’re discussing the different options of locations for an OpenVillage prototype project in Morocco.


Love the Tifnit / Agadir combination. Big city and small village, really close together. Good for prices, and for bringing infrastructure (like, fast Internet). But all the places seem great, one way or the other. Will be a difficult decision :slight_smile:

I am up for spending August in Morocco with you, to help to find and set up the right physical space provided we can decide on the right location within the next couple of days (City or town).

To me it sounds like Tiznit might be a winner. Only question is connectivity ping @matthias what’s a good way we can figure out if it will work. More importantly, want to go scope it out together? :))

Then we can dedicate August to finding and setting up the right location for the physical space.

People who want to be involved in setting up the space can do so online, or on location. Online: share proposals and instructables for technical solutions, find and send tools or materials needed, and outreach/fundraising. On location, well - do whatever needs doing :slight_smile:

In september we set up some activities there to get the whole thing going (e.g. a ladies cafe) and prepare some stuff for bringing the Space to the OpenVillage Festival in Brussels in October (and from there people and projects into the OpenVillage Space…and December camp :))

What do you think? It’s not going to be hard to find a house we can rent for a month so let’s just do it. Who else? @noemi ? @alberto? @hazem? @zmorda? Word of warning it will be hot in August :slight_smile:

Yah I think all we need to know is which international airport to book a ticket to from now so that prices are’nt crazy because of last minute booking. cc @iriedawta

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Direct connections by RyanAir to Marakesh: from 29 airports all over Europe.

Direct connections by RyanAir to Agadir: from Belgium (Brussels Charleroi), Germany (Dusseldorf Weeze), UK (London Stansted). [see]

Agadir is looking increasingly good :slight_smile: I mean, direct flights from Brussels!

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Agadir is a sister city to Oakland California. Just sayin…

But it is more than fun in the sun there, though there is plenty of that. I read in 1960 there was an earthquake there that killed 15K people so the rebuilt buildings are seismically much better. In looking for a place, I would not get something that is too old.

World’s largest seawater desalinization plant to be built in Agadir:

Hi there,

Cheap flights to Morocco come mostly to touristic areas like Agadir and Marrakech, sometimes Fes, Nador and Tangier…Depending where the participants are coming from.
Remember I used to live in Moroccco for 7 years and I am destination management expert, meaning I know the country as the back of my hand. Agadir seems to be the worst place to have a base for ER…I’d recommend something along the Atlantic coasline(Imesouane is really calm, bad internet connection I recall), Taghazout too trendy but cool, Sidi Ifni or Mirleft should be perfect, near Essaouira there is also Sidi Kaouki, more central and close to everything, yet small and quite isolated and not very touristic…

Except the coastline there are other options in the High Atlas mountains, think about a Berber village where we can help build a sustainable economy, also only 1,5 hours away from Marrakech…

Rif mountains otherwise…somewhere near Ketama(marijuana plantations lol) and Chefchaouen(breathtaking beauty)…

Anyway, ping me if you need more details or contacts…@unknown_author @nadia @matthias

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Many thanks for joining the discussion, @iriedawta. Since the search started in Tunisia, I somehow forgot that we have another Morocco expert available :slight_smile: So, let me try to understand:

Why you think that, is it because of climate, people or environment?

Another idea came up in a discussion with Nadia and Alberto, not mentioned above, that a hybrid solution could be best: have a small, own, café-sized space in a city like Agadir for outreach and chillout over the day, and have the living quarters in a small to medium town outside the city, like Tifnit, with nice surroundings, much cheaper rent … and somewhat removed from too much curiosity by “not-so-benevolent” members of society. People might go to the city 2-5 days a week depending on personal schedule, coming back in the evenings. We’d use buses for connections, or organize our own shuttle service. In such a case, would Agadir still be a bad place?

