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Bates College

Publication Date

Fall 2017


In 1960, the first wave of Europeans and Americans found their way to the now bustling Taghazout Bay. From Essaouira to Agadir, expatriates lived out of vans and/or inside the houses of the Amazigh villagers. Many of these expatriates made Morocco their home from upwards of ten to fifteen years, even giving birth to children in these rural villages. The American and Europeans shared with the locals and vice versa, bartering food, skills, athletics, language, and friendship. Naturally, as surfing became a popular pastime among hippies in the United States in the 1960s, the expatriates began to bring early models of surfboards and wetsuits to the villages of Taghazout Bay in 1975. In the forty-five years hence, Taghazout Bay has changed drastically. In the last fifteen years, the number of surf schools has skyrocketed from around five to eighty-two. This research acknowledges that many of these surf schools are run by English and Australian companies and entrepreneurs, that extreme development due to tourism has overtaken the area, and that explicit measures must be taken by the community to prevent the exploitation of the coastline and the people who live their. In talking to surf associations/NGOs and local business owners, the study explores the measures being taken to augment the community development, which arguably, has been overlooked in comparison to tourist infrastructure. Free and accessible opportunities for exercise and play is essential to community. Sport keeps people healthy and happy and help to solidify identity and place within a group. Taghazout bay is world renowned for surf, therefore the local youth should be given fair access to the sport. The waters are crowded with European tourists and twenty-something Moroccan men who instruct them. In addition, very few Moroccan women can be found in the waves on any given day. Although Morocco has famous female surf champions, it is difficult to find women out for a casual shred or employed as an instructor. This study also aims to give female Moroccan surfers and skaters voice. Their stories of first surf/skate, their group dynamics, perceived identity and source of support or lack thereof will be recorded.


Arts and Humanities | Education | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Life Sciences | Social and Behavioral Sciences


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