Thursday, October 14, 2010

Divorced and Widowed Women's Co-op

I've been wanting to find the time to write about a group of Berber women who I met in the Atlas mountains. They are the rejected, the divorced women or the widowed. My traveling companions and I found them with the help of our guide. He could have brought us to more trinket shops, but he chose the divorced women's co-op for one of our stops in the mountains.

When we entered the building, I noticed the dirt floor and four women along one wall either smacking nuts with a small hammer or grinding said nuts in a hand mill of sorts. I think one was taking the fruit off the nut and putting it in a special tin bowl. The nut, L'Arganier, is supposed to cure or greatly help diabetes and cholesterol.  I think this is very helpful here since everyone eats french fries non-stop with every meal in Morocco. (Not kidding.) I never need to see a french fry ever again.

The ladies have made creams for the face and body,(our guide had beautiful skin), L'Arganier butter for L'Arganier and jelly sandwiches, and other beauty products. One just has a bite of the L'Arganier butter or oil to make certain ones arteries are up to speed. Supposedly, these products are only made in Morocco by the Berber women.
(click here for some info - here is a website on the nut .) Maybe that site is just about the nuts, not our women we met. They probably just have a local co-op. I think they have a market outlet in France, but maybe not. Hopefully, the proceeds go to the well-being of the women.(Thanks, Jill, for finding the site.)

It was really a great lesson for me to see that women were helping each other, even though it was very arduous work with little to show for it each day. I am hopeful that their labors bring forth a safe place for each of them, and  hopefully, each are enjoying life outside the nut "factory" some of the time.

By the way, the L'Arganier butter is delicious. I just sampled my jar of oily, nutty nutrition. I'm feeling younger and smoother already.

These two are making a ball of the nut paste to prepare it for all sorts of beauty products. No FDA or other inspection organization saying, "Whoops, don't get dirt into that jar of cream, honey."

Let's hear it for the divorced and widowed women's co-op in the Atlas Mountains with the Berbers.


  1. What a very special 'behind the scenes' look at life. People in general do not seem to mind you taking their pictures ?

  2. I ask permission. These said it was fine. Some that I ask say no.