Hey Matt,

Who’s the other Morocco expert? :slight_smile:

Agadir is the only place is Morocco that has 0 authenticity, as @johncoate mentioned, there was an earthquake that destroyed the whole city and it’s been rebuilt ever since but it lacks the charm of the rest of Moroccan cities, i.e. no medina(old town with bazaar/souk and historical monuments), no sights, etc

Agadir is the only place in Morocco that I would not recommend anyone to visit unless they are looking for a mainstream All Inclusive holiday resort…basically the whole city is full of hotels of different categories which are frequented by elderly tourists from Europe(UK, the Netherlands, etc) and Russia…a hell on earth if you’d ask me…

Essaouira is super chill instead and is close to many other off the beaten track places where accommodation is cheap, like Sidi Kaouki or Sidi Ishak(even less popular)…so yeah, if it’s the coast you aim to be close to, then look at Essaouira instead of Agadir…

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Ha! I like this combination of very few people where we have the residential space, and many people / proper city where we have the work space.

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Yah I think you should check out Essaouira. That way we have covered this part and can make an informed choice together, no?

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Did a quick check on travel options, and Essaouira is looking ok to good from that side, too :relaxed: It is served by three (and only these three it seems) airlines from Europe directly, as follows:

  • TUI fly Belgium: Brussels Charleroi → Essaouira. From 74 EUR one way, 142 EUR roundtrip. Seasonal connection (at least August to March, probably longer).
  • Transavia: Paris-Orly → Essaouira. From 62 EUR one way, 120 EUR roundtrip.
  • easyJet: London-Luton → Essaouria. From 48 EUR one way, 85 EUR roundtrip.

All prices available via Google Flights. Additional flight options go to Agadir and of course Marrakesh, both around 3 hours of overland travel from Essaouira.

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mmmm what is the maximum number of people based on @unknown_author? I’m sure both places can accommodate more than that…as for the airport connection, Marrakech for one is the biggest hub for low cost airlines in Morocco and Essaouira itself has some cheap flights from Europe as @matthias mentioned above…

Think Imessouane http://moustacho.com/cette-plage-marocaine-classee-forbes-parmi-10-plus-belles-monde/ @nadia

There are over 9500 people living in Sidi Ishaq https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidi_Ishaq

Ok for the work space, female coop/cafe, raising awareness about the project Essaouira seems the best for several reasons:

  1. It’s on the coast and has a developed infrastructure

  2. It’s one of the most alternative places in Morocco and it’s very chill except for the Gnawa festival period(usually the last week of June depending on Ramadan)

  3. People are very diverse and open minded, so there will be no need to cover yourselves or respect any rules typical to traditional muslim communities

  4. A huge choice of accommodations and low rates, I can connect you to several locals there who can help you find a venue @nadia @unknown_author

  5. Essaouira is called City of Wind - it’s the hippy paradise but not overrated or frequented by mass tourism except for Gnawa festival period

Think of fresh seafood, live music, lots of creativity and arts, vegan restaurants, underground life, gnawa academy… :heart_eyes:


Decay is due to humidity, make sure the buildings you are looking for renting are more or less free of mold.
Heavily influenced by tourism is what Marrakech and Agadir are about, Essaouira is tourist free compared to those :slight_smile:
People don’t swim in the town beach, rather in Diabat(Jimi Hendrix’s favourite spot, check it out),Sidi Kaouki or Sidi Ishak…they don’t consider the town beach cool enough…

It takes time to discover the underground culture, take your time and get to know some reliable locals first :wink:

Male prostitution lmao, i can only imagine the circumstances that led you to assume that…both female and male prostitution is common in all touristy areas, much less in Essaouira I’d say.

Anas Hachdi is one of my friends who manages a riad in Essaouira…let me check my fb friendlist to see who else is in town…pls connect with me on fb so that I can introduce you.

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Maybe connect with Fabrice’s French-Maroccan friend who I met at Sofrito party at TRC on Saturday night. I think he said he’s involved in Boiler Room. He also mentioned a female surfer collective near Essaouira and that he is involved in a project to start running cotton and clothing production in Marocco. Also in september there is some kind of event to welcome new people who want to invest/create new ventures for development of the region. Better ask him now before he forgets :slight_smile:

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Yes. Him. I met him and a French-Maroccan friend of his at TRC this past weekend, but I forgot the name of the guy. But Fabrice will know. Also, I told him a bit about what we are doing in Maroc and he is interested so good to chat with him while it’s fresh in mind.