There are over thirty associations and cooperatives in the Aït Bouguemez, more than one for every village in the valley, and each is committed to aiding and enhancing their community, developing the right kind of tourism and maintaining the skills needed to produce traditional crafts. You can visit several of these, as well as a couple of forward-thinking schools, for an insight into valley life that is difficult to otherwise obtain, and the chance to give something directly back to the local communities.
Assocíatíon Ighrem Agouti t 0673 753163. Principally home to the Atelier de Sculpteur and their beautifully carved boxwood bowls, this very active association is also currently developing a women’s carpet cooperative. Past initiatives include free eye tests for the valley’s villagers. Daily 8am–6pm.
Atelier Feminin Tissage Imelghas t 0651 540831. Run by local teacher Fatima Ouakhoum, this workshop shed on the hillside in Imelghas is a hive of activity, with local women weaving traditional Berber rugs using natural vegetable dyes – it’s quite hard to find, so you may need to ask for directions at Dar Itrane. Mon–Sat 10am–noon & 2–6pm.
Coopérative Tikniouine Timit t 0668 909308. Small artisan food shop signed down the bottom of a rutted path in Timit, selling locally produced walnut oil, apple jam, honey and cheese. Daily 8am–1pm.
École Vivante On the road between Timit and the turning to Tabant. Since 2010, this primary school has been providing much-needed formal education for the valley’s dispersed villages; you can visit (and help out) at around 11am, or ring Stefanie in advance (t 0672 267688). Donations appreciated. Closed July & Aug.